When we founded the Sammamish Independent in 2020, one of our goals was to counter the decline of local news by training our youth on how to source and deliver credible news coverage for Sammamish.
Since then, we have been predominantly staffed by high school students who have served as reporters and podcast producers.
Through two years of operating, they have proven that the youth of our community are fully capable of delivering the fact-based news coverage that our city desperately needs.
So the editorial board has decided that it is time to hand over the reins of The Indy to the amazing reporters who make our newspaper possible.
We are proud to announce that the new editor in chief of The Indy will be Kelly Lin. She is the first high school student to be named editor in chief.
Ms. Lin is currently a junior at Eastlake High School, and has been on our staff since 2020. She started as an education reporter, reporting on every aspect of how education had been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. She found unique ways that our youth had adapted to remote learning by creating rich extracurricular activities while our schools were closed, from launching virtual musicals and digital newspapers to setting up a hack-a-thon for younger students.
Ms. Lin then switched over to the City Hall section, and covered the 2021 Sammamish City Council elections. She wrote profiles on candidates Amy Lam and Karen Howe, both of whom are now on the council, and recapped the main issues from the candidate forum that The Indy hosted. Since the election, Ms. Lin has continued to follow the latest tumults of city politics, including the resignation of Ken Gamblin and the ethics investigation against City Manager Dave Rudat.
As editor in chief, Ms. Lin hopes to tell stories and foster connections between different parts of the community, and move beyond the notion that our city is just a place with good schools to raise kids.
“I want to build a legacy of interest and engagement for students in Sammamish beyond just doing things to look good for college apps,” Lin said.
Besides volunteering for The Indy, Ms. Lin enjoys participating in robotics. She competes in the VEX Robotics Competition, and coaches the robotics club at Evergreen Middle School. She also plays the bassoon and is an avid reader.
She takes over as editor in chief from Lin Yang, who will remain as business editor and continue to serve on Sammamish Independent’s board of directors.
Credible journalism is a pillar of our democracy, and one that is critical for keeping our community informed to engage in productive public discourse. Some have said that democracy dies in darkness. Ms. Lin is the first of what we hope will be many young people who will carry the torch of local, independent journalism in Sammamish and keep it burning bright.