Lydia Kautz

The Reflector-Chronicle has a new editor and that editor is me.

I’ve always hated these introductory stories, mainly because I never know what to say in them. I’m not one for talking myself up. Talking about myself I can handle — sometimes. Talking to myself — I do that all the time.

But talking about my accomplishments is not my favorite activity in the world.

But you do need to know who I am and what I’ve done to deserve to come here and be your editor, which means I have to tell you some things I might otherwise classify as ‘bragging.’

I started in the newspaper industry in 2013 at my hometown paper in Ulysses, Kansas. 

I worked there for about two and a half years before deciding I would be happier at a daily paper in a larger town.

After applying and interviewing at a few Kansas papers, I was offered a job as a reporter at the Daily Union in Junction City in late 2015.

So I packed up and moved. 

Eventually, I would become the Union’s assistant editor.

In mid-2018, I left Junction City for the Emporia Gazette. I worked as a reporter at the Gazette for about a year and change, during which time I also did a short stint as editor of the St. Marys Star. Then, in August 2019, the Union’s editor position came open.

I applied for it and got the job.

I spent the last two years as editor in Junction City.

During my roughly eight years working at small Kansas newspapers, I have acquired a few awards from the Kansas Press Association — about nine of them, to be exact.

In the 2019 Kansas Press Association awards, I won first place news story, second place youth story, and third place education story for reporting I did at the Gazette, first place health story for a piece I did on breast cancer for the St. Marys Star and second place feature package for a front page I designed before leaving the Union.

The next year, after returning to the Union as editor, I won second place feature photo.

In the 2021 awards, I walked away with awards for first place investigative story, second place general news story and third place feature story.

As you can see, I have spent a lot of time chasing stories and sources around in small Kansas communities and I suppose you could say I’ve done a decent job of it — at least if that list of awards is anything to judge from.

Local news is an extraordinarily important thing that people often don’t realize matters unless it goes away. I’m a big believer in it, especially these days when you can set up your own, personal social media echo chamber that never tells you anything you don’t want to hear.

It’s important to know what is going on in your community and a local newspaper is a great way to find that kind of information out. 

Abilene is a lovely community with a beautiful downtown and pleasant people. 

I look forward to providing you that kind of information — and the kind of coverage your community deserves.


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