LOWVILLE Longtime Watertown Daily Times reporter Steve Virkler will join the staff of the Journal and Republican as reporter Christina Scanlon takes his place as the Lewis County reporter in Watertown.
The switch is part of an editorial shift between the publications, owned by Johnson Newspapers Corp. Ms. Scanlon will handle coverage of Lewis County government and towns and villages, as well as crime, for the Times, stories that also will be featured in the Journal. Mr. Virkler will handle coverage of features, education news, court happenings and Lewis County General Hospital, among other beats. He also will be the Journals assistant editor.
Ms. Scanlon, who has been with Johnson Newspapers since September 2011, is enthusiastic about the change in roles.
I am excited to continue to report police news, as well as government news in all towns and villages in the county, she said. For me, this is really the merger of my favorite things.
I am especially thankful to have worked alongside Steve in preparing me for this position, as his knowledge of the county is unmatched, she said.
Mr. Virkler said that after more than a decade of handling daily coverage of Lewis County, he is looking forward to returning to his journalistic roots and focusing more on the weekly newspaper, as he did for the first nine years of his career as a reporter for the former Adirondack Mountain Sun.
I have always been interested in community journalism, touting the accomplishments of area residents and informing people about events, activities and issues that directly affect their lives, said Mr. Virkler, who has been with the company since 2001. This new position will give me the opportunity to tell stories about more positive aspects of our communities, as well as offering more input into the direction of news coverage in my home county.
Journal Managing Editor Jeremiah S. Papineau said the change, effective Oct. 9, will benefit both publications.
This shift will be an asset to both papers, especially with the appointment of Steve as our assistant editor, he said. Utilizing his skill sets in a supervisory role, we can further improve the quality of the content of this paper.