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Decaturish.com hires first full time reporter

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Decaturish.com hires first full time reporter

Zoe Seiler. Photo by Dean Hesse.
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Decatur, GA — Decaturish.com, a local news website serving Decatur, Ga. and its surrounding communities, has hired its first full time reporter.

Zoe Seiler, who has been a freelance contributor since 2019, will join the Decaturish staff in May. She will cover Decatur, Avondale Estates, Kirkwood and East Lake. Her duties will include covering local meetings, writing about local schools and profiling our local businesses.

“Since joining Decaturish as a freelancer in 2019, Zoe has proved herself worthy of this opportunity time and time again,” Editor and Publisher Dan Whisenhunt said. “She’s smart, hardworking and professional. She’s a great ambassador for our brand, someone who has made herself indispensable by always going above and beyond what is asked of her.”

This new hire, the first full time employee hired by Decaturish.com, was made possible by the 1,500 paying supporters who contribute money every month to ensure that the local news is free to everyone and isn’t hidden behind a pay wall.

“People signing up to support us every month has made a difference,” Whisenhunt said. “Without them, we couldn’t provide our readers with this essential coverage every single day. As we gain more supporters, I fully intend to hire more journalists to cover our community. It’s important to support your local news.”

Seiler grew up in Des Moines, Iowa and moved to the Atlanta area in 2019. She attended Simpson College, a small liberal arts school in Indianola, Iowa where she majored in multimedia journalism and political science and minored in Spanish.

“I moved to the Atlanta area in August 2019,” she said. “A couple of weeks after I moved I began networking as I was job searching. I met Greg Bluestein with the AJC and he suggested I freelance and recommended looking into Decaturish. I began writing for Decaturish about one month after I moved.”

She decided to become a journalist after taking an introduction to journalism class as a high school freshman. She “fell in love with the field.”

“I love interviewing people and hearing their stories,” Seiler said. “I think everyone has a story to share and I strive to uncover and share them. I also eventually had a growing interest in covering politics and local government. While those meetings may be long sometimes, I like to see the process of how local legislation is made and I want to help keep my community informed about issues that will impact them in some way.”

On Dec. 16, 2020, Zoe Seiler (left) interviews then candidate Raphael Warnock following a rally in Clarkston. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Seiler has worked at small journalism companies in the past. Her first journalism job was an internship with a start-up called the Indianola Independent Advocate.

“My favorite part about being a reporter is meeting new people and hearing their stories,” she said. “I love all the connections I’ve made in the Decatur area, especially those related to topics and cities that I’ve covered consistently.”

Outside of work, her hobbies include crocheting, which helped her pass the time during the pandemic. She enjoys spending time outdoors, hanging out with friends, reading, watching Netflix and is a budding gardener.

“Hopefully I can keep my plants alive,” she said.

Seiler shared her vision for covering the local news.

“I strive to continue telling the stories of our communities, to share information that is important to our readers and to do it well,” she said. “I also hope to continue the good work Decaturish has been doing and keep holding our elected officials accountable.”

She said Decaturish if filling an important niche.

“I have such an appreciation for local news organizations and the level of coverage they provide for a community,” she said. “Not everyone takes the time to attend hours long city council meetings or community events. But local publications often do and Decaturish does. I wanted to come work for Decaturish because I want to be able to dig into local issues and meet the community. I’ve loved every minute of being out in the field in Avondale Estates, Clarkston and Decatur.”

Seiler said it’s critical for people to support their local news outlets.

“We are able to provide coverage on city council and school board meetings, as well as other community events like local protests and elections because of our paying supporters,” she said. “Paying supporters help provide us with the resources to cover important topics and expand the company. People should pay to support their local news if they want to see us continue to cover local meetings, events and issues that are important to them. We greatly appreciate everyone who supports Decaturish.”

To become a paying supporter, visit supportmylocalnews.com.

If you appreciate our work, please become a paying supporter. For as little as $3 a month, you can help us keep you in the loop about your community. To become a supporter, click here

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* Decaturish.com is not a 501-c-3 organization. Support of Decaturish goes toward our newsgathering efforts. Decaturish does not have a print edition.
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