By GAIGE DAVILA
The Port Isabel-South Padre Press is where my first bylines appeared, in 2013, when I was a senior in high school. I replied to a help-wanted ad in the PRESS for a photographer who could write captions, with only a then-vague declaration that I wanted to write for a living. Sasha Heller was Editor then, giving me my first assignments which may or may not be in the PRESS archives still.
But my interaction with the PRESS started before then, when the late Matt Thornton was General Manager. He wasn’t a journalist, but he was the best (and funniest) storyteller I knew, subliminally teaching me how to convey information in a measured way.
I have not lived at home since I graduated from Port Isabel High School in 2014. I moved to San Antonio, to attend the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), spending nearly five years there, on and off, getting my Bachelor’s degrees in English and political science.
For most of my university life, I had a position with the Paisano, the independent student newspaper serving the UTSA community. I spent the last of my three and a half years there as the co-news editor, then knowing that my once-vague declaration to write for a living now had a title: journalist.
I want the Press trusted by the people who live in this area and, one day, by people who don’t. I moved back home, rather than take a job upstate, because there is no better place in the U.S. for good journalism. The Valley, only recently, has the national attention of those who were not raised here, who do not carry its generational pain and have no interest in experiencing either. There are, thankfully, Valley-born-and-raised journalists here doing great work, and I’m intent on joining that group and helping my writing staff do the same.
To gain that trust, I’m making myself accessible: please feel free to visit me at the Press office, whatever the reason may be. If you see me around town, say hello. I’m here to listen. If you think more people should know about something, let me be the first.
Hope to hear from you all soon.