Les Zaitz and Caitlyn May on Journalism in Rural Communities

Caitlyn May was one of three Oregon writers awarded Emerging Journalists, Community Stories fellowships by Oregon Humanities in 2018. During this fellowship, each of these journalists worked on a longform story under the mentorship of a Pulitzer Prize–finalist journalist.

May's project, “Returned,” explores how Douglas County lost its library system and how local communities have worked to bring their libraries back. Her mentor for this project was Les Zaitz, a longtime reporter for the Oregonian and editor and publisher of the Malheur Enterprise and editor of the Salem Reporter.

In this interview, I talked with May and Zaitz about May's reporting project and the challenges and rewards of working as a journalist in a rural community.

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