The Wallowa County Chieftain boasts a long history of exceptional community journalism. Overwhelming community support and a long legacy of extraordinary editors and publishers account for its lasting success.

While the Chieftain has seen a number of influential editors, Gwen Coffin’s legacy, cemented in time, seems to stand above the herd. Not unlike myself, Coffin came to the Chieftain with a legal background but little to no journalistic experience.

Through profound integrity and a diligent work ethic, Coffin kept the paper alive through the most difficult of circumstances. As the editor of a small, rural, west coast paper, Coffin took a bold and risky stance of opposition against Japanese internment. In time, this calculated risk would prove that he was only one of a few on the right side of history.

I wouldn’t presume to compare myself to Mr. Coffin; however, whenever I embark on new adventure, I strive towards humility and principled values. I can only hope to find the courage to stand strong in my convictions whenever our community needs it the most.

My ability to serve Wallowa County’s diverse community, to foster a venue of safe but challenging communal dialogue and promote a vibrant and civil marketplace of ideas will be the benchmark that defines my success.

Through this process I seek to listen attentively, learn much, and with an open and flexible mind reflect on the collective opinions of all Wallowa Countians. We can never forget that while we may disagree from time to time, we are all neighbors who care about one another in a profound way.

As such, I call for a continued era of civility, of virtue, and of collegiality. We are all in this together. As a community we have enormous shoes to fill, but together we can and will achieve amazing things.

I look forward to hearing from each of you. Please share with me your thoughts and concerns, and together we can strive to meet the exceptionally high standard of trustworthy journalism that we all adore and expect from our amazing community paper.

Best regards to all,

Christian Ambroson

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Contact Christian at editor@wallowa.com, at 209 NW 1st Street, Enterprise or at 541-263-1620.

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