Sports, journalism are new reporter’s passions

News editor

Sports and journalism are passions for Hoch Publishing’s newest reporter, Joel Wright, who joined the staff Monday, three days after graduating as an honor roll student from Ottawa University.

Wright went to Ottawa as a defensive back for the Braves football team and quickly became involved as a freshman, reporting for its biweekly student newspaper, The Campus. He moved up the ladder in short order, becoming sports editor, then managing editor.

“By my junior year, I was editor-in-chief,” Wright said.

The summer after his junior year of college, he was a free-lance writer for The World Company, publisher of the Lawrence Journal-World and several other papers. He wrote mostly sports stories, covering soccer, softball, and baseball.

His interest in journalism began developing the summer before his junior year of high school, when he started every day by reading the Kansas City Star for the latest news about the Chiefs.

He took an introductory journalism class that year and joined his high school student newspaper his senior year.

“It kind of came naturally,” Wright said.

Wright enjoys reporting: talking to people and learning what is going on. He also looks forward to continuing to develop his writing and reporting skills.

He grew up in the Piper area of Kansas City, Kan., and enjoys playing basketball, drawing, and writing.

Hoch Publishing Company publishes the Marion County Record, Hillsboro Star-Journal, and Peabody Gazette-Bulletin.

Wright replaces Ben Kleine, who left after nearly four years to pursue a writing career in New York City.

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