by Angelique G. ’24
On Monday, May 24, Don Nelson spoke to the Tatler staff about his experience as an owner, editor, and publisher of a small weekly newspaper in north-central Washington, The Methow Valley News. With a staff of five employees and a whole bunch of freelancers, Don has been working there for about nine and a half years.
During his time as a reporter, Don has had many unforgettable experiences. From getting sued for 35 million dollars by the owner of the Baltimore Royal to receiving death threats from the local sheriff and their supporters, Don’s job is far from uneventful. When asked what his most memorable anecdote was though, he said it was the experience of meeting interesting people in different places that stood out the most. Because he worked in many different places, every time he moved, he immersed himself in the community’s distinct culture very quickly. He noted that “it was a joy to learn about places that I had little experience with. To me, that has been the most gratifying part about hopscotching around the country.”
When asked about how business journalism could tell a story, Don had an interesting perspective, saying that he views every business story as a personal story because “there’s always somebody behind the business, making the decisions, being the face of the company, driving the company to either succeed or fail.” He continued to explain that however famous or successful they were, they had to wake up and be a human being. When seeing big companies that have a lot of money, it can be a good reminder that there are people who run the business, they are human too. Don also made an interesting point saying that entrepreneurs aren’t driven by money, but by the need to be the best of what they could do, to succeed, fulfill a mission, to manifest a passion in their lives and turn it into a way to make a living.