Editor’s Note: A fresh, independent look at Prescott

…the details remain a bit murky…

Please allow me to introduce both myself and Scope News Prescott in this somewhat self-indulgent note.

I started my career in journalism as a beat reporter for local daily newspapers in communities across the nation. It helped me get to know my neighbors, create connections, and foster friendships — all while reporting from the very towns and cities I called home.

But you don’t have to be in the newspaper business to recognize that a lot has changed in the past decade or so, with local outlets often forced to make tough decisions in an effort to simply remain in business. Fortunately, I was able to transition into online national news coverage, serving as senior and managing editor at several successful sites along the way.

Nevertheless, there was always the desire to report on the decisions, events, and interactions that matter most: those that occur closest to home.

That brings us to Prescott.

My wife and I moved to Phoenix in 2013 when I was offered a position at a growing news outlet. Our son was born the next year. My parents soon made the trip and ended up in Sun City. After living our lives out east, we enjoyed exploring the west and visited the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, San Diego, Sedona, and so many other great locations across the region.

When we finally made our woefully belated trip to Prescott, however, it was different. Locals seemed quicker to offer a warm welcome and even our young son said at the time that it felt like home. We all agreed.

In fact, the first time we saw a reference to Prescott’s “America’s Hometown” motto, we shared a laugh because we’d already been flirting with the idea of making it ours. After subsequent visits that only reinforced that notion, we’ve finally decided to make the move and expect to finalize our plans a little later this year.

As something of an afterthought, I realized that this might provide me with the freedom to explore my new community on my own terms — serving in effect as a beat reporter (and editor, photographer, publisher, marketer, etc.) for my own local online news outlet. For now, the details remain a bit murky. But I know there’s an idea worth exploring in there.

I won’t be doing this for clicks or to wade into the treacherous waters of yellow journalism. Instead, I merely want to once again do what I feel most comfortable doing: reporting as an unbiased witness to provide the first rough draft of local history.

It is with great excitement that I prepare to begin the next chapter of life in Prescott and I look forward to many lasting connections on both a professional and personal level.

Chris Agee