Editor’s note: This is part of an occasional series focused on getting to know INN member organizations and the people who run them. We talked with Lorena Garcia, executive director of WyoFile, which covers public policy, environmental and energy issues in Wyoming.
What’s the origin story of your organization? How did you get started and why?
It was a dark and stormy night in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where five intelligent and passionate people sat around a table. With sweaty hands, nervous heart rates, one man, who will go by the name of Chris, stepped up and suddenly without warning, the shutters slammed against the house and the windows shattered and it became clear that Wyoming needed a quality in-depth news organization. But no, Chris did not stop there, he continued by adding …”and, it should be online!” Dun dun dun!!!
OK, just kidding. Here is the real story:
WyoFile began in early 2008 as the brainchild of founder Christopher Findlater, who got together with a small group of veteran Wyoming journalists to plan how to give Wyoming better in-depth news coverage through an online platform. After being WyoFile’s primary financial backer for the first two years, the potential and reach of WyoFile grew and attracted new donors and funders. Since then, WyoFile has grown into a well-oiled and trusted journalism machine in Wyoming.
What’s your favorite project or story that you’ve worked on?
I can’t imagine anyone can actually answer this question. I think one of the most exciting series for WyoFile was the publication of the Two Elk saga by WyoFile’s former editor Rone Tempest in June 2014. This saga reads like a soap opera with twists and turns that you would only imagine as fiction. The amount of lies, deceit, theft and malfeasance that occurred while Two Elk was being built is unbelievable.
What’s your biggest challenge right now?
Besides the usual funding challenge we all face, our biggest challenge is prioritizing the many issues and possible stories that our readers deserve to read. WyoFile’s editor in chief does a great job at managing the editorial strategy so our readers get a broad sense of the happenings in Wyoming, but of course, we always want to cover more.