Readers have been seeing a new byline in the Kilgore News Herald for several weeks, and there’s much more ahead: East Texas native Lucas Strough officially took a desk in the newsroom Monday.
The Longview resident recently added a Kilgore College Associate of Arts degree in Journalism to his previous Bachelor’s in English from University of North Texas. Wrapping up his stint at the community college after last week’s commencement exercises, Strough joins KNH following a semester as executive editor of the KC Flare.
Strough was freelancing for about five years before beginning an additional year of studies at KC in Fall 2017.
“I always liked writing, that’s why I was an English major. Then I was writing for pay for a long time as a freelance writer. I eventually got pretty good at it, just from sheer amounts of practice,” he noted. That said, “Writing for web copy is not very exciting and it seemed liked journalism would be a more interesting type of writing.”
With his basics already completed, Strough put in two semesters at KC under Journalism instructor Rachel Stallard.
“We’re always happy with graduates of Kilgore College’s Journalism program,” News Herald co-Publisher Bill Woodall said. “We have had great success with the ones we’ve hired – we’ve found them to be skilled in the kind of journalism we practice.
“I have no doubt Lucas will be just as good as any that have come out of that program.”
Strough joined the Flare staff as digital content editor last fall and also helmed the Ranger yearbook in the Spring 2018 semester. He earned the job at KNH in late-March, finishing his coursework and Flare responsibilities before coming on board fulltime this week.
“Having seen what he did for the Flare,” Woodall added, “I have no doubt he’ll be a wonderful complement to the staff here. I think the community will appreciate what he does and trust his reporting.”
In the KNH newsroom, Strough will be manning the education beat including Kilgore ISD and Kilgore College – familiar territory for the recent graduate. Strough made a habit of attending the college trustees’ meetings on a regular basis, even when he wasn’t writing an article for the next edition.
There are a lot of personalities in play on the college board, he noted, usually working together, sometimes at odds.
“It’s fun to see the process of that getting worked out,” Strough added. The school district’s an interesting challenge as well, getting into the nuts and bolts of it: “There’s so many moving parts going on all at once, and there’s so many different personalities and opinions going on, it’s fun to watch all of that come together.”
He’ll be covering a wide range of other topics as well, including the Gregg County Commissioners Court and East Texas Council of Governments in addition to an array of features for the semi-weekly paper and ETcetera magazine.
“I really like covering breaking news, as it’s happening – it’s fun to work on stuff quickly,” Strough said. “I also like working on developing stories, things that have a lot of ins and outs and details.”
Off the clock, “I’m a news junkie – I’m usually reading news of sometimes. I also enjoy tabletop gaming, books, all kinds of nerdy pursuits.”
Strough’s looking forward to his first professional job at a community paper, especially in an area he knows:
“Since I’m relatively new at journalism, it appeals to me that it’s somewhere I’m familiar with. It will give me a little bit of advantage there. I’ve lived here almost my whole life: I like the area, I’m familiar with it.”
Reach Strough in the KNH newsroom at 903-984-2593 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.