Erin Mullins begins as lead reporter

Ryan Fitzmaurice

Erin Mullins began this week as the lead reporter for the Lovell Chronicle.
Mullins hails from Leavenworth, Washington, a Bavarian-styled village in central Washington State, nestled in the Cascade Mountains. She attended Washington State University, majoring in science communication and multimedia journalism, graduating in May of this year.
Mullins began her college career at Boise State before transferring to Washington State. She said that her experience while transferring inspired her to enter a career in journalism.
“I had a bad experience starting out at Boise State. I had an experience where I felt my voice was silenced,” Mullins said, speaking of conflicts between herself and Boise State University during the time of the transfer. “Since I felt like my voice was taken away, I didn’t ever want that to happen again. That’s why I got into journalism.”
Mullins has reported for her college newspaper, the Daily Evergreen, and has also reported for five separate community newspapers during that time, including the Leavenworth Echo and the Cashmere Valley Record.
Mullins said her time in journalism has given her a depth of experience writing various kinds of articles, preparing her for the job of a community reporter.
“I wrote for all sections,” Mullins said. “I wrote life stories. I wrote hard news. I wrote sports. I researched and wrote science articles.”
Mullins said the community journalism of the Lovell Chronicle called to her due to the important role being a reporter will allow her to take.
“It’s something that’s really meaningful. I want to go to a rural community where journalism is really important.” Mullins said. “Small town journalism builds communities. It can make or break communities. I feel like journalism is very important for democracy. The first amendment allows us to have freedom outside of the government and to criticize the government. If we didn’t have free speech, it would be hard to keep the government accountable.”
Mullins also gained prominence as an athlete during her time at Washington State, competing as a NCAA Division 1 cross country athlete. Mullins qualified for the 2020 NCAA cross country national competition, held in March of 2021 due to COVID-19. Mullins said she began running as early as 7 years old, running up to 60 miles a week since she was 15 years old.
“I just wanted to be as good as I could be,” Mullins said.
Outside of journalism and running, Mullins said she wants the Lovell community to support her in her deep and enthusiastic love for dogs.
“I like dogs a lot. I am looking for people who will let me adopt their dogs and hang out with their dogs all the time,” Mullins said. “I want to take their dogs for walks and runs and give them treats and toys.”
She is also in need of a new friendly llama to socialize with during her runs.
“If there are any friendly llamas in the area, I am looking for a new llama friend,” Mullins said. “There was this llama in Pullman (Washington) that we would run past. It would be all the way across the field, and it would gallop to us. When I was on my own, I would give it licorice and Ritz crackers. It was always really excited and would try to eat as much as possible.”
Mullins is replacing Ryan Fitzmaurice, who is ending a five-year tenure at the Lovell Chronicle.
Lovell Chronicle publisher David Peck said this is a bittersweet time for the paper.
“First of all, I want to thank Ryan for his dedication to this newspaper and our community over the last five years,” Peck said. “He has done an amazing job and really took to our community and to our schools.
“But I want to welcome Erin to our newspaper family. I can already tell that she has a great feel for community journalism and is a strong writer. I hope our many contacts in the community will assist Erin as she grows into her new job.”