- Ashley Alexander
“To build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team.”
This is the mission statement of the Texas-based newspaper, Community Impact. Here, in the Pflugerville location, Lacy Llana works as a project manager. Lacy is one of News Media Alliance’s Rising Stars.
She admires the uniqueness of Community Impact, a publication that chose to start a printing press in 2016. After making her way through a few positions, beginning while still in college, Lacy has come to wholeheartedly believe in their mission statement. Just as those at Community Impact have shown they believe in her. We caught up with Lacy for a brief Q&A.
How did you get started in the industry?
I started at Community Impact while still pursuing my Bachelor’s Degree at West Texas A&M. I was a receptionist first, then I became a part of the billing department. The database team was still developing at the time, and the COO noticed I had taken an interest in the database structure. There was a need for a database administrator within the operations team, then a need for a project manager, which I was able to fill.
What made you want to be a part of the news media industry?
Specifically, I was drawn into Community Impact. As I said in regards to the mission statement, I really believe in helping businesses. I think this can be done through excellent, unbiased and relevant news. I appreciate that the company I work for can support those values. As a project manager, I get such an exciting opportunity to produce tools that can help everyone do their jobs better. While I’m not on the reporting side of media, I get to help facilitate it.
Describe a “typical” day on the job.
My day-to-day changes pretty frequently. I do a lot of hands-on development. I mostly work on mapping business plans for the future as well as evaluating the current processes we are using. I try to cut down on the process as much as possible so that others can do their job as best as they can. For example, I recently worked on cutting down on the process of packaging files to send to the printing press. It used to take up to eight hours; now it takes around five minutes. We also just created a program that facilitates the entire production process from start to finish. I want people to focus on the part of the job where we need them most. They shouldn’t have to sacrifice the quality of the content being produced because of how long the process takes.
What do you see as the future of news media?
I believe that, like our paper, hyperlocal news is the future. Hyperlocal news captures the reader’s attention so much more than a broad news story. In regards to the news, readers are always thinking, how does this affect me? If we can be writing unbiased, informative news so it connects with them, that makes a difference. We have something really special – we have huge plans for growth. This is just the beginning. As we say in Texas, although we value digital mediums, “print ain’t dead.”