It's Celeste's Turn column: Listen to podcasts, give us ideas

The following is an opinion column written by an Echo Press editorial staff member. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Echo Press.

Our turn
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Why do you do what you do?

What challenges come with the job?

Who has been your biggest influence in your career?

Why journalism?

These are just some of the questions my coworker, Thalen Zimmerman, asked me during a recent taping of a podcast he is doing. Each week, the podcast, “Know the Echo,” will feature an employee who works at the newspaper.


He just started them and so far, Editor Al Edenloff, who many of you know is my husband, has been featured, along with Amy Skarka, our new advertising director. It was a great way to start as Al is a longtime employee (he will be celebrating 39 years with the paper on April 1, no joke!) and Skarka has been here almost three months.

Their perspectives are pretty cool to listen to. If you haven’t checked them out yet, please do. You can find all the podcasts Thalen does on our website , as well as on most podcast platforms like Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcast and Apple Podcasts.

By the way, if you haven’t listened to any of the podcasts Thalen does (he is our podcast guru), you really should. He does a fantastic job! Not only can he write, but he’s got a great “radio” voice.

So Thalen recorded my podcast about a week ago. It was set to drop on Friday, March 10.

I have to admit I was kind of nervous. I write for a living, I don’t talk for a living. I can definitely write better than I can speak, that is for sure.

But Thalen asked good questions and it was more like a conversation than an interview.

I am not going to share all that we talked about because as awful as I think I sound, I would love for you all to take a listen so I don’t want to divulge too much.

One of the questions he asked was what I enjoy the most about my job. My simple answer is the people.


I truly love sharing the stories of the people in this community. And not only in the newspaper, but also in the special publications the Echo Press puts out. For example, our Authentic You magazine or the Impact magazine. Or one of my all-time favorites, the Salute to Veterans magazine. I am partial to veterans and feel so honored to have the opportunity to share their stories.

I have met some truly amazing people because of my job. And I have been able to share their stories, not only with people in our own community, but truly with people all over the place.

Our website gets thousands of views each day. It truly is mindblowing to me how far a reach we actually have. It’s pretty cool.

But the thing is, I cannot write about the people in our community if I don’t know about them. Yes, some of the people I write about I have actually known for years, but most of those are few and far between. The majority of people I get to write about I have never met.

I, along with my coworkers, depend on our readers to share what’s happening in our community. We need people to let us know when someone does something cool or when there is a really neat event. We need people to reach out to us. As much as we would love to scour the internet, most specifically social media sites, for the awesomeness that happens in our community or the inspirational people who live in, or all the events that are coming up, we just don’t have the time.

So the thing is, if you have something going on or you heard about so and so doing this or that and you think it might make for a great article in the paper, reach out. We are here for you.

Your best bet is to either call – 320-763-3133 – or send an email to Al at

We only know so much. So don’t forget about us and only put something on social media.


I want to write your story. I want to write about your event. We, my coworkers in the editorial department, are here for you…if you let us be.

“It’s Our Turn” is a weekly column that rotates among members of the Echo Press editorial staff.

Photo of Celeste Edenloff
Celeste Edenloff

Celeste Edenloff is the special projects editor and a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. She has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in 2016 to once again report on the community she calls home.
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