At 27, A.V. Eichenbaum has spent close to half of their life in journalism. Starting out at age 14 at the Gavilan Press, Eichenbaum is now Editor-in-Chief at the Seattle Gay News, one of the longest-running LGBTQ newspapers in the country.
A.V. attended an early college academy and says they wanted to be a journalist from a very young age. “Superman was a reporter, know what I mean?” they say, laughing. Their first stints as a reporter happened at a formative time in their life, but overall Eichenbaum says they’re grateful for the adversity.
“Writers shouldn’t be afraid to take odd jobs or balk at the idea of doing anything other than writing. Everything I’ve learned can be applied to what I’m doing now,” says Eichenbaum. “If you want to jump in as a freelancer, sacrifices will have to be made.”
Of their time in the Journalism program, they credit both the instructors and fellow students for taking journalism seriously and providing invaluable experience – including hands-on experience with the Cabrillo Voice, where they covered campus politics as an editor, and also hosted the Cabrillo Voice podcast. The Journalism program also provided Eichenbaum with an opportunity at the Pulitzer prize-winning Register-Pajaronian. Eichenbaum says working with the Pajaronian really shaped the kind of journalist they wanted to become.
A.V. speaks passionately about leading a newspaper so loved by the community. They fight to keep the paper in print while moving into effective multimedia as well. It’s worth it, according to them.
“There’s power in the truth. There’s power in words. What keeps me going is that the community cares about this paper in a way that I haven’t experienced before. People want to see our paper survive; whether they’re folks who’ve read it since 1974 or students who’ve just moved to the PNW. Queer readers are the bread and butter – there’s a different way our community works, different focuses on what’s important, and a different vibe – but the paper’s for everyone. Activists, artists. People of all stripes reach out to me. Folks who care about truth and community.”