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One last time
Angelina awards
Angelina Martin’s favorite Turlock Journal memory was taking home first place at the 2018 California Journalism Awards for the Journal’s in-depth coverage of the Congressional District 10 election in 2018 between Josh Harder and Jeff Denham.

How do you say goodbye to something that’s been the cornerstone of your life for the past six years? I’m not sure, but I’m going to try. 

Wednesday was my last day working at the Turlock Journal after hundreds of articles written, countless interviews conducted and lifelong friendships forged. When my editor Kristina Hacker first hired me in March 2016, I told her that working for the newspaper in the town where I was born and raised was a dream job — and I meant it. 

In elementary school, I remember my grandparents were so proud to buy an issue of the Turlock Journal where my picture appeared as the Student of the Month. They called me “Angela Martin” instead of Angelina, but we’ll let bygones be bygones. It was still special, and it doesn’t compare to that one time I used “fowl” instead of “foul” in a headline.

Years later during my high school days, I scoured the sports section for a glimpse of my name following my softball games. If I happened to be mentioned, it made my entire day. 

These moments during my youth helped me feel connected to my hometown paper, and they’re the reason I have loved this job so much as an adult. Being able to provide that feeling of worth for community members who want to share a story, celebrate a moment or call attention to a cause has been more rewarding than I could have dreamed. 

Angelina magazine cover
Not only did Martin write for the Turlock Journal and 209 Magazine, but she was also called upon to serve as cover model for the 2020 April/May issue on tee time (and tea time) in the 209.

There are so many moments from my time as a reporter for the Turlock Journal that I’ll never forget. I covered historic rallies and protests on all sides of the political spectrum, highlighted the openings of some of Turlock’s best businesses, organized Congressional debates and wrote about the inner workings of the city I grew up in. 

The highlight of my time at the Journal was when we took home first place at the California Journalism Awards for our in-depth coverage of the Congressional District 10 election in 2018 between Josh Harder and Jeff Denham. I’ll never forget reading the judge’s remarks that my months of reporting on both candidates helped inform voters during what was an incredibly important election. They said that’s what community journalism is all about, and I couldn’t agree more. 

Helping create 209 Magazine and hosting Studio209 produced some amazing memories with my colleagues, like the time Kristina, Sabra and I gallivanted around downtown Murphy’s dressed as witches, or the day we went river rafting and cried laughing as Candy fell into the water. Frankie and I filmed 139 episodes of Studio209 together, not to mention all of the work we put into the 209 Podcast and The Blitz.

Speaking of The Blitz, covering high school football over the years was something I will cherish for the rest of my life. Rain or shine, the athletes at the schools in our coverage area reminded me each week to put heart into everything I do. Friday nights spent on the sidelines will be what I miss most. I have the utmost respect for the coaches and players of all the sports I’ve covered over the years; thank you for allowing me into your dugouts and onto your courts.

That being said, I love sports and originally became a journalist in hopes of one day becoming a sports reporter. It’s not very often that you get to leave a dream job for another dream job, but on Monday I’ll start my first day in a new role as Digital Content Producer for NBC Sports Bay Area. 

I couldn’t be happier to start this new step in my career, but I wouldn’t have been able to move forward if it weren’t for all of the people who helped me get there today. From my coworkers to the community members who have allowed me to share their stories, each one has impacted me and helped me grow into a better journalist. 

I hope that the people in Turlock know how important local journalism is and don’t take the paper for granted. The people I’ve met and worked with during my time here are some of the most passionate individuals who truly care about news and informing readers, and that’s something some countries and even cities in America aren’t fortunate enough to have. I still believe there is nothing more rewarding than telling people’s stories, and I’ll move on to do that elsewhere while still holding a special place for community news in my heart.

This isn’t as drastic of a goodbye as I made it seem since I’ll still be living in Turlock. Heck, you’ll probably see me at the grocery store right after reading this. But it is the last time you’ll see “By Angelina Martin” in the Turlock Journal, and that’s enough to break anyone’s heart — including mine. 

C. Joybell C. said it best: We can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea.

See you all in the ocean.