From a high school reporter to digital editor

BHS graduate Jaya Flanary makes it big in the journalistic realm


Courtesy of Jaya Flanary

BHS graduate Jaya Flanary pursues her passion for journalism and designing pages.

Semai Alemseged, Features Editor

Ballard graduate Jaya Flanary paid the Talisman staff a visit to talk about her experiences in the realm of journalism, just before students were let out for spring break.

Flanary has several talents and hobbies — from writing and designing pages, to bowling and making film documentaries — there were multiple careers in which she would have prevailed.

She became features’ editor during her junior year, as she enjoyed writing, editing and designing pages.

“I really liked the newsroom,” Flanary said. “[The] high stress environment and [teamwork made it] a lot easier to [create] a product once a month.”

In addition, Flanary has a passion for filming and narrating documentaries on her own. 

“I went to film school for like 72 hours in Chicago,” Flanary said. “I hated it, packed up all my stuff and I moved back.”

After taking a gap year to work, she found herself attending Western Washington University, which provides various journalistic pathways. Flanary dove into the Visual Journalism track. 

“It allows you to do documentary filmmaking,” she said. “It allows you to do design work, photojournalism, and then you also get to report and write so it’s kind of the best of both worlds for somebody like me.”

Flanary earned her Bachelor’s Degree at WWU in visual journalism, and earned two minors: English, and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. 

After graduating, she pursued her journalistic passion further, becoming a digital designer and editor for Cascadia Daily News, Washington’s newest daily independent publication in Bellingham.

Flanary is a digital editor for the Cascadia Daily News, a Bellingham publication. (Courtesy of Jaya Flanary)

Cascadia Daily News publishes articles online daily, while printing on Wednesdays.

“When you’re doing something weekly, you get a lot better at it and you’ll get faster at it,” Flanary said. “So right now we’re anywhere from 24 to 32 pages and I primarily design the whole thing on just Mondays and Tuesdays by myself.”

She describes the newsroom as a fun space, without any rules, giving Flanary free range regarding page designs.

“I’m super crazy [and] massively organized,” Flanary said. “It’s interesting because we just get to make things up.”

She gives a disclaimer about a project she will be working on.

“I’m doing a three part series in the summer,” Flanary said. “On league culture, and the second part is going to be about women in bowling and the third part is going to be about bowling centers closing and the epidemic of that.”