Index Alumni Returns to the Old Stomping Grounds

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Mindy Cameron enjoyed a decades-long career in journalism

   After working as an Editorial Page Editor and Managing Editor at the Lewiston Morning Tribune, Mindy Cameron—an alumna of Pacific University and a former staff member of Index—carried her journalism career to new heights, joining the Seattle Times. Now a retired journalist, Cameron has published an memoir, Leaving the Boys, in which she discusses her career, family life, and experiences as a woman in her chosen profession. 

   After a high school English instructor pushed Cameron’s interest in journalism, she learned that Pacific University was holding a writing contest with full tuition reimbursement for the winner. She won, and with a full ride, the ensuing four years also brought her a degree in journalism and regular contributions to the Index. Cameron recounts that, similar to now, the journalism department was quite small, with no more than ten students graduating with a journalism degree. 

   Shortly after graduating, Cameron began at the Seattle Times at a time when few women worked as journalists, let alone editors; but she was able to break into the field thanks to her qualifications and a growing trend of women working in newsrooms. 

   “I feel like I had lived through a period of the time of changes for women, and I had benefited from women with some serious journalism experience; and that’s why I got the job at the Seattle Times because that was in the early ‘80s and there were no women editors hardly anywhere or few around the country, and they were looking to diversify their particularly roster of editors and people, so they needed some women that had some clout,” explained Cameron. 

   For Cameron, the Seattle Times was an excellent landing spot as they took the hiring of women seriously and gave her substantial responsibilities. As an editorial page columnist, she was allowed to express herself freely, and she became one of the rare female editorial page editors for major city newspapers. 

   With clarity and sincerity, Cameron expresses her thoughts clearly—and over the years, her work at the Seattle Times has included reporting on state politics, and the recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and the presidential race between Biden and Trump. 

   After more than 20 years of working for the newspaper, though, Cameron decided to leave the bustle of Seattle and relocated to the quieter town of Sandpoint, Idaho. 

   “I was interested in living in a small town and being in a situation where I could kind of embrace the community and not have a journalistic kind of stance; instead just stand back and be an observer and writer,” explained Cameron. 

   Cameron wasted little time getting involved; she eventually served for twelve years on the local school board, and earned her Master of Fine Arts degree while she was living in Idaho. She also felt she had a story to tell and wanted to share it, and eventually and applying what she had learned in the MFA program, she began penning her memoir. 

   “Writing a memoir is a far cry from the journalistic style of writing,” she pointed out. “It was a big transition, so I went to MFA because I wanted to come out with the draft for a memoir and it was wonderful. I loved the whole process. In creative writing, I have to break some paternalistic rules. I need to break journalistic rules for creative writing.”    On March 6, Cameron will return to Pacific as a visiting guest lecturer to discuss her new book Leaving the Boys, which details the challenges and triumphs of her work and family life.


Major: Journalism

Hometown: Mesa, Arizona

Hobbies: soccer, track, being outside, hiking, writing

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