About our cover

Raychel Young-Porter, the woman on the cover of the April issue of E&P, is a photojournalist on a mission.
Raychel Young-Porter, the woman on the cover of the April issue of E&P, is a photojournalist on a mission.

Spring! Here in Florida, it’s my last hope of some temperatures that don’t remind me of the hinges of hell. For much of our country, it means budding trees and sprouting bulbs. In our industry, as in many industries, spring also brings conferences across the country. Mike (my husband and our publisher) and I recently attended the Borrell Miami 2022 conference. If I had to give you a one-word synopsis for the conference, it would be “influencers.” Influencers are more important than ever in our culture, but the influencers of years past are not necessarily today’s influencers. Ask a Gen Z friend or family member who spends a portion of their day on TikTok who the influencers are they follow. It probably won't be anyone you would have guessed (or maybe even know).

The young woman on our cover this month isn’t an influencer, but she could and should be. She’s the face of our cover story, “The few,” an in-depth look at U.S. veterans in journalism. Mary Reardon wrote a riveting account of the journalism and public affairs training that many of our veterans receive during their service, the skills they learn and the paths they take (or not) upon leaving the Armed Forces — and why. The dedication and commitment of the veterans who end up working in our industry to their craft are needed now more than ever.

The Military Veterans in Journalism is an organization you will meet in this article. It was formed in 2019 to attract more veterans to our industry. Just as any minority sector of our population, the fact that military veterans are under-represented in our industry (2% working in the industry versus the 7% in our audiences) is not only bad for the veterans, it’s a negative for our industry. In reading our cover story, I hope the takeaway is that military veterans bring knowledge, training and life experience that we shouldn’t ignore.

Raychel Young-Porter, the woman on our cover, is a photojournalist on a mission. You have only to visit her website, “Thrive in Chaos” (https://www.raykporter.com), to experience that mission and glimpse what she is all about. Originally from Foster City, California, Raychel joined the Marine Corps specifically to be a combat photojournalist. She graduated in 2017 from the Defense School of Information in Fort Meade, Maryland, as a photojournalist with the United States Marine Corps. She attended the Eddie Adams Workshop, was awarded the Colton Family Award and recently had one of her images featured in the National Museum of the Marine Corps. She will soon join the speakers bureau for Military Veterans in Journalism. We were so excited when Raychel agreed to be on our cover. She’s a shining example of the possible benefits the military offers to the news media industry. We hope you enjoy learning about the wonderful veterans in our cover story as much as we enjoyed bringing it to you.

Robin Blinder is E&P’s associate publisher and vice president of editorial. She has been with E&P for two years.


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