Story last updated at 6/26/2013 - 1:42 pm
Capital City Weekly and the Juneau Empire welcomed a new publisher on June 18. Here's a Q&A with Rustan Burton, joining us from Mitchell, S.D.
Q: What got you interested in newspapers?
A: I'm crazy. I did some journalism classes in high school. I was fascinated with the media industry. I had a friend at the Alaska Daily News. I had a fascination with Alaska and I always read the Alaska Daily News. ... So I thought why not? I got into it.
Q: What's your history with Southeast Alaska?
A: I started out as a missionary here with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I spent five months in Sitka in the winter of '98-'99. I would make monthly trips in Juneau, meeting with other missionaries and serving throughout Southeast. I just really enjoyed it.
Q: What do you hope to learn from its communities now that you're back?
A: I hope to learn how to be a better fisherman, because I'm terrible. From a professional standpoint, I hope to learn how to be a better part of the community and help the newspapers be a part of the community.
Q: What are your top initial goals with CCW and the Juneau Empire for the readers?
A: 1) I want to know what they think. I want to listen to our readers, and I'm going to do our darndest to make them feel we're a part of the community and that we're filling a need they have with our newspaper. We really need to connect with our readers on a deeper level.
2) I want our newspapers to be known as an organization that's run right. I want other newspapers to look at us as an example of a newspaper that's doing it right - both with their employees and their readers.
Q: How do you see the newspapers being involved in our communities?
A: Several ways. First and most obvious is by being the place where people go to get information about what's going on in the communities. Our strength is the local story. There are lots of places they can go to get the national story. I'd like to see us and our employees be more active in organizations that need more help - through our volunteer commitment.
Q: What are some of your hobbies?
A: I love the outdoors. I'm really excited to get out kayaking again, and fishing from my kayak. I like sports and I like people. I really like spending time with my wife and kids.
Q: Tell us about your family.
A: My wife Anna, and I have four kids: Brenner, 10, Carson, 8, Emma, 4, and Abby, 2. I have a dog that's a boxer named Bockser. The deal was, if I chose the dog, my wife got to choose the name.
Q: What's your favorite activity to do with your kids?
A: Over the last year and a half we have jumped on the trampoline like crazy - every day after school. It's so fun. We love getting out to do little road trips and things. The boys love to get out on kayaks - get on a boat.
Q: If you could pick any point in history, any place in the world to teleport to and be a part of moment, where and when would you visit? Why?
A: I love Roman history, so I think it would be cool then, but I think I would get my head chopped off. I think I would have made a great farmer back when times were simpler. I think it would have been fun to be an old trapper and live off the land. Or go back in history during my high school days and slap myself around for all the dumb decisions I made.
Q: What's the strangest food you've tried? Did you like it?
A: My first time living in Alaska I had a dish of seaweed and Coho eggs, and no, I did not like it. It wasn't quite to my taste.
Q: What was your favorite cartoon as a kid?
A: I loved Looney Tunes. I still like them. Looney Tunes are pretty big for me. They don't make cartoons like they used to.
Q: Which book are you reading, or have recently finished?
A: Currently I'm reading Atlas Shrugged. I watched the movie and thought it was kind of fascinating. I'm enjoying it so far.
Q: If you had to take a job at a circus, which one would you choose?
A: Acrobat. My wife says I'm a monkey.