Sarah Sabatke has joined The Mexico Ledger as a reporter. Her first day on the job was Tuesday.

Sabatke, who is originally from Monroe, Wisconsin, is a May 2018 graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism.

“After four great years at Mizzou, I’m excited to explore a different part of mid-Missouri and get to know the Mexico community,” she said. “I’m looking forward to meeting with residents and learning about the issues important to them.”

Sabatke will serve in the position until August, when she returns to the MU to pursue a graduate degree in documentary journalism. The search for a permanent replacement will begin June 1.

"Sarah has expressed a passion for community journalism and is excited to get to know the people, places and pressing issues in Mexico,” said group publisher Terri Leifeste, whose papers include the Ledger. “We're confident she'll serve the community well in her new role."

Sabatke is used to small-town life and said she is looking forward to getting to know another tight-knit community. She has held a number of internships including working as a multimedia reporter for USA TODAY College and writing for Alliance magazine in London. She has also written for VOX Magazine, the MU Division of Student Affairs, and The Monroe Times.

She loves to travel and goes on roadtrips whenever possible. During spring 2018, she drove throughout mid-Missouri to create a short documentary retracing a historic road trip. The route was originally planned during the Great Depression, as described in The WPA Guide to 1930’s Missouri.

Sabatke’s hiring is part of a greater regional effort to add resources to the Ledger and other central Missouri newspapers. These efforts include hiring a regional news editor to oversee full-time reporters in Mexico, Moberly and Boonville. The search is currently underway. Columbia Tribune Managing Editor Charles Westmoreland will fill in until someone is hired.

“We want Mexico to have a full-time reporter covering the issues that matter, not someone in a hybrid role who spends half their time reporting and the other half handling administrative functions and other duties,” Westmoreland said. “The end result is that Mexico residents can expect more local news about the topics that matter most to them.”