Not often in the alt weekly biz, in a city the size of Corvallis, do you meet someone with such a clairvoyance for what matters most in a community, which is why we feel privileged in spreading the news of a certain someone moving ranks to Associate Editorship at The Corvallis Advocate.
Enter Jay Sharpe. Perhaps you’ve heard of him. Since starting at The Advocate in October of 2017, Sharpe has evolved into one of our area’s most vocal crusaders for social justice, pouring hours too painful to count into research and investigation of local injustices. His expose on Oregon hate groups in September of last year, which outed House Representative Mike Nearman’s ties with one in particular, gained national attention, increasing much needed awareness of these groups and individuals.
Never the first to gloat, Sharpe is modest about his work and even prefers some anonymity when on the trail. This illuminates one of his best qualities: that he does what he does for the sake of others. This can be showcased in his recent editorial which takes a critical eye at police handling and press coverage of local Nazis and trans individuals.
A forestry student at OSU, Sharpe has also dove deep into the topic of the McDonald-Dunn research forest in recent articles. When he’s not writing or learning forests, you might catch him playing bass guitar in his band The Doug Furys. Before forestry and journalism, Sharpe was a wildland firefighter in addition to taking on various odd jobs, before entering into the Navy. As such, veterans’ justice has also been at the heart of some of his works.
Of his work ethic, Editor-in-Chief Stevie Beisswanger remarks, “Jay brings an invigorated energy and passion to his work. He understands, from a grassroots perspective, how crucial independent journalism is for communities to thrive.”
“There’s very few people out there I’d trust more to get to the bottom of something, and that’s an important trait in a community where everything literally affects everyone,” adds Associate Editor Johnny Beaver.
Considering his new role, Sharpe says, “writing for the Advocate has been among the most rewarding experiences in my life, and I look forward to driving independent media forward in this community. Or trying to, anyway. I wish we would write about aliens more. What do you guys think? Aliens?”