Ivan Lajara ’02 (Journalism), editor at the Daily Freeman received national recognition as one of the premier young journalists across the nation by Editor & Publisher: America’s oldest journal covering the newspaper industry. Lajara was one of the “25 under 35” honored for demonstrating leadership and innovation in journalism.
Born in Lima, Peru, Lajara came to the United States in 1995. Lajara joined Kingston’s Daily Freeman in 2001 as a copy editor for the news department. In 2004, he started working for the life department and was quickly promoted to editor. He was named Editor of the Year in January 2006 by the Suburban Newspapers Association of America and won two awards by the same organization in 2008 for the Best Headline and Best Arts and Entertainment Criticism/Commentary categories.
Lajara has also played a role in Las Noticias, the Freeman’s Spanish weekly newspaper. He is the editor of Preview, the Freeman’s weekly entertainment magazine, which won an honorable mention by the SNA in 2009 for Best Entertainment Magazine. He edits special sections like Your Wedding, Home and Garden and Health and Fitness. Lajara’s blog won second place in 2010′s Associated Press writing contest. In addition, he progressed the newspaper’s use of social media and digital publishing.
“The changes in the industry have been mind-numbing and exciting. So I’m glad to be part of that evolution. I’ve always been drawn to journalism. The more I sank my teeth into it, the more I grew to love it and appreciate it. New Paltz was a great experience for me,” Lajara said.
While a student at New Paltz, Lajara worked as a reporter and editor at The Oracle, New Paltz’s student newspaper, where he honed his skills and voice before securing his position at the Freeman.
While a student, Lajara enrolled in classes with Sydney Schanberg and Buddy Stein, both Ottaway Professors, which he recalls as memorable and significant to his career.