The New Era welcomes its new reporter, Ethan Hoagland

By Sarah Brown
Of The New Era/Lebanon Local

The New Era would like to introduce to the Sweet Home community its newest reporter, Ethan Hoagland, who could also be described as a film writer and aspiring novelist.

Hoagland graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s in journalism and a minor in German. He originally intended to minor in film studies, given his affinity for storytelling, but a semester abroad in Germany altered his path.

Still, he carries under his belt several film projects during his school years, mostly screenwriting projects, with some work in lighting and sound. Later, Hoagland found he also very much enjoyed film editing.

“I’ve always been interested in telling stories,” he said. “Watching movies as a kid, it’s always a very alluring way to tell a story. It inspired passion at a young age.”

Born and raised in Oklahoma, Hoagland obtained his degree in 2018 and moved to Eugene, Ore. where his brother was living at the time. His first job was video editing at KEZI, where he was later promoted to producer. A couple years later, Hoagland took a similar position in Nebraska, but Oregon remained on his mind.

“I had decided I wanted to try to make what I’d started in Oregon work again,” he said.

The 27-year-old felt he was starting to build a home here and he wanted to “finish what he started,” so he returned to Eugene in early summer 2023, and that’s when he found the reporter position at The New Era.

Ethan Hoagland

His primary ambition is to be a novelist, he said, and he already has one completed manuscript, a story about androids, murder and liberty. But he also enjoys print journalism, and he wants the community to know he’s accessible.

“I may be a little shy at times, but I’m completely interested in giving the community a platform to learn about themselves, to hear their stories, to shine a light on what’s going on,” he said.

Hoagland, who grew up in a hot, flat, expansive environment said he likes the cloudy, rainy climate in Oregon. Plus, he’s a “huge fan” of outdoor recreation and the area’s tall trees. As is made obvious by his accomplishments, he loves to read and write, mostly fiction and history. He also enjoys playing video games and cooking.

“I’m trying to be about as good of a home chef as I can be,” Hoagland said.

He takes pride in his refined guacamole recipe, one that includes jalapeño, cayenne and cumin. He also cooks up stir fry and curry dishes, and tries his hand at breakfast.

“I’ve been trying to make a perfect French omelet, but I’m not super passionate about it. I just want to be able to say that I did.”

When asked about his first impression of the area, he referred to it as a “lovely” area that has given rise to his curiosity.

“Obviously this location nestled in between these two hills plays fantastic,” he said. “I’m still meeting the people, but it has the cheery, small-town community feel. It’s not something I’ve experienced much in my life. It’s something TV has shaped my perception of more than actual lived experience.”

Somebody on a local social media group made a statement recently, he said, about the community, and it captured his interest. They commented about how well the community comes together when one of their own needs support.

To put more succinctly the answer to the question about his first impression of Sweet Home, Hoagland states, “I am charmed.”