Matt Algarin, current city government reporter for the Destin Log, has been named editor of both The Destin Log and the Walton Sun.
He will replace William Hatfield, who has headed up content operations at The Log and Sun since 2007 and 2010 respectively. Hatfield was tapped to head up the team of journalists at the Northwest Florida Daily News.
"Matt has immersed himself in the Destin community and has shown all the tools necessary to lead the Destin newsroom,” said Publisher Skip Foster. “I couldn’t be more pleased to have both William and Matt in these leadership positions."
Algarin began his journalism career at the Walton Sun in 2009, as a general assignment reporter before transitioning to The Destin Log newsroom a year later. He has a bachelor's degree in communication arts/journalism, and a master's degree in new media journalism.
During his time as a reporter at The Log, Algarin was recognized as an award winning writer through the Florida Press Association. He said the importance of truly becoming involved in the community is what has best served him in his career thus far.
"I think more so in smaller cities such as Destin, community journalism plays a larger role in the wellbeing of the community," he said. "The Destin Log is a true community newspaper in every sense, and it's my goal to maintain that tradition, much like those before me have done."
With his eyes and ears glued to Destin's government beat for the past four years, Algarin said he is excited about the opportunity to dig into Walton County.
"Walton County is truly one of the most beautiful and desirable locations in the state of Florida, and I look forward to reconnecting with our many community partners," he said. "From its artists and musicians to its balance of natural beauty and development, Walton County has no shortage of stories to tell."
For Hatfield, who started his career at the Northwest Florida Daily News, it will be a bittersweet homecoming.
"While it will be hard to say goodbye, I'll just be a couple bridges away,” Hatfield said. “I know The Log and Sun are in good hands with Matt at the helm."
As editor, Algarin says he wants to further immerse himself in the communities he serves.
"I truly believe that as editor, I should be the face of our newspapers," he said. "Both The Log and The Sun have tremendous footprints in the communities they serve, so I'm really looking forward to building off that strong foundation."
Algarin welcomes questions, comments and suggestions by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 850-687-1624.
"I have some ideas and plans to do things a little different,” he said, “but you know how the old saying goes, 'if it's not broke, don't fix it."