The Astorian has a new editor.

Derrick DePledge, a veteran journalist who has held editing and reporting roles at the newspaper for the past 4½ years, will lead the newsroom.

He replaces Jim Van Nostrand, the editor for the past two years, who has accepted a job as Missouri state editor for Gatehouse Media, leading 22 newspapers.

“There was no question who would be our next editor,” said Kari Borgen, The Astorian’s publisher. “We are fortunate to have the combination of leadership, experience and knowledge of our community that Derrick brings to the role.”

DePledge, 53, has served as managing editor, deputy managing editor and reporter at The Astorian. He has written about the gaps in Clatsop County’s mental health safety net and policy changes intended to make the criminal justice system more equitable. He has also covered city government in Astoria and Warrenton.

“At our best, we hold up a mirror to our community,” he said. “Our staff recognizes we live in a unique, historic place that deserves a newspaper to match.”

DePledge has more than 30 years of experience as a journalist, including a decade as a Washington, D.C., correspondent and a decade as a state government and politics reporter in Hawaii. He also spent four years as the top elected leader in Hawaii for the Pacific Media Workers Guild, a labor union that represented 200 newspaper workers.

DePledge and Van Nostrand both worked at the Washington Bureau for Knight Ridder Newspapers, though at different times.

“In 35 years in the news business, I’ve seen few editors better than Derrick at leading and mentoring young reporters,” Van Nostrand said. “I’m leaving the newsroom in good hands.”

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