Nearly three months removed from completing his internship with the Opelika Observer, Will Fairless is returning as the paper’s new associate editor, officially starting in his new role on Monday.
Fairless interned with the Observer from January to March until the semester was abruptly ended at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. He said he is excited to come back and hone his journalism skills with his new full-time position.
“My experience at the Observer was not what I expected an internship to be. Between writing stories and editing the paper, I was much more involved than I would have thought, which was great,” Fairless said. “I’m most excited to write more and to have a stronger influence on the final product of the paper than I did as an intern. Also, if I’m being honest, I’m very much looking forward to being in charge of the interns, who are in the position I was just months ago. I hope to learn even more about writing and become intimately familiar with the Opelika community.”
Twenty-one years old, Fairless hails from St. Charles, Missouri, and has fond memories of growing up in the Midwest.
“I have one sibling, my younger brother Mitch. As a kid, if I wasn’t playing sports with my brother (basketball, baseball, football, soccer and anything we made up), I was reading. I still read a lot,” Fairless said. “I went to Duchesne High School in St. Charles, from which I graduated in 2016. I played basketball, baseball, golf and ran track in high school. My brother and I went to the state championship for high jump in 2016. I still love to play golf.”
After graduating from high school, Fairless enrolled in Auburn’s College of Engineering. In his second semester, he swapped his major over to journalism. During his sophomore year, he walked on to Auburn’s Track and Field team as a high jumper, redshirted and practiced with the team for a year.
The Observer is excited to welcome Fairless back and help continue the paper’s mission of providing local news for local people.