• warning: Parameter 2 to ed_classified_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/includes/common.inc on line 2968.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to ed_classified_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/includes/common.inc on line 2968.

Meet the Leader’s newest reporter

Cale Stelken.

NORTH LIBERTY– Much like the city of its namesake, the North Liberty Leader is undergoing changes. In September, Cale Stelken of Iowa City joined the team as a reporter and photographer. Stelken replaces Shianne Fisher, who has since moved to the Des Moines area.
Originally from the dusty outskirts of Worthington, a humble community in Northeast Iowa, Stelken graduated from Northeast Iowa Community College in 2008 with a degree in graphic design. He has lived in Iowa’s Creative Corridor since fall 2011, moving from Cedar Rapids to Coralville and finally to his current residence in Iowa City.
“The North Liberty area definitely appeals to me,” Stelken declared. “It’s modest in size, yet thanks to the neighboring communities, it has such a rich diversity within arm’s reach. And with all the expansion it’s undergoing these days, there should always be something new to cover. It doesn’t hurt that I’ve got a small handful of friends and associates in town.”
Posing vintage Star Wars action figures at his desk, Stelken admitted his resume isn’t the most orthodox with regards to journalistic ambitions. His background largely falls within graphic design, illustration, and photography, with a supplemental dose of research and creative writing experience.
“I’d like to think I have a demonstrated strength in communication, be it visual or literary,” Stelken reflected. “And as an avid photographer, I can capture the spirit of the town in both word and image. So I definitely intend to channel that penchant for illustrative narrative.”
A former Creative Art Director for a local healthcare software company, Stelken maintains a modest side hustle in freelance art. But an enduring fascination with research and journalism ultimately led him to the office of the Leader.
“I guess you could say I’m a recovering Wikipedia addict,” he said. “There’s just something satisfying about pulling together information from different sources into one cohesive piece, and to then make that information readily available to the public. In my case, that often pertains to topics of music or other art forms.”
Throughout his diverse career, Stelken has always tried to maintain a theme of challenging himself creatively and taking the initiative to build upon his repertoire.
“This new role gives me the opportunity to channel my broad experience while better learning the ins and outs of media and journalism,” he said. “So I appreciate Doug taking me under his wing, and I’m eager to dive in and represent the community of North Liberty.”
In his free time, Stelken enjoys photography, cooking, flea markets, horseback riding and playing guitar. He consumes independent media outlets and listens to Iowa Public Radio on a daily basis.
“I look forward to doing justice to the lineage of the Leader, and maintaining quality coverage of the northern Johnson County area,”