Where are They Now? Featuring Madisun Tobisch


Madisun Tobisch is currently a managing editor for the Western Front and third year journalism major at Western Washington University.

Where are They Now is a new column that aims to follow up with our high school journalists who have gone on to college or the work world.  Madisun Tobisch, a four-year high school journalism student from Sedro-Woolley High School, is now managing editor at the Western Front at Western Washington University.  She shares what she remembers from her years reporting in high school,  attending WJEA events around the state and what she is doing now.

What is your Name and school and or professional organization?

Madisun Tobisch

Western Washington University, The Front

Can you talk about your time spent in your high school Journalism program? What brought you to your journalism program?  How long were you involved? What kept you involved or interested?

Originally, what led me to spend all four of my high school years involved with the Journalism program was my love for photography. I was motivated by the idea of using a photo to tell a story. I quickly found a love for the entirety of the journalism process, from speaking with sources and editing to layout and design. A strong desire to provide information to not only my school but my broader community kept me driven, and the connections I formed with the people I met were an added bonus along the way! The newsroom felt like a place I belonged. As an editor, nothing made – and still makes – me happier than working out a problem with a reporter or fellow editor and helping the puzzle pieces fall into place as a story comes together. 

What were some of your favorite stories that you covered for your school program? 

Sedro-Woolley students stand up and walk out: Coverage of a student-led walkout, and its opposition, a year after the Parkland, Florida school shooting.

A look at Native American identity within the school system: A comprehensive dive into how students of Skagit County indigenous communities are represented within their school districts.

School Health Clinic officially open: Coverage of the opening of the first in-school health clinic in Skagit County and the resources it offers.

What were some of your favorite WJEA events?  Can you talk about your experience, and what you feel you came away with your work both in your high school experience and beyond:

I had a wonderful time at every WJEA event I attended. My experiences at J-Day were especially exciting each year. The abundance of information from professionals in so many areas of the field is inspiring to take back to your own newsroom. My experience with J-Camp and Western Washington University Journalism Department played a strong factor in my choosing it as my choice of college. Being able to work with a school’s facilities before you even apply is a rare and beneficial opportunity. 

What are you doing now?  How did your experience in high school journalism contribute to what you do now?  

As of now, I am the Managing Editor of The Front and a third-year student at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wa. I am also the proofreader for The Concrete Herald. My high school experience provided me with fundamental knowledge about news writing that put me at an undeniable advantage in college. Having some form of experience talking with sources, AP Style, and formatting a news story are all going to help give you confidence when reporting at the next level. The lesson of how to work as a team and be an effective leader also started in my high school newsroom.

What else should we know about the world beyond high school journalism that we can share with current students and advisors? 

– Law and Ethics are so, so important and should be studied and considered when editing any story. The SPJ Code of Ethics is a code that all newsrooms should know and follow. 

– Multimedia pieces and a strong online presence offer a wealth of opportunities for engaging with your audience. 

– No matter what state the industry is in, there will always be a need for news and fair, honest journalists to report it. 

Do you have any links to any recent work you would like to share since moving on?   


Night falls, Bellingham comes alive: A guide to nocturnal recreation offerings in Fairhaven Park.

Whatcom women get wild with volunteer group’s celebration of outdoor empowerment: Coverage of Wild Women Week, a celebration of outdoor recreation.

Jo Joe’s Doughnuts: the ingredients for success: Feature on a vegan, gluten-friendly, and extremely creative local doughnut shop in downtown Bellingham.