Phone: (201) 259-5372
Hometown: Rochester, NY
Birthday: December 10
Bio: Erik Wander is a photographer, filmmaker, educator and journalist originally from Rochester, NY. A 2006 graduate of the Columbia university Graduate School of Journalism, where he completed a concentration in new media, Erik's experience in journalism includes working as an online photo editor, a newspaper reporter and a radio journalist. He also holds an MFA in visual studies with a concentration in photography and film from the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, NY and a B.A. in English from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Erik has lived in such diverse places as Daegu, South Korea, where he taught English for four years immediately after graduating from college; Huizhou, China and Singapore, where he taught photography and film for nearly five years; New York City, where he worked as a photo editor for Time Magazine online (time.com) and Kodiak and Valdez, Alaska, where he spent the past two years as a public radio and community newspaper reporter.
At Patch, we promise always to report the facts as objectively as possible and otherwise adhere to the principles of good journalism. However, we also acknowledge that true impartiality is impossible because human beings have beliefs. So in the spirit of simple honesty, our policy is to encourage our editors to reveal their beliefs to the extent they feel comfortable. This disclosure is not a license for them to inject their beliefs into stories or to dictate coverage according to them. In fact, the intent is the opposite: we hope that the knowledge that their beliefs are on the record will cause them to be ever mindful to write, report and edit in a fair, balanced way. And if you ever see evidence that we failed in this mission, please let us know.
How would you describe your political beliefs?
Are you registered with a certain party?
I am a registered Democrat, but I've been known to vote Republican or even third-party as specific issues and my own convictions have dictated.
How religious would you consider yourself? (casual, observant, devout, non religious)
I was raised in the Evangelical Covenant Church, a Christian denomination founded by Swedish immigrants in the late 1800s. I would however describe myself as "non-practicing" today, although the study of the world's various religions is an ongoing interest and occasional reporting focus. In my travels over the years I've had the opportunity to visit Christian churches and Jewish synagogues, Buddhist and Hindu temples, Shinto shrines, and Islamic mosques in the U.S., Korea, Japan, Southeast Asia and India, among other places, and I've found inspiration in nearly every one of them.
Local Hot-Button Issues
What do you think are the most important issues facing the community?
Where do you stand on each of these issues?
I can honestly say that I can't honestly say—at least not at this point. I'm too new to the community to presume to take a stance on the issues or answer the question with any degree of credibility. My eyes are wide open, however, and I fully expect in the process of reporting here day in and day out to have a more satisfactory answer after having had the chance to speak with and get to know you, our readers, community members, leaders and others who know so much better than I do what matters in Fort Lee. Check back with me in a few months.