Damien Willis — Las Cruces Sun-News
LAS CRUCES – Jessica Onsurez, the news director of the Carlsbad Current-Argus, Alamogordo Daily News and Ruidoso News, has taken over the news operations at the Las Cruces Sun-News, effective Monday, Jan. 1.
She takes over for Lucas Peerman, who has been at the newspaper since December 2004. Peerman has served in multiple roles at the Sun-News and has been the paper’s news director since 2017. He is leaving for a position within the newly created digital team at the Albuquerque Journal.
Jessica Onsurez was born and raised in Loving, New Mexico, in the eastern part of the state. After graduating from Loving High School, she earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism at Eastern New Mexico University.
She worked for a time in Washington, D.C., in the U.S. Senate for then-Sen. Pete Domenici. She later worked for a nonprofit organization while pursuing her master’s degree at American University.
After that, she joined the Peace Corps (Peru 2011-13) and was stationed in Vice, Peru, where she served as a community economic development volunteer — a position she held for just over two years.
“I was teaching business basics to the youth and women in a northern province of Peru,” Onsurez said.
Eventually, in 2013, she returned home — or near to home — as a reporter for the Carlsbad Current-Argus.
Onsurez describes the Sun-News as “a pillar of journalism,” and said she would like to take a smart approach to the changing news landscape.
“I think the things it has accomplished, in spite of the challenges — which have been many, over the last couple of years — have been amazing,” Onsurez said.
But the paper is operating in a changing landscape, and Onsurez is prepared to make adjustments as they arise.
“Primarily, we are going to be focused on growing our digital audience,” Onsurez said. “We don’t have a perfect model for journalism, anywhere.”
Onsurez believes that growing digital subscribers is where the best hope for journalism lies.
“And, beyond that, I think that we will continue to do all of the good work of journalism,” Onsurez said. “With scarce resources … it is really hard to get to some of the broader news out there. There are great stories that need to be told. There are important stories that need to be told. And finding a way to prioritize that without running down the limited number of journalists that we have on staff is going to be key.”
Onsurez said that readers can continue to expect top-notch reporting from the Sun-News — both in print and online. She will also continue to act as news director for her previous sites in Carlsbad, Alamogordo and Ruidoso.