Journalist Lori Tobias arrived on the Oregon Coast in 2000. After freelancing from Newport for several years, she signed on to the Oregonian as a stringer covering the coast from Florence to Astoria; later she would be hired as a staff writer responsible for the entirety of the coast-one person for more than three hundred miles. The job meant long hours, being called out for storms in the middle of the night and in dangerous conditions, driving hundreds of miles in a day if stories called for it.
The Oregon Coast is a rugged, beautiful place. Separated from the state's population centers by the Coast Range, it is a land of small towns reliant primarily on fishing and tourism, known for its dramatic landscapes and dramatic storms. Many of the stories Tobias covered were tragedies: car crashes, falls, drownings, capsizings. And those were just the accidents; Tobias covered plenty of violent crimes as well. But her stories also include more lighthearted moments, including her own experiences learning to live on and cover the coast.
Tobias's story is as much her own as it is the coast's; she takes the reader through familiar beats of life -- regular trips back east as her parents age, the decline of journalism in the twenty-first century, and the unexpected, unglamorous experiences of a working reporter-such as a bout of vertigo after rappelling from a helicopter. Storm Beat tells a compelling story of a land that many visit but few truly know.