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John D'Anna - editor of the Mesa Republic

Each Monday, we are posting a blog to help our readers get to know the media just a little bit better.

With a TWIST!

No, we aren’t posting story pitch tips or media lists, but instead great stories from the media themselves about their lives, their work and other little known facts! Think of it as your first “networking” opportunity of the week!

Today’s #MediaMonday comes to us from Arizona Republic Mesa community editor John D’Anna.

So, John, time to share!

What do you want to tell the blogosphere about yourself today?

I’m younger and much better looking than Clay Thompson, but the rocket surgeons who so generously put food in my children’s mouths have not seen fit to spread my column beyond the borders of the city of Wide Streets and Narrow Minds.©

Which means that if you want to find out who I’m mocking (or is it whom? Where’s a copy editor when you need one?) this week, you’ll have to go on the internet and Google me or you could just go to mesa.azcentral.com and let the fun begin.

I’d write more, but I’m both modest and lazy, so if you’re really interested in all that David Copperfield kind of (gratuitous literary references), I’ve taken the liberty of cutting and pasting my own Linked-in bio, which is inexplicably written in the third person:

John D’Anna is editor of the Mesa Republic community edition, where he exhorts his team of watchdog reporters to afflict the comfortable, comfort the afflicted, and bring him donuts.

Before the most recent round of downsizings, he was a senior platform manager, which is what they decided to call the metro editor three or four re-orgs back.

John and Tito Ortiz

In almost 17 years at the Republic, he has served as a deputy managing editor, senior editor for metro, projects editor, deputy city editor and assistant city editor, but not all at once.

D’Anna was named one of Gannett Company's top 16 newsroom supervisors nationwide in 2003, but has had a considerable dry spell ever since, unless you count a couple of honorable mentions in the press club.

In previous lives, he was an editor and reporter at the Mesa Tribune, escaping in time to keep from getting his 10-year pin; and a reporter at the Oakland Tribune, where he once interviewed Morris the Cat and the governor of California on the same day. It was the first time he can ever recall preferring the company of a cat.

Before that, he stocked shelves at Safeway, and before that he mowed lawns. Somewhere in there he was a bartender for awhile, but that didn't work out so well.

When he's not toiling in the newsroom, he is an instructor at Arizona State University's Cronkite School of Journalism and Stuff, where he exhorts his students to get the facts right, get the right facts and bring him donuts.
He has also had numerous guest lecturing appearances in media law and journalism, which he does for free so he can rationalize not donating to his alumni association.

In his spare time, he plays hockey and is a fourth-degree black belt in Taekwondo and still competes in national and international tournaments (yeah, even at his age) so you all better be on your best behavior.

Abbie S. Fink
Abbie S. Fink
Vice President/General Manager Abbie has been doing public relations her whole life…from organizing a picket line in 6th grade to organizing client communications today. She’s passionate about a lot of things, you’ll see. Check out Abbie's full bio

3 Comments

  1. Awesome profile! John (as he had us call him) was a professor of mine at ASU’s Walter Cronkite school. Not only was he a great mentor but had a true knack for storytelling through the eyes of the media.

  2. I’ve known John for about 10 years and nothing (but good things) to say about him. He’s a great resource for me as a PR guy, but more importantly he’s a friend, and a fellow fan of McFarlane Action Figures (as long as they are hockey related!)

    And, he mostly likely won’t threaten anyone using his Taekwondo skills if you bug him on deadline! It’s only happened to me once 😉

  3. Sue Kern-Fleischer says:

    John D’Anna is wonderful – he is so great about responding one way or the other and he is so supportive of non-profits! I laughed out loud when I read his description of himself as being younger and better looking than Clay Thompson. He obviously has a great sense of humor too. Thanks, HMA, for featuring John on this #MediaMonday and thanks, John, for being so terrific to work with!

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