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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 Notebook founder, journalist, shooter Mike Padgett.

So, Mike, time to share!

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

My interest in journalism began sometime between my first kiss (it was from Rhonda with the red hair, in the second grade) and when blond peach fuzz began sprouting on my face.

We lived in a boring rural area, where nothing ever happened. Every morning before dawn, I raced out to our mailbox to read the bold headlines about exciting events happening around the world.

Then, my sixth-grade teacher, Mr. Gustafson, used daily newspapers in our current events class every Monday morning. My young world was being influenced by an industry that would be my home for 30 years.

I started thinking seriously about writing history, one day at a time, when I was in public affairs in the Air Force. There, I dealt regularly with local reporters.

During my college years, I labored for a short time with The Associated Press in Phoenix. I wanted something with more creativity, so I refocused my studies.

One of the highlights of my career was during my final year of journalism studies at Arizona State University. I was one of four ASU seniors chosen to intern with the Investigative Reporters & Editors team that worked in Arizona for several months following the 1976 bombing death of reporter Don Bolles.

After graduation, I worked for the Mesa Tribune – when it still was the Mesa Tribune – for several years. In January 1987, The Phoenix Gazette recruited me. I worked for the PM newspaper until Jan. 18, 1997, when the paper was closed.

A few months later, I accepted an offer to write for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I returned to Phoenix less than a year later when I learned about an opening at The Phoenix Business Journal.

During three decades with newspapers, I worked on the police, fire, courts, features, business and general assignment beats. My favorite stories are those that people tell about themselves. Everyone has a story, some more interesting or dramatic than most.

I also had the good fortune to receive several writing honors from the Arizona Press Club, the Maricopa County Bar Association, and the Arizona Medical Association.

Then in 2006, I decided to get out of dead-tree journalism. The news business had been very good to me. But the industry began changing, and I needed to grow. I needed to stretch my writing skills. And considering the state of the news business today, my decision to take early retirement four years ago was perfect.

Plus, my Best Friend and I wanted more time for travel. She always has been my supportive counselor/cheerleader/travel companion.

Then in 2008, at the suggestions of trusted contacts Len Gutman and Jeff Hecht in the Phoenix PR community, I started a news blog, Arizona Notebook.

The blog has allowed me to push myself, and I would recommend the idea for anyone who wants a new platform on which they can encourage their inner wordsmith selves to grow.

On my blog, I write about our travels (posting the stories and photos on the road from Ireland and Australia) and about people who have interesting stories to share. Occasionally, I write personal essays or book reviews.

My interests include photography and studying the literary writing techniques of nonfiction storytellers whose works are archived here.

I also enjoy staying in historic hotels; hiking; Southwest cooking; and collecting maps of the Southwest, specifically during the years 1840-1860, when mapmakers couldn’t keep up with changes in state boundaries.

My resume, with several recommendations, is on LinkedIn here.

My Twitter name is @Mike_Padgett. See you there.

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

1 Comment

  1. Sue Kern-Fleischer says:

    Isn’t it refreshing to find that in-depth feature stories are still alive and well? That’s what I like most about Mike’s reporting and Arizona Notebook. He covers a wide variety of topics but I like his travel blog posts the most – every time I read about one of his adventures with his “Best Friend,” I’m tempted to pack it up and hit the road for a while. I would love to see a major travel publication take advantage of his talents!

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