#Media Monday – Ralph Zubiate

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Ralph ZubiateToday’s #MediaMonday comes from a longtime Valley media person, but someone who is still relatively new to the East Valley Tribune, just joining the staff as editor in April. I first met Ralph Zubiate at the 2016 SPJ Valley Publicity Summit , have since been in the audience for a PRSA Media Breakfast where he was a panelist, and sat down for a coffee meeting with him and my coworker Rachel.

So Ralph, time to share.

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

I read a lot. Boy, do I read a lot.

I read non-fiction, mostly history, with a little biography thrown in for good measure. I don’t spend time with fiction because there’s little truth there. I’m curious to find out new things, new facts. That must be the journalist in me.

I think that curiosity serves me well as a journalist. That curiosity to find the truth needs to be at the center of who a journalist is.

I spent 20 years with The Arizona Republic in a variety of positions, from copy editor to news copy desk chief to wire editor to online producer. I was thankful to keep growing and learning there.

Then, the inevitable for a journalist these days: I was laid off. If you notice, those layoffs seem to keep coming and coming in the newspaper world.

I got a couple of different positions editing afterward, but after seven years in exile in the world of marketing, I wanted to go back to newspapers. I never thought it’d happen again, but it did. I came to the East Valley Tribune in April.

Now, I’m having a blast doing it all – editing, assigning stories and photos, working with designers and sales, even writing for our Sunday-only paper.

This also gives me a chance to write about one of my favorite subjects: Faith. Newspapers don’t do a very good job reporting on people of faith, other than terrorism and the like. Fortunately, the Tribune had a Faith page when I arrived.

I like to write about real people and how they live with their real beliefs. So far, I’ve covered a Russian icon’s visit to a Greek Orthodox church, a local Catholic’s celebration of the canonization of Mother Teresa, and how a Jewish couple takes care of an eruv around Chandler – a string that unites the Jewish community. I think these stories have made for a great Sunday read.

So back to the reading. I get my books on the cheap: Clearance section of Half-Price Books, markdowns at Barnes & Noble, remainders Dollar Tree and Big Lots (really!) and even nice used books at Goodwill.

If you like nonfiction, here are my five favorite recommendations, in no particular order:

  • A History of the World in 6 Glasses, by Tom Standage
  • Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, by Jack Weatherford
  • Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer, by James L. Swanson
  • Salt: A World History, by Mark Kurlansky
  • The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl, by Timothy Egan.

I also review books at my own site, ralphsbooks.wordpress.com.

If you have a story you want to pitch to Ralph and is relevant to one of the Tribune’s four core cities (Chandler, Tempe, Mesa and Gilbert), you can send him email at rzubiate@timespublications.com. And something I’ve learned from him—be sure to put what area of the Valley a story is relevant to in the subject line.


Sara Goodwin
Sara Goodwin
Account Coordinator Sara is a Maryland native who moved cross country to join the team at HMA. She is passionate about digital media and knowing what’s upcoming in new technology, whether it’s apps, social media platforms or hardware. She enjoys hiking, reading and traveling. Check out Sara's full bio

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