#MediaMonday – Daisy Nelson
After seeing the news of Daisy being named editor and chief and hearing her reasons for taking on the role as a young journalist in this KJZZ interview, I knew I had to reach out to and get her story.
Take it away, Daisy!
Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Lake Havasu City, Arizona — a beautiful little city tucked away in the Mojave Desert right along the Colorado River.
How did you get your start in writing? Tell us your story!
My love of writing began at a very young age. Somewhere in the archives of keepsake bins filled with school projects, Little League trophies and trinkets sits a handful of crudely made books produced by my kid self. They detail “best pets” and explore different types of snakes (“Some sneaks have stirps. Do you have stirps?”). As my skills grew (and I learned how to spell), I began to write in diaries and journals. I think I’m up to seven now — though my progress has definitely slowed since writing became my full-time job. I started with my little Hello Kitty diary, where I wrote in immense detail about what I had for dinner, how annoying my two siblings were and everything in between. I continued to grow that passion when I joined a journalism class at Lake Havasu High School on a whim, just because I needed a CTE class in my schedule. That launched me into the rest of my career, under the initial direction of my amazing class advisor, Kristal Norman. She set me on a path that led me to where I am today, a path filled with new adventures, exciting opportunities, interesting people and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Her class is also where I met my husband, Weston! The rest of my life quite literally started in that J-Hall classroom.
Tell us about your outlet and what types of pitches you are looking for.
I’m the editor in chief of three different publications — Mohave Valley Daily News, Needles Desert Star and Laughlin Nevada Times. MVDN is a daily newspaper, publishing five days a week in print and two days a week in an e-edition format (Saturday and Monday). Needles Desert Star and Laughlin Nevada Times are my two weeklies, both publishing in print and online every Wednesday. What’s really unique (and challenging) about our coverage area is its immense scope. We cover three different states (Nevada, Arizona and California), three different counties (Mohave, San Bernardino and Clark Counties) and several different communities (Bullhead City, Laughlin, Fort Mohave, Mohave Valley, Needles, Golden Valley, Oatman and Golden Shores/Topock). With our location right on the river and our demographics, there’s no shortage of topics to cover, including water and off-roading recreation, rodeos, gambling, the drought, affordable housing and our regional tribes (to name a few).
As far as pitches go, I’m looking for a wide variety of stories — features on our local residents, investigative pieces that dive into longstanding issues that everyone just seems to accept as part of life due to their persistence, event coverage that goes deeper than what happened and where, and meeting coverage that translates agendas and complicated government jargon into easy-to-understand explanations. As a local paper, we have the opportunity for a wide variety of angles, story types and coverage topics.
What are your favorite stories to work on?
My favorite stories to work on have always been features and data stories. With features, you have a chance to honor your subjects and capture who they are — which is definitely a challenge, but produces amazing results if you succeed. Data stories allow you to use infographics or alternative story formats, and you can let the data tell the story for you. To me, those are among the easiest to produce — as long as you put the work in or find experts to make sense of all the numbers.
What are some of your hobbies?
I like to edit videos in my spare time, mostly of family vacations or special moments. I’ve also been practicing cross-stitching, and I grew up playing sports. Volleyball is my favorite. Hanging out by the river and spending time outdoors is also amazing, but most of all, I enjoy making memories with my daughter and husband.
Favorite movie? TV show? Book?
Megamind is my favorite movie. I find it hilarious, and it made me fall in love with animation. I have it memorized! Great Gatsby is also up there — both the movie and the book. My favorite TV show at the moment is Joe Pickett — love me a good game warden drama. Star Wars is forever our household’s favorite overall franchise, and I love it all — the new and the originals.
Do you have any favorite local spots?
Nothing beats doing nothing by the riverside. As far as restaurants go, a few of our local favorites include China Panda, Bonito Guadalajara and Foodie Grill. To be honest, we haven’t had a lot of time to explore all of the options quite yet. We also love driving along the backroads to get to Oatman, a nearby ghost town. It’s especially beautiful during super blooms of poppies!
What is the best way to reach you?
The best way to reach me is via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.