#MediaMonday – J. Graber

Happy #MediaMonday! The latest feature comes to us from J. Graber, who serves as the news editor for the Scottsdale Independent newspaper.

Where did you grow up?

 I started out in Crete, Illinois (just outside of Chicago on the Southside) and my parents moved the family to Sierra Vista, Arizona when I was 12. It was like landing on the dark side of the moon.

How did you get your start in writing? Tell us your story and experience.

Well, after my parents moved the family to Arizona, I had a hard time relating to people, so I found a deep love of reading (mostly the “Lord of the Rings” and other fantasy stuff). Then in the 11th grade I had to read Henry Miller’s “Death of a Salesman.” That was my first introduction to how writing could affect someone on a human level. I studied creative writing and journalism during my undergraduate work because it was two forms of writing that could have an effect on people’s lives. The immediacy of journalism and the relevancy it could have for people drew me in right away. I was hooked.

Tell us about your outlet and beat. What types of pitches are you looking for?

The Scottsdale Independent is part of a network of 19 papers covering Valley cities. The mother company, Independent News Media, also owns a number of papers on the east coast. We strive for “hyper local” news.

I cover Scottsdale, which pretty much means all things related to the community, from city government and the Scottsdale Unified School District Governing Board to new shops coming to town.

What are your favorite stories to work on?

My favorite stories to work on are news features. I love telling the news through the lens of individual people. It makes the stories so much more relevant.

What are some of your hobbies?

Well, I love to fish and play classical guitar, though I haven’t been able to do much of either since my daughter (8) was born. I’m still an avid reader though. I am currently reading Wuthering Heights with my wife.

Favorite TV show? Book? 

So many to pick from! I like Survivor on television. As for a book, probably anything by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. I really like 19th Century Russian novelists … if that’s obscure enough for you.

Do you have any favorite local spots?

I’m a homebody so I rarely go out. I do enjoy the symphony when I can go. I also like attending Diamondbacks games once or twice a year.  

What is the best way to reach you?

I can always be reached via email at jgraber@iniusa.org.

Written by
at Jun 10, 2024

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