Long ago and far away – okay, it was 2005 or 2006 – I met Janet Perez. At the time, she served as editor of several of Gannett’s (now defunct) regional lifestyle magazines including 101 North, as well as publications for Tucson, Las Vegas and Kansas. While we initially connected as I pitched her stories, we eventually struck up random conversations via email and phone.
When she moved over to AZ Business Magazine in 2007, we continued to work together. She eventually even had me author a story or two for the magazine. She would not only leave AZ Business Magazine/AZ Big Media in 2011, but she would leave Arizona completely, taking a communications position with New Mexico State University, and then with Baylor Law School.
Arizona would beckon her back in 2014, when she took on a communications position with ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. Since then, you’ve seen her byline – no doubt – online and in publications across Arizona as she also stepped up her freelance writing.
Earlier this year, I was delighted to get an email from Janet noting she had accepted the position of managing editor of the Jewish News of Greater Phoenix, one of my favorite weekly reads.
So, now I turn it over to Janet to share her story as well as give us details on the types of stories she is interested in, sources that she needs and more:
Where did you grow up?
El Paso, Texas, which, except for its love of football, is completely different from the rest of the state — lots of mountains, best Mexican food, and still blue.
How did you make your way to the Jewish News? What’s the back story?
While I enjoyed working at Baylor Law School, Waco made me homesick for Arizona and I knew I just couldn’t stay. I started working at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU — mostly so I could get back home — but ASU is so large and the college’s mission is so different from Baylor Law and New Mexico State, that it just wasn’t a good fit for me. But it did get me back home!
Favorite part about the Jewish News?
As a Roman Catholic it’s fascinating to learn more about Judaism, a faith always treated with respect in my hometown and within my family. Because the Valley’s Jewish community is so spread out here, the Jewish News really serves as a virtual community center where the Jewish community can find out what events are taking place and read news that affects them.
Did you always know you wanted to be in writing?
Well, it was the only thing I could do well…
Favorite type of music:
Anything except country and most metal.
Favorite local haunts:
Uh, my house.
Favorite places to visit:
Rome, San Francisco, New Orleans, Sedona
Least favorite food:
Three things readers would be surprised to know about you?
I was a TV reporter years ago; that I’m managing editor of a Jewish newspaper; and I’m an introvert
Best way to pitch you:
Best is email and make sure there is a “J” or interfaith angle to your story.
Types of stories and pitches you are looking for:
While we do need the “J” angle for our community and news stories, we have a number of special sections that just need to be informative. Go to jewishaz.com and look for our media kit to see which special sections are running and when.
Phone: 602-870-9470 ext. 4004