#MediaMonday – Jessica Swarner

Happy #MediaMonday! The latest feature comes to us from Jessica Swarner, the community editor for The Copper Courier, an Arizona-based newsroom made up of local journalists dedicated to sharing information and telling stories that matter to our community.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Hagerstown, Maryland. I moved to Arizona to attend ASU in 2013 and ended up staying here after graduating. I do miss the four seasons sometimes!

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

I’ve always loved writing but didn’t consider journalism until I was already in college. I was pursuing a political science major and had room to add a second major. I made friends with a journalism student in an astronomy class, and when she described her classes, I thought they sounded interesting and challenging. After a few semesters of journalism, I decided I wanted to pursue it after graduating. I spent some time working outside of journalism, then worked for KTAR 92.3 FM, and have now been with The Copper Courier for over four years.

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

The Copper Courier is a pro-democracy newsroom bringing values-driven local news to Arizonans across the state. As the community editor, I’m looking for pitches about issues impacting everyday Arizonans, as well as fun stuff, like things to do, places to visit, etc.

What are your favorite stories to work on?

My favorite stories to work on have been ones within our “affordability” beat. This has included stories about unemployment assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic, efforts to raise the minimum wage, the eviction process in Maricopa County, and conversations about affordable housing.

I have also enjoyed writing profiles of Arizonans doing cool things—like a Mesa resident who made a documentary about using art to process grief, and a pioneering female dentist in Tempe.

What are some of your hobbies?

I host a poetry open mic at Meraki Kava Bar in north Phoenix every first Wednesday of the month, 8-10 p.m. I also attend poetry workshops and other open mics. Other hobbies include reading, yoga, and weightlifting.

Favorite movie? TV show? Book? 

Movie: “2001: A Space Odyssey”

TV shows: “Breaking Bad,” “Severance,” “Parks & Recreation”

Book: I’ll say favorite authors—Sally Rooney, Bret Easton Ellis, and Emily St. John Mandel

Do you have any favorite local spots?

Lots! Cornish Pasty, Greenwood Brewing, Central Records, The Old Spaghetti Factory, Thai Basil, The Nach, Cocina Adamex, Tee Pee Mexican Food, aFlourshop, Songbird, Jobot, Changing Hands/First Draft

What is the best way to reach you?

By email at jessicaswarner@couriernewsroom.com.

Written by
at Apr 15, 2024

Share this article