#MediaMonday – Philip Haldiman

Today’s #MediaMonday comes to us from Philip Haldiman, news editor at the Peoria Independent and Independent Newsmedia.

So, Phil, time to share!

Tell us how you got your start in writing? Tell us your story!

My mother and elementary school teachers would share with you that I have been writing stories practically ever since I could form sentences. And, indeed, I think I still have somewhere a short play I wrote early in elementary school called “Boys vs. Girls.” Knowing the gender and age of the author you can probably figure out who won that war!  My first official published works came at my esteemed high school newspaper, The Demon Dispatch (Greenway HS, for the locals).

Tell us how you came to start working in the Valley media scene?

After working as a professional actor in Los Angeles and returning to Phoenix in 2004, I was in desperate need of work. Working part time at a doctor’s office at the time, one of our patients referred me to a publisher she knew and I quickly began writing profiles about local real estate agents around 2004. It was not a bad gig at the time. Bonus points for those who remember Broker Agent Magazine. Then I went back to ASU for a degree in journalism and interned with media companies every semester, notably at The Arizona Republic where I eventually parlayed my breaking news internship into a full-time reporter position that lasted close to seven years, covering Phoenix, Paradise Valley, Cave Creek, Scottsdale and Surprise.

And how did you come to this outlet?

Arizona Republic lay-offs, of course! I have no beefs with the paper. I have been lucky to work many great places and The Republic is certainly on that list.

Tell us about the outlet and types of story pitches you want?

Independent Newsmedia is a great company and if you look at the competition, no other newspaper has weathered the storms of the newspaper business better. I launched the Litchfield Park newspaper in the fall of 2018 and since then, the company has continued to grow, economic problems notwithstanding. Formed in the 1950s, INI has experienced all the economic ups and downs and continues to grow. Also see the answer to the lead time for pitches, below.

Where did you grow up?

I spent most of youth in Phoenix with a few years in Valley Forge, Penn. For me, both were great places to grow up.

Favorite type of music?

You name it. I am a true lover of music. You do not have enough paper for me to share this love. There are not enough words to properly explain how much music means to me.

Favorite color?

Blue. Black in clothing — it never goes out of style.

Favorite TV shows or movies?

Almost similar to my answer about music. My first degree from ASU was in Theater. I have a deep passion for acting and the art forms of theater and film. It is a deep well that has provided inspiration and sustenance for as long as I can remember.

Favorite local restaurants or other haunts?

Gosh, that’s tough. The Valley has actually grown into quite the foodie town. I have to say, we have the best Mexican food. I won’t have it anywhere else. We practically live in Mexico! So many good Mexican food restaurants here. Also, I do love me a good bar hang. Shady’s (great juke) and my neighborhood haunt Thunderbird Lounge are up there. Patios make a difference.

Least favorite food?

I have become a much more adventurous eater in my older age. But it remains difficult for me to push down an olive. Any kind of olive.

Contact Email:  phaldiman@iniusa.org


Written by
at Feb 14, 2022

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