#MediaMonday – Steve Chernek

Photo by David Martinez

Today’s #Media Monday takes us behind the camera, and behind the scenes of the Sun City Daily News Sun, as well as a couple other Northwest Valley Newspapers.  We also get introduced to the Swamp Coolers (as seen here on FOX 10) and a guitarist known as Cherndog.
Steve Chernek has had a camera draped around his neck since his Washington High School days working for the Ram Page, Glendale Community College taking pictures for the College Voice, at Northern Arizona University working for the Lumberjack – and since 1985 as a photojournalist for the Daily News Sun.
The Daily News Sun was a just a single paper back then.  Now there are four publications, the most recently-launched is Surprise Today Extra, published monthly.  
So Steve, time to share!
What do you want to tell the blogosphere about yourself today?
I put off writing this as long as I could because it’s not easy writing about myself when I document other people’s lives.
I guess I’m a chameleon, but it’s not a bad thing. I wanted to be a disc jockey on the radio, starting at a small station while still in high school. That continued through college, but I also wanted to work in newspapers. Eventually I had to make a choice, and so my first love, photography, won out.
As a photojournalist I try to blend into the background to capture people and events without affecting the outcome. About five years ago, after more than 25 years as a photographer in college and at various newspapers, including the Daily News-Sun and others at the  Northwest Valley Newspapers, it was time for another change. I put  the camera down, for the most part, and took a desk job in the newsroom as a graphic artist, to expand my skills and see what else I could do. We were always busy and it was fun and challenging learning new software and operating systems. Macs, my favorite and the industry standard, were out, PCs were in. Then we started to see changes in the newspaper business that caught a lot of us by surprise. We know what happened, so I won’t dwell on it.
It’s 2011 and the Daily News-Sun (and sister papers the East Valley Tribune and the Ahwatukee Foothills News) has had new owners for a year now, bringing stability to the rocky ride we had experienced.
So I’m adapting again. I still do graphics and take photos (I snag all the zoo assignments if I can) but with a new commitment to the Web and videos, I now call myself a multimedia producer. I don’t know what newspapers will look like or what my job title will be in 10 years, but I’m up for the challenge, because I think it’s the best job in the world. I’ll just change again.
To paraphrase one of my professors, if you don’t like what you are and want to be something else, just be.
Lest anyone think it’s too late to start a new hobby, I picked up the guitar about 10 years ago and the band I’m in, the Swamp Coolers, has had some success with iTunes downloads and other things. 
To keep his edge, Cherndog watches old videotapes of the Wallace and Ladmo Show.  That rocks!

Written by
at Jun 13, 2011

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