This week’s Media Monday comes to us from Teri Carnicelli, editor of the North Central News. The North Central News is a monthly publication covering the central core of Phoenix, from 19th Avenue to 44th Street, and Indian School to Thunderbird roads. The paper has a total circulation of 26,000. Teri has been with the publication for 10 years. She is past president of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Valley of the Sun Chapter and served as director for SPJ's Region 11 for two years.
Teri enjoys covering community news because of its focus on telling the "good news" neighborhood stories that often get overlooked by major media. "When I was in college working for the student newspaper, many of my fellow J students wanted to go off and work for The New York Times, or the Chicago Tribune, or CNN," she recalls. "I knew from the start I wanted to work for a 'hometown' newspaper, so I could see the results of my work, and affect change for the better. These days, people know my name and feel comfortable coming up to me in the store and chatting about what is going on in the community – and I'm totally OK with that! I want them to know who I am and that I am passionate about this community."
In fact, Teri herself is a resident of North Central Phoenix. She's owned her home in Sunnyslope since 2003 and shares it with a dog and two cats.
Teri graduated from Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calif. in December 1993 and was living in Arrowhead Ranch in north Glendale by January 2014. She's been in Arizona ever since, despite the fact her parents, brother, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. are all still back in the Golden State. Over the years she's worked for Independent Newsmedia, Virgo Publishing, The Daily News-Sun, and even did a short stint with the ASU Alumni Magazine. But her passion for local news has kept her at her North Central desk for a decade, and she hopes to keep working in the community for several more years to come.
When she's not hard at working writing stories, snapping photos or editing press releases, Teri enjoys cooking and riding her mountain bike along the Arizona Canal. A past foster parent, Teri will be renewing her foster care license in the spring. Writing an article in the November issue of the paper about the desperate need for foster and adoptive homes in Arizona rekindled her commitment to helping Valley children who need a safe and loving home.
"There are nearly 15,000 children in the state who have been removed from their homes because of abuse, neglect, parental drug issues or more," she points out. "Many of them wind up in large shelters or group homes. I can make room in my house and my life to help a child in need, so why not do it?"
She also is a regular volunteer with Valley nonprofit organizations South Phoenix Healthy Start, Esperança and Duet. Giving back is just in her nature, Teri says, but she prefers to do that through volunteer work rather than writing a check. "You get the satisfaction of seeing, in person, how you are helping someone else's life be a little bit better, versus just signing a piece of paper and mailing it off and hoping they do something good with it."
In fact, if there was one piece of advice Teri would offer – whether asked or not – it would be to get involved in your neighborhood through volunteering. At a school, a community center, a senior center, a food bank, a soup kitchen, a nonprofit thrift store. It will make you feel more connected not only with where you live, but with PEOPLE in general. No cell phone app can really do that, no matter what they try to tell you. Unplug from your devices a couple of hours a month and get plugged into your community, she advises.