#MediaMonday – Terrance Thornton
The Valley is nothing if not segmented — and then segmented within its segments.
Take Scottsdale, for example. There’s Old Town, Arcadia, North Scottsdale, etc.
Or what about the Southeast Valley? There’s Chandler, but also San Tan, Gilbert, Mesa, Tempe, and so on.
Don’t even get me started on the Phoenix/Ahwatukee/Central Corridor/Downtown/Desert Ridge/West Side segmentation.
And you know what – I LOVE IT!
One of this North Scottsdale-raised, now Desert Ridge-living PR gal’s favorite things is to target story pitches, ideas and even the most basic of news releases as specifically as possible. Heck, I even get all of my client’s home ZIP codes so I can clarify to reporters if a source lives in North Scottsdale or, more specifically, DC Ranch.
Fun fact – way back when I started in PR, I learned to do this from the folks at Arizona.Newszap.com.
Arizona.Newszap.com, which is operated by Independent Newsmedia Inc. USA, is a group of hyper-local weekly independent community newspapers as well as equally local web news sites throughout the Valley. If you are in communications, you probably know them as the North Scottsdale Independent, Town of Paradise Valley Independent, East Mesa Independent, Sun City Independent, Peoria Independent, etc.
This week, I am pleased to hyper-locally focus our #MediaMonday profile on Terrance Thornton, who handles all of the North Valley news for Independent Newsmedia. And, (teaser alert) he’s got some pretty big news to share toward the end of his profile.
So, Terrance, time to share!
What do you want to tell the blogosphere about yourself today?
I have been paid a wage to write words and take photographs for just over five years now.
In July 2007, I was hired as community news editor for the Apache Junction/Gold Canyon Independent, which was run, at the time, out of our East Valley office in Apache Junction just south of U.S. 60 on Ironwood Road.
At that office I was taught a trade: Community Journalism.
We at the Arizona Division of Independent Newsmedia Inc. USA — a collection of 10 hyper-local weeklies and two monthly products with a collective weekly circulation encompassing the majority of the Phoenix metropolitan area — operate each of our products as public trusts.
It is our privilege to serve the myriad communities we do through conscientious journalism focused on the local issues impacting residents directly.
When I started at Independent Newsmedia, formerly Independent Newspapers, I was writing for one paper. But by the time I left — about a year ago — I was coordinating front-page enterprise stories covering five different cities and two counties.
It was an extremely tall order every week, but through the guidance of the office’s Managing Editor Richard Dyer and News Services Editor Jill Adair I was taught how to meet deadline and was constantly challenged to do better.
Mrs. Adair is now an adjunct professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University.
In December 2012, I was asked by Bret McKeand, our North Valley publisher and director of Arizona operations, to take charge of our North Valley Office where I would be covering the Town of Paradise Valley and the City of Scottsdale. When Mr. McKeand offered me the gig, he told me, “You’re in charge. If things go well, you will reap the benefits, and if things don’t, you will as well.”
Things have gone well.
Today, I believe Independent Newsmedia is embarking on an exciting chapter of its history — the launch of a daily news website focused on bringing our organization’s sense of journalism and focus on community news to a wider audience.
I run the news feed for our North Valley homepage at Arizona.Newszap.com, which focuses on news of Paradise Valley, Scottsdale and what is locally referred to as the Biltmore area of Phoenix.
I also serve as editor for the Town of Paradise Valley Independent, Scottsdale Independent and Biltmore Independent. Over the past year, KPHO CBS 5 has reached out to our North Valley office a handful of times to follow up on a few stories we had done and to see if we would be willing to share our stories with their reporting staff. We obliged and CBS 5, under the guise of its News Director Michelle Donaldson, went out of its way each time to give us credit for our work.
Because of the professionalism and integrity we have experienced with working with CBS 5 we have agreed to become media partners offering a free flow of our original content both online and periodically on its various newscasts.
It’s an exciting time at Independent Newsmedia and we intend to continue to do the things we have done and continue to fight for the privilege to be trusted a news source for our readers in every community we operate.