Media Maven Monday: Sarah Paoli-Sanchez

Media Maven Monday: Sarah Paoli-Sanchez

In the media it is the bylined and on-air talent that the public gains exposure to, not aware of the background work performed to help produce or publish a news story. The world deserves to meet these unsung heroes of the media! Bi-monthly, Strongpoint Marketing will introduce a new media maven.

Meet this week’s Media Maven Monday, Sarah Paoli-Sanchez! Sarah works at KVOA as the Content Management Center Supervisor.

Sarah Paoli-Sanchez has worked at KVOA News 4 Tucson for six years. Prior to KVOA, the University of Arizona graduate spent six years working as an Assignment Editor at KOLD News 13.

This Tucson native grew up on the city’s east side and was Valedictorian of her high school, the Academy of Tucson.

Q&A with Sarah Sanchez

Who has most influenced your career and why?
There is not one specific person who has influenced my career. In fact, I believe that my career has evolved due to all of the professionals with whom I’ve had the opportunity to work. I’ve learned something from every single one of them, including those that I’ve met while working on stories.

What has your years of experience in news taught you?
My years of experience have taught me that anything can and will happen. Also, everyone has a story worth sharing… something can be learned from everyone. There is a great deal of bad happening in the world, but it is important to stop and find the good that is happening and to share those stories with the world. No matter how crazy people seem, there is generally something to be learned from them.

How do you explain your work to friends and relatives?
I have a lot of responsibilities and work in an extremely fast paced environment. I am a member of the newsroom management team, as I run the Assignment Desk, which is the nerve center of the newsroom. I am in charge of story development, breaking news, story assignments, writing for and overseeing KVOA.com and the station’s social media content. I am surrounded by police scanners; listening to all of the radio traffic of law enforcement and EMS services across Southern AZ. I approve and edit reporter stories and am a leader, mentor, and teacher.  I must make important decisions very quickly and be an expert about all of the history & happenings in our coverage area.  My work never stops, as my eyes and ears are always open and tuned in, always looking for story ideas, even when I’m off the clock.

What makes a story worthwhile to pursue?
There are many different factors including:

-The amount of people affected
-Awareness: Things the public should/need to know, but otherwise would not likely find out about
-Viewer/reader interest
-Stories that hold the government and/or organizations funded with taxpayer dollars accountable
-For television news, it is extremely important for a story to be visually compelling or it makes for boring television. There are times when there are good stories, but there aren’t any compelling visuals, so it may end up going online and not on television.
-It’s important to pursue “good,” heart warming stories because there is so much “bad” news being reported all of the time.
-Also, George Orwell said that, “Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: the rest is just public relations.” A good news story will probably make someone unhappy that it is being shared with the public.

Why did you want to go into news coverage?
I have always been curious in general. Growing up, if I didn’t know something or understand something, I always took it upon myself to get information about it. Since the advent of home internet access, I have spent much time self-educating and doing research for my own pleasure

I also think that the job of journalists, which is mainly to hold the government accountable and to educate the public about what the government is doing, is a staple of democracy. Average citizens simply do not have the time and do not necessarily have the means to keep up with all that the government is doing. A free country simply cannot exist if the people do not know what the government is doing, the laws that are being created, decisions that are being made, and the ways in which taxpayer dollars are being spent.

Learning about propaganda and people such as Noam Chomsky… and seeing movies such as “Wag the Dog,” in middle and high school really inspired me to go into the news business.

Freedom of the press has been a cause to which I have naturally been drawn.