New Jersey Media: #5Questions with Leah Scalzadonna of TAPinto Cranford
Each week, the Center for Cooperative Media introduces you to one of its partners in the New Jersey news ecosystem. The Center facilitates a network of local New Jersey media partners, called the NJ News Commons, who collaborate together on projects, share content and ideas, and support one another.
Tell us about yourself:
I took over as the new editor for TAPinto Cranford in September. Last year, I interned with TAPinto Westfield during my final semester at Seton Hall University, where I graduated summa cum laude with a degree in journalism. It’s funny to work this type of job in the town you grew up in. I end up at my old high school at least once a week and run into former teachers, classmates and their parents everywhere. I still feel like a shy, awkward kid sometimes, but it’s cool to see your hometown from a new perspective.
Tell us about your publication:
TAPinto Cranford is a hyperlocal news site that covers everything in town, from township committee meetings to high school sports to fires and car crashes. Right now, I’m really focused on providing a steady stream of high-quality, reliable content every day to build up our readership. So far, it’s working. We’ve seen a steady rise in readers each month and more and more people are reaching out to me with upcoming events, feedback, etc.
What makes you get up and go to work every day?
It’s nice to contribute to the community I grew up in. I get to know what people in town are interested in and tell their stories. It also keeps me extremely busy, which I like. I’m happy I get to experience every aspect of reporting at once. Every day, I’m doing at least one interview, a bit of background research, some writing and editing.
What are you most passionate about when it comes to journalism?
The truth. I pride myself on being objective in all situations, which can get hard when you live in the town you write for. I definitely have opinions on different projects and happenings in Cranford, but I’ll never tell them.
Why do you think business coverage is important for New Jersey residents, and what makes your approach unique or different?
Cranford is a busy town with a lot of heart behind it. I’ve lived here for most of my life, and I never knew how many events the township holds until it became my job to do so. The community is really involved in everything that goes on and it’s nice to see. Between all the restaurants, shops and events, it’s impossible to be hungry or bored here.
Click here to learn more about the NJ News Commons and how to become a member. If you know of a publication that you think we should profile, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 NJ News Commons