Anna Medina Discusses Productivity and Silicon Valley Journalism

Meet Anna Medina, the Palo Alto Weekly’s Editorial Assistant and Internship Coordinator.

What’s your top (or favorite) story right now?
I will defer to the tabs open on my computer at this very moment. As an introvert in a world of constant stimulation, I found this piece in the Washington Post on how technology is impairing our ability to be alone to be really relevant, validating and interesting.

This piece about a study that found that working from home dramatically increased productivity, at least in one – rather large – case, is also interesting, especially as someone who used to work from home and now works in an office full-time.

 Tell us about your dream assignment.
Oh, that’s a hard one, especially because I’m curious about and interested in so many different things, which is probably why I enjoy journalism. My dream assignment experience would involve a timely, important, thought-provoking topic that could be looked at through multiple angles and perspectives. In this dreamworld, obtaining sources would be a breeze, and everyone would be excited to talk to me, go on the record and be photographed. It would also be simple to hear from a diversity of voices (ages, ethnicities, genders and backgrounds) and I’d be able to turn the story around with ample time for a few rounds of editing. Now that would be amazing!

Describe the wackiest story you’ve written.
I’m not sure if this qualifies as wacky, but it’s the first thing that popped into my mind. As an intern, I was asked to write a story for the H&RE section about wallpaper, which sounds incredibly dull and rather random, but it turned out to be a fascinating topic and experience. The more I write features, the more I discover how there are whole “worlds” unto themselves. Take the world of wallpaper for example. I thought I kind of knew what there was to know about wallpaper. I was wrong. There’s a whole niche industry of artists cropping up that are going back to the “printing roots” and designing and silk screening wallpaper by hand. And then there’s wallpaper with texture and wallpaper that’s being used in different ways, like as “statement walls” in rooms or on the ceilings. Some wallpaper is made of mixed media or different kinds of fabric…and so on and so forth. It’s like that with most any topic: seed saving, writing and directing a play, visiting Antarctica, writing a bestselling young adult fiction book, making ice cream…all topics I’ve explored through different assignments.

 What is your PR pet peeve?
I’d say prompt communication (or lack thereof) is one pet peeve of mine, especially if I’m coordinating an interview with someone and I must go through the designated PR person. It often takes longer to coordinate, and in the meantime, I’m trying to also juggle other assignments and deadlines, so it can be frustrating if I can’t nail down the interview quickly.

Top trend in the industry you’re currently covering or are interested in.
I’ve noticed that think-pieces on Silicon Valley are very trendy right now. It’s interesting to read about how Silicon Valley is conceptualized, understood and criticized by media outside of the Valley and how people/media within Silicon Valley think of themselves and their experience here. I think sometimes there’s a dissonance there, which is interesting to me. I’ll be writing a couple of features about authors who have written books that are Silicon Valley-related, which is probably why this topic is top of mind for me right now.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in and grew up in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area of Texas before moving to the Deep(er) South — Alabama, to be specific — at the age of 11. I went through middle and high school in public schools in Southern Alabama where, as a Mexican American, the cultural climate was a bit stifling, to put it mildly. Needless to say, I was very motivated to spread my wings and fly North, East or West for college. Stanford was my ticket out of Alabama. I double-majored in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing and Iberian and Latin American Cultures, graduating in 2012. I then pursued a Master’s in Education and graduated from Stanford’s Teacher Education Program in 2014, with the earnest plan to be a high school English teacher. But, alas, “the best-laid schemes of mice and men often go awry,” and a series of events and experiences led me to reconsider a life-long career of teaching in the classroom. I returned to writing and had been freelance writing for some time before interning with the Weekly and gaining more experience in journalism. After the internship, a job opened up, I applied and here I am today!

How is Silicon Valley and technology thought of where you live? Leave a comment below or tweet Anna @annarosesbushes.

7 thoughts on “Anna Medina Discusses Productivity and Silicon Valley Journalism

  1. Thanks so much for the personal and insightful blog, Anna. It seems you had a fascinating journey and glad that you’re now doing the work you love.
    BTW, who ever thought wallpaper would be in style again? I see it everywhere!

  2. Anna, thanks for you post. It does seem that Silicon Valley / the Bay Area is all about innovation – how to do things differently / better. It’s very stimulating to be in an environment that is filled with innovation. Also, a little exhausting at times! Sean

  3. Hi from another fellow Texan and thanks for your submission to our blog!

    I can relate to what you’re saying about the way in which people perceive Silicon Valley. When I was working for a few days from New York recently, I was asked a few questions about the “Google buses” that traipse through the City every day. While their existence here at home is viewed as a common, everyday occurrence, some of those who don’t live here (and thus don’t see them on a daily basis), are a bit intrigued by them.

    Regards,
    David

  4. Anna, thanks for the insightful blog. And I guarantee if and when you work with our agency, we’ll always make sure to expedite your interview requests! Cheers, David

  5. As great as tech has made our lives, it’s so refreshing to completely unplug sometimes and not be staring at a screen! Thanks for the great blog, Anna.

  6. Anna – Thanks for contributing to our blog. It sounds like you have a very curious mind, which I imagine is an important characteristic for any journalist. Looking forward to reading more of your work and seeing what exciting new worlds you take on. ~Ashley

  7. Thanks for contributing to our blog, Anna! I know a lot of people can relate to your story of planning out one career path but then switching to another.

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