ILANA LOWERY: Keeping real journalism alive

A lot has changed in the newspaper business since Editor-in-Chief Ilana Lowery was first hired by the Phoenix Business Journal 22 years ago. What has not changed is her passion for journalism.

She explains what she enjoyed about journalism early on, “The whole idea of being able to tell stories through other people’s eyes and to explain to people how and why things happen and what we can do about it – just all of that.”

Her high school English teacher and newspaper advisor nurtured that love and she went on to major in journalism. She worked on the college newspaper, did internships, worked at an NBC-TV affiliate and then a small-town Chicago daily paper before deciding in 1989 to move out West. “My goal was to get to California. My mom had a friend in Arizona, so I got here and I never left,” she says. “I saw so much potential in the Valley. It was easy to get to know people; there were lots of opportunities and people were supportive.”

Shortly after she arrived, she was hired at Independent Newspapers, Inc., a community newspaper chain based in Scottsdale. “I was editor of three papers. I learned more in those seven years than I did during any of my education, at the TV station or anything, because you had to do everything. I had to do everything from reporting, to writing, to editing to taking my own photos all the way to paste up. It was a crazy amount of hours, but I really loved it.”

From there she was offered a position at the Business Journal, where she worked her way up the ranks to her current position. The Business Journal also has a strong relationship with Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications, where Ilana teaches as an adjunct professor. The Business Journal also picks at least one intern per semester from the Cronkite School.

“I think it is so important for students to understand the value of journalism and what real journalism is, and should be. The whole idea that journalism is more entertainment, really motivates me to want to make young journalists understand that it is so much more important to provide people with good, solid information,” explains Ilana. She also sees the importance of giving her interns valuable work experience. “We treat them as an employee, they are here to learn and to do work, and that is what we do.” She also adds, “It is an industry that, I think, provides a lot of opportunity for women.”

With her position at the Business Journal comes an active community involvement schedule that includes working with young people at organizations such as Jr. Achievement, Valley Leadership, Girl Scouts and New Pathways for Youth.

From a mentoring standpoint, “Working with the students at Cronkite, through teaching or the internships at Phoenix Business Journal, are the most important to me,” she says. “When we start really talking and working with young adults. I think what you tell them, or what you help them determine, is really going to help them shape their future.”

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'ILANA LOWERY: Keeping real journalism alive' has 1 comment

  1. November 26, 2016 @ 8:30 am Virginia Counts

    Great writing about an amazing woman. Thanks for encouraging others!!


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