Sunday Spotlight: Our Editor-In-Chief

This is Sunday Spotlight, a column to better introduce our readers to the many people working hard at providing our community with many of our essential daily needs, as well as updates on those who have left, but still view themselves as a part of this community. We will spotlight everyone from local entrepreneurs, key influencers, and people who hail from these majestic foothills. For the first spotlight, the focus will be on the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Foothill Telegram, myself, Arshavir Steven Saryan.

I have called the Sunland-Tujunga, Shadow Hills, Lake View Terrace community home for 29 years. I attended Mountain View Elementary, Mount Gleason Middle, and Verdugo Hills High. I have almost 20 years of journalism experience, including writing for the Los Angeles Daily News and Glendale News Press, and working as an editor for the nationally circulated Yerevan Magazine. I also volunteered as an assistant advisor to the Journalism Department at Verdugo Hills High School for 6 years.

In the early 2000s the Los Angeles Times announced the Foothill Leader would no longer be covering our community, but would instead focus on La Canada-Flintridge. There was a palpable need within the community to fill the void, and I soon found myself working with the Foothill Sentinel, which stepped up to fill the vacancy in May 2002. Unfortunately, the Foothill Sentinel did not last very long, but I was not finished trying to bring back quality local news coverage. Soon, I was in the planning phase to create a new publication in partnership with a community business owner when The Foothills Paper debuted. I felt content that there was a new dedicated community news outlet, so I continued to write for the Daily News and Glendale News Press, not knowing if or when I would work with something more local again. 

In 2011, I was approached by the advisor of the Verdugo Hills Journalism Department at the time about working as a liaison to the department for the Chamber of Commerce and their newspaper Voice of the Village. It was similar to my role as an assistant advisor, but I would report to the Chamber and would guide and teach the students as they did the layout and design of the Voice of the Village. This agreement provided the journalism department at the high school with the funding they needed to continue to publish their student newspaper La Yuca. 

Fast-forward 9 years. I am a happily married father of two beautiful, crazy, wonderful toddlers. But something has been missing and I really didn’t know it until the pandemic. Like many, there was some real soul searching which led to real changes. I realized I was not working in a field I loved, a career that I woke up every day excited about and went to bed with plans on how to grow and be better within it. I began searching for ways to return to journalism and reporting the news. After weeks, I realized that I had not seen any of the local newspapers since the pandemic hit, and there is no sign that they will be returning.

Once again there is a void in our community. I want to share the stories of the amazing people who live, work, and go to school in this wonderful community. Because of this, I have launched the Foothill Telegram. In addition to providing a service to the community, I am also pledging a minimum of 10 percent of ALL revenue will be donated back to the community. I would love for you to join me on this adventure because as much as newspapers are a business, they are an adventure in storytelling

Do you know someone deserving of a SUNDAY SPOTLIGHT? Please email us at foothilltelegram@gmail.com  with a note as to why they would be a good candidate.

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