New Chieftain reporter has high aspirations

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Start spreadin’ the news.

Lindsey Padilla has joined the editorial staff of El Defensor Chieftain as a general assignment reporter.

Her beat will become more defined in the weeks and months to come, but, in the meantime, she’ll be covering government meetings, crime, courts, arts and feature stories.

“I’m open to covering any type of story,” says Padilla, who graduated from the University of New Mexico earlier this month with a degree in multimedia journalism.

Padilla said she’s always been interested in pursuing journalism as a career.

“I love to write,” she says. “My goal is to work at the New York Times someday.”

Padilla says she reads the Times online every day. Reading the Albuquerque Journal is also part of her daily routine.

Padilla doesn’t just read newspapers. She says she enjoys reading books as well.

“I like fiction, novels,” she says. “Funny, serious — anything, as long as it’s good.”

Aside from reading, Padilla also enjoys running, playing basketball, going to the movies and hanging out with her family in her spare time.

Having majored in multimedia journalism, Padilla’s learned how the newspaper business is changing.

“The way it’s evolving, now you can get news anywhere — online or on websites,” she says.

But you can’t believe everything you read online. That’s why she wanted to get into journalism. She says her philosophy on new age media is that news needs to be credible, accurate and include only the facts.

At 24, Padilla’s a part of the younger generation of journalists. But she’s still a little bit old school.

“Younger kids think online is cooler,” she says. “But I like (physically) reading the newspaper.”

That’s not to say she’s not up on the latest trends. Her schooling has given her training in website management, and she also likes what multimedia has to offer, including posting multiple images and slide shows.

A 2006 graduate of Menaul High School in Albuquerque, Padilla first started her secondary schooling at Central New Mexico Community College where she earned an associate’s degree in liberal arts. She then transferred credits to UNM, where she earned a bachelor’s degree.

Padilla says she’s lived her whole life in Albuquerque’s South Valley. But her vagabond shoes were longing to stray, so she decided to apply for the job opening as a reporter at El Defensor Chieftain.

“Working at El Defensor Chieftain will be a great learning experience for me. It’ll give me a new perspective on working for newspapers,” says Padilla, whose previous experience with Socorro County is limited to trips to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. “Socorro will show me a different point of view. It’s a great place to start.”

Making a brand new start of it in Socorro, Lindsey hopes to hone her reporting skills and move on to a bigger newspaper.

And if she can make it here, she might just make it with the New York Times.