The Association of Alternative Newsweeklies has hired Jason Zaragoza to the newly created position of advertising and awards coordinator. His first day with AAN was Oct. 14.
Zaragoza takes over for Stephanie Roswell in handling the logisitics of the AAN CAN classified network, and for Heather Kuldell in coordinating the AltWeekly Awards. (Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism will continue to oversee the contest judging.) Roswell recently left AAN for another position, and Kuldell will be leaving the association at the end of the month.
Zaragoza comes to AAN from the insurance and financial services industry — he landed there “in order to pay for school” — but his interests are Latin American politics and journalism. He’s a 2006 graduate of California State University, Los Angeles, where he traveled to Cuba as part of a Treasury Department-approved research program and wrote op-eds for the school newspaper. He also served as a volunteer for the John Kerry campaign, and as a neighborhood council board member in Los Angeles.
He says his view of politics was shaped by reading L.A. Weekly while a college student. “I found that their coverage of politics was always more incisive than most of the major papers,” he says. “So I really came to appreciate the work that is found in alt-weeklies.”
“Jason is smart and organized, and he has an incredibly professional attitude for someone so young,” says AAN executive director Richard Karpel. “We’re counting on him to keep AAN CAN and the awards contest running smoothly.”