A native of Southern California, Ani Gasparyan is the latest addition to the editorial team at The Desert Sun in Palm Springs.
Gasparyan reports together with reporter Paul Albani-Burgio on the latest news in the Coachella Valley as well as the desert cities of Desert Hot Springs and Cathedral City. She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2019 with a major in Sociology and Gender Studies.
About six months after graduation, Gasparyan joined Beverly Hills Weekly as the sole reporter. The job became a valuable “crash course to becoming a professional journalist,” she said, with many different responsibilities to face.
“I learned everything I know about city reporting there. I also saw firsthand the importance of small community papers like the Weekly,” she said. “Beverly Hills is also a great and interesting community – I enjoyed getting to know them better.”
Still, the pandemic, which peaked about a month after Gasparyan started at the Weekly, brought its own challenges. The only way she could get there Community members and city officials knew over the phone, or by tracking meetings via conference call. That made reporting a lot more difficult, especially as a newbie, she said.
“It’s difficult to get in touch with people if they only know you by voice or if they keep delaying your Zoom call,” she said. “I got into the groove eventually, but I’m definitely excited to see face-to-face meetings slowly resuming as it becomes safer.”
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Prior to Beverly Hills Weekly, Gasparyan was a freelance reporter for Crescenta Valley Weekly in Los Angeles County, writing about the San Fernando Valley community, local politics, and state education. Throughout college, she served as a news reporter, opinion columnist, and assistant opinion editor for Daily Bruin, UCLA’s student newspaper.
Moving from working in Beverly Hills to living in Coachella Valley hasn’t been too difficult so far, Gasparyan added, especially because she visited Palm Springs a lot when she was younger. As a journalist and resident, she knows that she will understand the region more deeply.
“Every city has its own personality, so I’m excited to learn more about the Palm Springs area,” she said.
Gasparyan has worked to build trust in the new communities she is serving and to disseminate information to these residents in an accessible manner. She looks forward to writing profiles about interesting people and activities in Desert Hot Springs and Cathedral City.
“I’m also interested in reporting and learning more about development projects, the cannabis industry and upcoming community events in these cities,” she said. “I’m sure my list will get longer over time. Both cities are so interesting and have a lot to report.”
You can reach Ani on Twitter at @anivgasparyan and by email at [email protected].
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