Talon News - Good Local News

By J.R. Sykes



January 12, 2018

It seems like yesterday that my family arrived in Aztec and I picked up my first copy of TALON. That would be about 13 years ago now. Then, TALON was operated and curated by founder Candy Frizzell with the help of Debbie Israel and several volunteers. TALON was made of community news written by volunteers in a casual, conversational style of writing. When space was available, all sorts of attitudes and beliefs were published and neighbors engaged in verbal sparring without hard feelings. Advertisers placed ads beside this and supported the social bargain that newspapers grew the community, which in turn would grow their business.

Over the years, TALON has varied from 8 pages to 36 pages, shifted from black and white to spot color, then full color, and has issued monthly, then twice per month, and today weekly.

TALON operated like a bulletin board for most of its history. No reporters, no office, just a few people writing, shooting photos, with Candy and others editing, selling ads, assembling it and getting it out.

On issue #1, then called “The Aztec Local News,” from October, 1993, the masthead features “A Community Input Newspaper” as the goal. It has an evocative drawing of our blue ribbon cottonwood, which I love. Featured on page one are an election, vandalism threats, Tiger game dates, and Bobby Rivas’ racing cycle in glorious black and white. It sports eleven more pages of opinions, candidates for city commission, meetings, seniors items, clinics, letters, birthdays, poems and more. I bet there was a lot of news that just didn’t fit. Much like then, most of the news we get simply won’t fit.

Today, The Aztec Local News runs under the shortened TALON masthead, and aside from the addition of a few reporters, Internet and social outlets, it operates as it always has. Community news, watching city hall, and telling the first draft of Aztec’s history as best we can is the mission.

I am honored to spend my days supporting the The Aztec Local News tradition, working with dedicated, passionate citizen-volunteers doing work that grows the community, and focuses the attention on important common topics. This work is not always 100% popular, but the job has always been to stir the community up about what’s important.

Thank you to the community of writers, drivers, editors, volunteers, pressmen, and advertisers who support TALON. Here’s to the next quarter century reading with you, our neighbors.


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