Creator of SacTown's Finest
Written By: Lalo Mata
Published: May 26, 2020
Creator of SacTown’s Finest
This week marks the third month of SacTown’s Finest media and I felt it was necessary to tell people a little bit more about myself, The purpose of SacTown’s Finest, and more answers to common questions that I’ve gotten over the course of this 3 month period.
To start things off I have a feeling that not many people know that I’m only 18 and just recently finished my first year at Sac City College. Over the course of my first year of college, I was able to maintain a 3.85 GPA and this fall I’m looking to apply to numerous schools in hopes of earning a degree in journalism in media studies.
Also, a big one is my name which isn’t actually Lalo. My real first name is Hilario and yes I have heard the Hilario-us joke plenty of times. I am also named after my father and he was given the nickname “Lalo” which was obviously given to me as well. I am known to most people by Lalo, but either one is fine whenever I talk to someone.
As a way to get my career started before it even began was to create this specific platform where kids from the age of high school all the way to adults around 30 years old are able to promote or be highlighted for the significant things they’ve done over the course of their careers.
I have tried to keep the content as diverse as possible from sports to music, bloggers, social media influencers, and more. I believe it is very uncommon in today’s local news to find articles of the people I write articles about which is why I do it. People who represent our city is something that I hold a lot of value to and don’t want them to go unrecognized for their success and impact on our community.
To start from the very beginning of this process I would talk to my friend Jayson a bunch about starting a media platform. It was just words with no meaning at that point and only a conversation we would have every once in a while, but then it became a constant thought every time we would hang out. I quickly realized that if I don’t act on it, then it’ll never happen. I was a bit nervous for the start of it because of how out of the box it was for me, but I got the ball rolling very quickly with the people I was able to interview which brings me to my first response and most commonly asked question.
How do you find people to interview?
This has become an insanely common question that I receive almost daily from friends, followers, and the people I work with. To sum it up I’d say I personally know about half of the people I have interviewed. From YouTubers like Laura Grace to athletes like Chase Davis, Dylan Carlson, Anthony Susac, and many more. Growing up as a baseball player and playing at Elk Grove High led me to create many relationships with a bunch of people. The other half of people I have interviewed have been either people that contact me usually through Instagram or the other way I come in contact with people is when I simply just plan a topic for a certain week and find people from Sacramento that meet that criteria.
How do the articles work?
To begin the process of writing an article I tend to do research on the person before I come up with questions for them. I’ll look at their stats, listen to their music, watch their content, and just overall find a feel for their purpose of influencing. I ask 5-6 questions of what I think is most helpful for readers to get a grasp of who they are while also learning lessons and understanding what they do. I want to have younger people read these articles to see the path that people like them have walked and are in the positions they want to be in the future. The next part of the articles is just getting 3-4 pictures by asking them personally because it makes articles flow smoother and just gives it a more inviting feel to it. The last part of the articles is the introduction and background info that I write for every article in the beginning to give readers a sense of who and what they’re going to be reading about. This part is the most fun for me because I get to shed light on accomplishments, future plans, or talk about who they are as a person. During this last part of the process, I tend to do the same research I did in the beginning just to stay true to the person I am writing about.
Is it only for people from/living in Sacramento?
I started out with the vision of it only being within the regions of Sacramento County but have found lots of interest in expanding this media platform to other cities as well as area codes. As we get more into the summer I want to make it a goal for SacTown’s Finest Media to reach area codes such as the 530, 510, and 415 by the fall. Sacramento is a big enough city to highlight many people but I have realized that this platform could become something much bigger than it is right now. A common thought I would have at the beginning of the expanding process was bringing on new writers. They could be writers from here in Sacramento or even parts of Chico, San Francisco, or Berkeley. It would give people a chance to get their work out there while building up a stronger reputation for young influencers.
What future plans do you have for SacTown's Finest Media?
I have given this SOOOO MUCH THOUGHT over the last month or so. To completely be honest with everyone I want to be very different from newspapers and other websites. One small thing I have given a lot of thought is doing magazines. Yes, magazines. Not a newspaper you find on the street, but a slick-finished, very well put together magazine that blows people away. It would be a way for people to hold onto their article forever as well as family, friends, and readers to admire.
I also have find myself messing around a lot in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. I spend many hours of my nights studying companies, watching videos, and writing the pros and cons of clothing lines I like. This will turn into a clothing brand one day. Not a start-up with no effort, but a brand with many hours of work and thought put into it to embrace what Sacramento is all about. This will all be in the future, but I want it to be known.
Another big idea would be hosting events. Maybe next summer, but an event to listen to the musicians I interview play music, have the creators and bloggers give speeches about positivity, recognize athletes, as well as a place to promote local businesses with giveaways and auctions. We would give out awards for best artist or best athlete and things like that as well. A fun experience for everyone involved and definitely something I look forward to planning when the time comes.
Lastly, I want to host a podcast of some sort. This would be last on my agenda though considering the conditions going on right now and just the fact that I wouldn’t have a concrete location to have them. Imagine SacTown’s Finest with a podcast, magazines, articles, giveaways, a clothing line, and then to top it all off, it’ll be in other cities.
Overall, I have very big plans for what I have created and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. I want this to be a household name in Sacramento and beyond its city limits to be known as one of the best places for young people who influence others. The magazine would also be a way to feature the clothing line, promote people without having them interviewed, and read specific editions of topics like an only sports edition magazine or social media and others. It’ll be a fun process and I hope everyone is as excited as I am.
Who are your favorite people you have interviewed?
I genuinely enjoy all the articles I have written and love the relationships I have created with those people. I love having music week because it gives me a chance to listen to new artists and I honestly have a favorite song from every person I have interviewed that has ended up on a playlist of mine. Social media/Creators week is an excuse to watch youtube from Laura, tik tok from Alex and Kellan, or read blogs from Kimberly and Sasha. It’s so amazing seeing what people have created and the platforms they have to impact people’s lives. Sports and Fitness weeks are really fun because I come in contact with a lot of pro and college athletes that I personally know so it gives me a chance to catch up with them as well as write about them.
To the people that have supported this website I want to send a thousand thank yous. It was a big leap to get this running, but this will go the distance and I don’t plan on stopping. There’s so much more I could talk about but I wanted to respond to everyone’s most asked questions.
To go off-topic I want to invite anyone who enjoys writing or people hoping to become journalists to reach out to me about writing for SacTown’s Finest Media and ESPECIALLY if you are from another city or area code, please contact me. I’d love to come in contact with you all and help you guys get your name and material out there. I’d also like to invite graphic designers to reach out to me as well in hopes of working together for future clothing line designs and more!
Thank you for everyone who has been here since the beginning and thank you to the people who have joined along the way! I hope you guys enjoyed learning about me and why I do what I do because it is very important to me. I love the city I’ve grown up in and the strong community we have built.
All the best,