People of Sacramento commenting on the news: Arielle Moyal

Arielle Moyal, player services and Kings Academy Coordinator for the Sacramento Kings
Arielle Moyal, player services and Kings Academy Coordinator for the Sacramento Kings. Photo: Kevin Fiscus.

(This is the 11th installment in a weekly series with people who don’t work in journalism commenting on the news. Photography by Kevin Fiscus. If you’d like to participate, message or tweet me.)

Meet Arielle Moyal.

She’s 28, a Los Angeles native, a UCLA and California State University, Long Beach, graduate, recently moved from Natomas to a neighborhood close to Sacramento State and coordinators player services and the Kings Academy for the Sacramento Kings.

Her job involves supporting players when they’re with the team and developing a program that, she says, provides a space “where they can learn skills outside of basketball.”

Needless to say, when a player or coach learns they’re coming to Sacramento, they’re given her number. She prepares families for relocation and helps make the players comfortable.

This is the time of year when her job can be especially busy, with pre-draft workouts, the NBA Draft, the Las Vegas Summer League, trades and the flurry of free agent signings brought in by general manager Vlade Divac.

 

We met in June at Magpie Cafe, before the Kings became one of the most-talked about teams of the summer, to discuss media consumption, the city of Sacramento and her thoughts on the news.

Since moving to the city about 10 months ago, she’s developed an appreciation for what makes Sacramento unique and for the opportunities that lay ahead.

She “noticed Sacramento was going to be a place people wanted to come” and anticipates the farm-to-fork movement, the Golden 1 Center and emerging technology will continue to attract people to the city.

“It’s our state capitol,” she says. “People should want to come here.”

She says Sacramento does a great job of getting everyone to interact and that there are many outlets for people to express themselves. For her, that includes being able to volunteer, to become civically engaged and to find solutions to our problems.

“I need places to show off those interests,” she says.

She channels that “geeky part of me” in a couple arenas outside of sports: as a member of Metro EDGE, working on a water sustainability project as a part of the Global Shapers and writing about cooking at “Things I Make In My Kitchen.”

Consider her perspective as an outsider. In Sacramento, she says, “there’s still a community and centralized places to go.” Contrast that with Los Angeles, which is spread out and comprised of pockets that confine people. Here, you can explore.

“It shouldn’t become another San Francisco,” she says. “It needs to become its own place.”

 

Arielle answered the following questions by email about how she gets the news. Text submitted May 22.

How do you get your news?
I’ve always been fond of reading the real deal. Nothing beats a paper book. But when it comes to the news, I haven’t picked up a hard publication in a number of years. News to me is instant. I need something fast and informative. Right now, the digital landscape is where I get most of my information, between Twitter, certain websites, and newsletters, like theSkimm. I am also a fan of podcasts and news radio.

What’s the first news event you remember?
The LA Riots. I was 5 at the time, but can distinctly remember the TV running in the living room with coverage of the events. My family lived not too far from where some of the looting and violence was taking place, so my parents had the television on at all times. It’s fascinating to think how much the media played a role during those events in my household. I can still remember images in detail that flashed on the TV screen.

What content do you pay for?
Very little. And if I do, the publications are mainly work related, like ESPN Insider. I do have a subscription to Bon Appetit. Food plays an vital role in my family, and the magazine does an excellent job of keeping me in touch and inspired. Plus the photos are beautiful.

What’s the last great thing you ate?
That’s a hard pick. I treasure food, and try to make sure every meal I have is a good one. But I have to say, had Gunther’s Ice Cream for the first time a few weeks ago and it was delicious. I couldn’t decide between Birthday Cake and Toasted Almond, so I got both!

Who’s doing it right in news?
NPR. But I am not talking about their regular radio programming (which is great). I want to give a nod to their podcasts (and spinoffs), which as of late, have created some of the nation’s favorite spoken stories. Like Serial, which took so many people by storm. But for me, there are others I find equally as good, if not better. Invisibilia. This American Life. Snap Judgement. The range of topics covered makes it impossible to be bored and uninformed.

The other publication doing it right? Grantland. I like to forget it is part of ESPN, and give much of the credit to Bill Simmons. For any sports and pop-culture lover, it’s top-notch for news. Everything is well written. Posts are not bogged down with irrelevant fluff. The pieces can really shine. However, it’ll be interesting to see what happens with the publication now that ESPN didn’t renew Simmons’ contract.

Name the three most important issues facing Sacramento.
(1) Dealing with growth — I love Sacramento’s distinctness, but with a budding city, there’s the chance people and places get lost. There needs to be a way Sacramento can hold onto its identity while becoming the global hot spot it wants to be.

(2) Getting people engaged — We live in the state’s capitol, and I know people who aren’t even registered to vote. Residents need to know where they can go to have conversation and get engaged in their community, businesses and California legislation. Sacramento wants to move forward; it also needs to foster forward thinking people.

(3) Recognizing the importance of water — I am not sure that people in the Delta, which is water rich, are aware of how great the water issue is right now. When I drive home to Los Angeles, and see how dry the space is in between the cities, it really hits me about how much of a better job Sacramento can do to get people to constructively talk about water.

What do you absolutely hate about the news?
Shaming. So much of “news” now is about how you can create buzz from ripping apart someone else. That kind of reporting doesn’t have to be here. If you are doing an expose on a corrupt company CEO, that has taken you months to research, and plenty of hours to put together, that is one thing. That is news. But going to Twitter and playing “what does this tweet really mean” demeans the information out there and our overall ability to trust media and broadcasting. Unfortunately, people are all too happy with the shock factor, so that real news stories often get lost. Reporters are part of this too; the buck for a quick controversy can be all too enticing. I believe there are better ways to go about news than shaming others.

What’s the most important issue to you that’s not being covered well enough?
The NCAA and its relationship with college athletes. Ed O’Bannon opened the doors to this discussion within the last couple of years. For those who don’t know, his lawsuit challenged the NCAA’s use of the images of its former student athletes for commercial purposes, arguing that upon graduation, a former student athlete should become entitled to financial compensation for the use of their likeness. I appreciate his valor in going after such a giant and getting people to finally talk about something no one has wanted to touch. But the discussion about what the NCAA does wrong should not end there. There are bylaws and other rules that could reasonably make someone question the NCAA’s motive. For example, I wrote my Graduate Capstone on the Exceptional Student Athlete Disability Insurance and how the system, the way it is currently designed, is greatly flawed, yet makes the organization a ton of money.

 

If you could be anywhere, an-hour-and-a-half drive away, where would you be?
Yosemite National Park. I drive fast!


Follow Arielle (@ajmoyal) on Twitter and connect with her on LinkedIn.

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