Sierra Lopez, San Mateo News Reporter

The Real Thing!

Sierra Lopez, San Mateo News Reporter

Viana and Ayla

A news reporter came to share her experiences with the Gryphon Gazette staff on all day enrichment. Sierra Lopez, a San Mateo Daily Journal Reporter shared the ups and downs of her job. One of her beats is Redwood City, but she writes a variety of stories. You can read them by going to

She said the hardest part of her job is “getting people to talk to you. We’re not always covering good stuff, so people don’t really want to talk about it. You have to pull more information out of them, such as, when you ask how their day is going and they say, ‘good’ you have to ask them what was good about their day,” explained Ms. Lopez. 

Sierra Lopez grew up in the Central Valley and started reporting in high school. She used to enjoy covering opinion pieces, watching movies etc. “When I got to college I got to meet cool people and write stories.” She works at the San Mateo Daily Journal with two other reporters and her editor, John. 

“When you’re an editor,” she explained, “you do less writing and you provide assistance and keep an eye out for stories.” 

Ms. Lopez covers the whole county with only two other reporters, and she covers nine school districts all on her own. With all of this pressure, she usually writes 2-3 stories daily, and her record of stories in one day is four entire stories! You might imagine that  the stories would be short, but they are not! Her average is 550 words, and her record is 1500 words!

“There’s something really helpful about local news. It used to be really competitive, but it takes money and time (to run a newspaper). There’s not that many local publications, the Redwood City Post and the Palo Alto Daily Post,” Ms. Lopez mentioned, referring to the importance of nearby newspapers. 

One of the popular stories Ms. Lopez has written was a story about a local firefighter who felt he was being discriminated against. Another one of her favorite stories was one about an organization operating in a warehouse as a food bank, especially important as costs of many things are rising. Because her newspaper reported on the fact that the organization was going to lose its building, the landlord or the warehouse changed their mind. 

Ms. Lopez also makes photo galleries for the San Mateo Daily Journal, which can also be seen in her news site, such as “Meeting Customers Curbside,” with a slideshow of seven photos.

Ms. Lopez says, referring to herself, in five years, “I see myself still writing local news, hopefully, I can also aim for higher news pages, but local for now.”

She also has some advice for any future reporters. “Don’t give up. Stay curious, sometimes it can be hard, but you’ll get there!”

Thanks Mrs. Lopez for visiting the North Star community!