The El Defensor Chieftain is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving Socorro County and surrounding areas through the highest professional business and journalistic standards. EDC is published weekly on Thursdays, including holidays – and online at dchieftain.com.
Our office hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. We are politically independent, and welcome community submissions from all points of view.
The El Defensor Chieftain, an award-winning newspaper, is a member of the Socorro Chamber of Commerce, the New Mexico Press Association, the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government and the National Newspaper Association.
Our dedicated professional staff pours an enormous amount of creativity, passion and hard work into the creation of your community newspaper. But ultimately it is our advertisers that make the Chieftain and dchieftain.com possible. So, please tell them you saw them in the EDC!
El Defensor Chieftain Editor
Cathy Cook began working at El Defensor Chieftain in 2021. She was born and raised in Las Cruces and graduated from the University of New Mexico in 2017. She previously worked as a staff writer at Picayune Item, a small town paper in Mississippi, and wrote for its affiliated publications, Picayune Living magazine and The Poplarville Democrat.
El Defensor Chieftain Assistant Editor
Russell was raised in northern New Mexico before his father rejoined the military, which allowed him to gain experience as a world traveler as an Army brat in Europe, where he caught the photography bug in Germany. As a photographer who fell into writing accidentally, he has won numerous journalism awards for both mediums. Russell’s work has appeared in Western Horseman, Dave Campbell’s Texas Football, Pro Rodeo News and more. Russell’s return to New Mexico follows an award-winning stint for sports coverage at the Hood County News in Granbury, Texas. His primary duties at the Chieftain include sports coverage, feature writing and photography.
El Defensor Chieftain Staff Writer
Twenty-one years ago John Larson moved from Nashville, Tennessee to New Mexico where he began his journalism career with the Mountain Mail newspaper in Socorro. After that paper ceased publication in 2013, he jumped at the chance to cover Socorro and Magdalena news for El Defensor Chieftain. Besides his weekly observations in his column Lovin’ Life, over the past eight years at the Chieftain, John has won numerous awards for his local business, education and agriculture articles from the New Mexico Press Association.
Advertising Director Number 9 Media
Bobbi Chandler, a native of Oklahoma, began working at the News-Bulletin in 2014. She can help you with your advertising needs in the VCNB and special sections.
El Defensor Chieftain Ad Consultant
Stephanie is a proud Warrior, raised in Socorro and graduated from SHS in 1987. She has lived and raised six children in Socorro, attended NM Tech, tried her hand at business ownership and in December 2019 started her career as Advertising Sales Representative at El Defensor Chieftain. Stephanie enjoys helping folks in the community to “get the word out” in print and digital advertising, boost sales, or send a special greeting to that special someone. You can call her with any advertising needs!
Customer Service Expert
Customer service representative Denise Ortega has been working with El Defensor Chieftain since November of 2018. Her duties also include helping you all with your classified and Legal needs.
APC Vice President of Advertising
Wanda Moeller, APC vice president for advertising, joined the company in March 2020 after nearly 40 years of experience in a wide range of roles in community journalism. Moeller is charged with creating, managing and executing short- and long-term advertising for the Journal and well as leading its Number 9 publications. An Iowa’s farmer’s daughter, Moeller fell in love with newspapers when she and her fourth-grade classmates toured her hometown’s daily paper. “It was so exciting to see the presses roll and the AP tickertape machine in the newsroom,” she said. “My parents said I could not stop talking about it for weeks.” She started college at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa, as an accounting major. “But after a year, I found it boring and switched my major to mass communications with a concentration in print journalism,” she said. She graduated in 1982 with a B.A. in mass communications and minors in business industrial publications and art.
Her first job was as news librarian and public records reporter at the newspaper she had toured when she was in fourth grade. In the years since, she has been a reporter, editor, graphic designer, advertising sales representative, general manager, publisher and print plant manager. “Many times throughout my four decades in the industry I’ve had dual roles in order to help the company save money during the lean times or down turns in the economy,” she said. “As a result, it helped me form a clearer picture of not only our readers’ needs but what advertisers need, too.” Moeller has also made it a point during her career to be active in civic organizations and community projects to help “solidify the newspaper’s role as a community leader.” She moved to New Mexico in 2018 and was the publisher and editor of El Defensor Chieftain in Socorro and vice president for sales and marketing for Number Nine Newspapers (El Defensor Chieftain and Valencia County News Bulletin) before starting with APC. She is bullish about the future of newspapers.
“The newspaper industry is not dead,” she said. “We are still the most viable and reliable source for news and information in our communities – whether a person reads our publication in print or online.”