#MediaMonday – Nicole Raz
One of the best parts of social media is the opportunity to “meet” people. As I scroll through Twitter every day, I’m paying particular attention to the journalists that are sharing information, especially those that are coming to work here in Arizona. And that’s how I met Nicole Raz, who had announced some #PersonalNews that she was relocating from Las Vegas to Arizona to work for the Jewish News. Since her arrival a few months back, we’ve had the opportunity to get to work together on a few stories. So now it is time to get to know her a little better.
So Nicole, or Nikki as you prefer to be called – tell us a bit more about yourself:
I love to learn and I love to laugh–almost as much as I love to eat. My earnestness is often mistaken for sarcasm. My husband likes to joke that I am a positive neurotic. I think he must be right, as I also identify as an upbeat cynic.
How did you get into the journalism profession?
My pursuit of journalism began when I was three years old, creating typewriters out of paper, and, later, interviewing my parents, and pretending to anchor newscasts. I knew I was passionate about learning and writing very early on, and I identified journalism as a likely profession for myself in middle school. I was raised in Albuquerque, N.M., but attended middle school in Shanghai, China (2002-2005). I was fascinated by the lack of a middle class and the elderly’s active role in Chinese society. I left Shanghai inspired to explore how economics, politics and culture interact with each other in different regions. I immediately sought out journalism opportunities when I returned to Albuquerque for high school. I covered my first event at 14-years-old for a local newspaper, The Link. I wrote for the University of New Mexico’s newspaper, the Daily Lobo, before I started attending classes. Once at UNM, I interned at a local business newspaper and shadowed a news producer at NPR’s affiliate station, KUNM. I transferred to American University in Washington, D.C., my junior year and was off to the races with more internships and getting as much experience as I could before entering the workforce.
How did you end up where you are now?
I started as a reporter for the Jewish News in January 2021. For the past five years I was at the Las Vegas Review-Journal, working as a business reporter and then business editor. I love business reporting and loved my job and team at the R-J. In fact, I loved it so much I barely had any time for myself or my family. I was looking for a less demanding job and saw an opening at the Jewish News in Phoenix, which seemed like a perfect fit. And it is! I am very happy to be taking a break from the breaking news and daily print worlds, especially after such a uniquely demanding year. I am now able to spend way more time being a mom, which is the best job of all.
What are some of your favorite stories to work on?
Tricky question – I love to work on all kinds of stories! My favorite stories that I’ve worked on so far at Jewish News are the ones that I felt could help people. For example, I recently covered a virtual summit on reducing stigma about infertility within the Jewish community. I felt like it contained really practical guidance about how to support people going through that kind of a challenge.
What are some of your favorite spots in Phoenix since you moved here?
So far I have just been enjoying many of the family-friendly things to do around town, and I *may* be enjoying the Children’s Museum of Phoenix even more than my toddler.
Should anybody have a story idea, or just want to say hi, reach out by email at email@example.com, or follow my currently lackluster Twitter account @Nicole0Raz. Revamping my Twitter account is on my to-do list, but no guarantees I’ll get to that in a timely manner.