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Rebecca BakerToday’s #MediaMonday comes to us from the Empire State, where Rebecca Baker, national president for the Society of Professional Journalists, has recently been named managing editor at Bloomberg BNA. She oversees coverage of intellectual property law and issues, using the expertise she gained from her previous job as a top editor of the New York Law Journal, the largest-circulation legal daily newspaper in the country.

Rebecca, time to share:

I've always been in love with words. I've been a voracious reader since childhood, and I knew early on that I wanted to make a living with words. My parents, who live in western Pennsylvania, always had a newspaper in the house, and I thought journalism was an exciting field. I got a full scholarship to Carlow University (then called Carlow College) in Pittsburgh, where I graduated summa cum laude in communication. A few years of working as a beat reporter, I secured a fellowship to Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, where I graduated magna cum laude in journalism.

My first reporting job was for the Tribune-Chronicle in Warren, Ohio. It was a small daily paper and I had a chance to cover everything. From there I went to the New Haven Register in Connecticut, The Journal News in Westchester County, New York — where I covered courts and created a law blog called “Completely Legal" — and then to The (Bergen) Record in New Jersey.

Over the years, the top three stories I’ve covered have been:

  • The trial of Carlos-Perez-Olivo, a neighbor of Bill and Hilary Clinton in Westchester County, who was convicted of fatally shooting his wife, was the most high-profile case I've covered.
  • I also broke the news about the behind-the-scenes efforts to get LG Electronics to lower the height of a planned office tower along the scenic Palisades cliffs in New Jersey. Everyone from the Rockefeller family to four former governors got involved, and it created a PR war between LG and environmentalists.
  • One of my first stories was a profile of a summer camp for severely abused and neglected children. A photographer and I got unprecedented access, and the story won a first-place award for coverage of children's issues from the Associated Press.

These are tough times for our industry. The financial pressures newspapers are under are leading to more layoffs and shuttered newsrooms. Journalists are under attack by politicians and others who dismiss stories they don't like by calling them "fake news." And public support for journalism wavers based on political persuasion. Despite all of that, journalists continue to uncover corruption, hold government officials accountable for their actions, put a spotlight on injustices, and share the stories of the human condition in all of its glories and flaws.

When I’m not working I like to spend time with friends and family, of course. I like to go snowshoeing in the winter, hiking in the spring and fall, and hit the beach in the summer. I also love traveling and try to make one international trip each year. And of course, I try to read as many books as possible.

You can follow me on Twitter at @RBakerNY and on Facebook at facebook.com/rbakerny.

Scott Hanson
Scott Hanson
President Scott is president of HMA Public Relations and a founding member of the Public Relations Global Network. He’s a Phoenix native, husband, father of two and a fan of all sports and a participant in some. Check out Scott's full bio

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