Reporter Kendra Baker | SCSU JRN ’13

Kendra Baker, a reporter for Hearst Connecticut Media Group, graduated from Southern in 2013 with a B.A. in journalism. She covers Bethel, New Fairfield and Redding for the News-Times in Danbury, where here work has been awarded a 2022 Excellence in Journalism Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists. 

As a student, her internships and freelance experience helped prepare her for the industry. 

Interview by Jackson Volenec, SCSU JRN ‘24. Answers have been condensed and edited in 2023.

What made you want to get involved in journalism?

I was on my high school’s newspaper senior year. I was the club’s editor, so I have that experience. Before that, I had started my own newspaper when I was a kid, and I would sell it for a quarter to my neighbors. 

Thinking back to how I had done that, and also enjoyed working for my high school paper, I was like, ‘This is probably what I should do.’ I felt like it was my calling.  So I wanted to see if it was, and I liked it in college, so I made it my career. 

How did Southern prepare you for your job in the industry? 

I feel like if I hadn’t finished the program at Southern, I wouldn’t have been set up as well as I was. I feel like it definitely gave me what I needed. I interned for the New Haven Independent when I was still a student, for a few months before I graduated. I freelanced for a weekly newspaper. I covered town meetings. 

How did you transition from Southern to your job now? 

The month after I graduated, I started a job working for a weekly newspaper. I covered the town of Wilton, so it was a slower pace than what I do now. But I feel like it was a really good experience because it let me step into the whole journalism field and learn how things work in the professional setting. I did that for almost four years. I learned the importance of building relationships in the community, and looking for stories that were important to the people in the town. I really enjoyed that. I feel like it was a good first step. And then I went over to Hearst, where I’m working in the daily newspaper field. I cover primarily the towns of Bethel, New Fairfield, and occassionally the town of Redding. But then I’m also on breaking news, which is crime, courts and the more exciting stuff. 

What are you goals moving forward?

I’m happy where I am. People are always asking ‘Don’t you want to work for the New York Times?’ And I used to think I would. But I don’t now. 

I can’t really say why I feel that way, but I like covering the area that I cover, and I’m happy where I am.