Thursday, May 26, 2022

Q&A with Natalie Jacobson



Natalie Jacobson is the author of the new memoir Every Life a Story: Natalie Jacobson Reporting. A longtime journalist and TV anchor in Boston, Jacobson lives in Massachusetts.


Q: Why did you decide to write this memoir, and how did you choose the book's title?


A: For years people asked me to write a book. I thought maybe “someday.”  When Covid quarantined us in March of 2020, “someday” arrived. The title reflects my belief that every person’s life is a story.


Q: After spending several decades in journalism, how would you compare the profession when you first started to how it was at the time of your retirement, especially for women?


A: When I began in the late ‘60s there were few women in broadcast TV. Today those barriers for woman are gone.


Cable, the internet, social media et al. did not exist. It was a pioneering time for local news. We asked ourselves what do the people need to know and how best to bring them that information. Today, with fewer dollars and fewer viewers, local news has a narrower scope.  


Nationally, information, honest and not, factual or false, is available 24/7 and the mission, if you will, of the fourth estate, especially on cable and the internet, too often has given way to opinion.  


Q: How do you think the city of Boston changed over the years you covered it?

A: Boston is still small enough to think of as a town, big enough to be a city, and important enough to be the hub of a six-state region.


The city today is a higher education and medical mecca drawing people from around the world. Chefs are rock stars and restaurants are many compared with earlier days. Sports still reigns. Aside from the success of the exam schools and charter schools, public education is a challenge.  


To me the sense of “community” is being rewritten as political shifts too often divide rather than unite.


Q: Of the various stories you covered over the years, do you have a couple of favorites?


A: My favorite stories are those showcasing successful people and endeavors that add to the richness of our country and neighborhoods. 


Q: What are you working on now?


A: I’m working on selling my book, which I see as a reflection of innovation and caring in a time when media was about you and for you.  


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: I love my country and believe in its founding principles. We are unique in the world as a country of immigrants. Our strength lies in our freedom, our liberty, and our diversity.  


For our democracy to endure, elections must be above reproach, leaders must put country first, above power and party, and the media must tell the truth—all of it. Give the people the facts and let them decide. Respect our differences as they are the strength of our United States in this grand land we call America. All voices have a right to be heard. Every Life is a Story.


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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