Online news pioneer. Curator. Learner. Snoop. Critic. Dreamer. Fixer. Know it all. Eavesdropper. Farmer’s daughter. Oldest child. Seeker of truth and justice. A bit of a maverick. Rhode Islander.
Put them together, and you have some of me — Andrea Panciera, a veteran multimedia journalist who has a passion for figuring out what’s going on and for sharing what she knows.
It might be who’s playing at Westerly’s Knickerbocker Cafe this weekend to the secret to stuffies or what makes R.I. politicians still think they can get away with cheap crimes? Hey, there’s a reason why the podcast Crimetown started in Providence.
I’ve been at this profession a long time, starting at my hometown newspaper, The Westerly Sun. I moved on to the big city of New York and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Worked in the NYC metro area for a few years, newspaper editing, teaching, freelancing and hanging out with smart, fun people.
Came back to Rhode Island in 1986 and stayed at The Providence Journal until June 2015. It’s been a great local news organization, trying its best to serve its community since 1829. And it’s given me the opportunity to do so, too, including being its first online editor and an early adopter of multimedia storytelling.
News in Rhode Island is the gift that keeps on giving. As the smallest state in the union, it’s a microcosm of some of the largest, most intriguing, whackiest stories you could find anywhere, from political corruption to natural and manmade disasters to a breeding ground for foodies, music lovers, sailors, reality TV stars and, did I mention, corrupt politicians.
We also discovered that you can pick just about any news story in the world, and there’s a Rhode Island connection. We have a special tradition of supplying contestants, and winners, to TV reality shows. Mind boggling.
Over the decades, it’s given me priceless opportunities to practice the craft of journalism, to figure out how to tell stories in ever-evolving ways, uphold values and ethics, and just stay alive amid the crunch of competition and changing habits of news and info consumption.
Within the past two years, I’ve gone back to my roots even more deeply, by helping out at our family beef farm in Hopkinton, RI. It’s a challenge updating traditional farming practices with the needs and wants of today’s consumer. Finding ways to promote our goods is just as crucial as raising our cows at Russet Valley Farm. and increasing relies on digital methods.
Much of this, I’m eager to share with the students of BU’s Comm College. I’m even more eager to learn from you. Let’s get started.