Quiet Journalists, Shy Reporters and Their Role in a Free Press

A conversation with Rochester news professionals on what it takes to get out and get the story as an introverted person.

Panelists will share how they use their personality type to their professional advantage. And they’ll also address how they’ve overcome challenges as a shy, quiet person to be successful in a fast-paced, public-facing profession.

Thursday, Feb. 25, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. on Zoom
Advance registration is required.


Smriti Jacob portraitSmriti Jacob
Co-founder and managing editor, Rochester Beacon

Smriti Jacob is co-founder and managing editor of the Rochester Beacon, a digital nonprofit publication and community forum in Rochester. An award-winning reporter and editor, Smriti worked at the Rochester Business Journal for nearly 16 years. She owns Bold Letter Marketing, a content marketing business, working with national clients like Hewlett-Packard, Sitecore and Carestream Health, and is an adjunct professor in the English Department at St. John Fisher College.

Twitter: @rochesterbeacon
Facebook: Rochester Beacon
LinkedIn: Rochester Beacon


Abi ClarkAbi Clark portrait
Volunteer radio producer and reporter at WXIR FM

Abi Clark graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh with a Music BA and a minor in English and Radio. When she moved to Rochester, she became a member of 100.9 FM WXIR Extreme Independent Radio, and is a regular volunteer contributor for the community-powered news show Reclaiming the Narrative. Her responsibility includes producing an arts + culture segment called “Art Blooms,” where she interviews local artists and covers art events. She’s also produced local news stories as well as conduct interviews previewing local events beyond the art scene. Her favorite part of reporting is telling community stories.

Sound Cloud: Art Blooms

Noelle EvansNoelle Evans portrait
General assignment reporter/producer at WXXI; NPR freelancer

Noelle E. C. Evans is a reporter/producer for WXX News, and freelancer for NPR. She was also on NPR’s national news show Here & Now when Daniel Prude’s case unfolded in 2020. Evans received her international journalism M.A. (2017) at Cardiff University, UK, with a USA Excellence Scholarship and BBC Grace Wyndham Goldie grant. She worked as a production assistant at BBC Radio Wales, and shadowed at BBC World Service Headquarters in London. Her first newsroom job was for a Latin American bilingual media outlet in Quito, Ecuador (2018). She is a former WXXI News intern (2014). 

Twitter: @noellee_c_evans

Jonathan HunterJonathan Hunter portrait
Reporter, Spectrum News

Jonathan Hunter is a self-proclaimed shy journalist currently working as a TV reporter at Spectrum News in Rochester, NY. Despite being introverted, he became a broadcast journalist, working at two different TV stations over the last five years. He wants people to know that there are a lot of shy journalists; they just have to be comfortable being uncomfortable! He believes introverts naturally possess skills necessary to be a good reporter: since they're typically quiet, they know how to listen. 

Twitter: @hunter_jonathan 
Facebook: Reporter Jonathan Hunter

Michael KilianMichael Kilian portrait
Executive editor, Democrat and Chronicle, and New York state editor, Gannett

Michael Kilian has been a newspaper editor since 1990, working primarily with Gannett Co. Inc. in locations including Saratoga Springs, Utica and Rochester, New York; Burlington, Vermont; Salisbury, Maryland; and Cincinnati, Ohio. While news director at The Cincinnati Enquirer, the newspaper won the Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting in 2018 for coverage of the heroin epidemic. Kilian is a Fairport native and a graduate of Cornell University.

Twitter: @kilian_roc

Rebecca RaffertyRebecca Rafferty portrait
Life Editor, CITY Magazine

Rebecca Rafferty is the life editor for CITY Magazine, where she has been writing about the arts and culture for 13 years. She's also a new mom, and in her free time enjoys making things, reading, and walking around the city.

Twitter: @rsrafferty

Lauren Peace '17Lauren Peace Portrait
Public Health Reporter for Mountain State Spotlight

Lauren Peace is a Report For America Corps member and the public health reporter for Mountain State Spotlight. Lauren graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2017. After graduating, she joined the Democrat and Chronicle/USA Today Network, where she helped lead coverage of a sexual harassment case at the University of Rochester. In 2018, she received a Fulbright research grant and moved to Kosovo, where she produced an interactive documentary project highlighting the stories of women throughout the country. In addition to RIT, she is a graduate of Columbia University’s Stabile Investigative Journalism Program.

Twitter: @LaurenMPeace


The webinar is free and open to the public, though advance registration is required. For questions, please contact Dr. Hinda Mandell in the School of Communication.

Register here