It’s always interesting to me to hear education journalists talk about how they came to the beat or how they feel about it. That’s why I’ve enjoyed interviewing so many reporters and editors this past year (with lots more to come).

For some insight into how the NYT’s education reporter Motoko Rich thinks about education, check out her official bio, which lists a long set of other beats she’s covered and tells us that Rich “believes all these beats are ultimately connected, and welcomes ideas, comments, referrals, anxieties and constructive criticism.”

The notion that other beats – book publishing, real estate — might be connected to education is an interesting one, and the line about how she welcomes “anxieties” as well as ideas and constructive criticism is explained a bit at the end of the latest EWA Radio interview, during which Rich tells interviewer Emily Richmond about how readers’ feelings about schools are intense and often anxiety-laden. 

Her answer in part: “This is a topic that touches most people where they live… I think that our work is enriched by knowing about peoples’ personal experiences… This is about peoples’ lives.”

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Alexander Russo

Alexander Russo is a freelance education writer who has created several long-running blogs such as the national news site This Week In Education, District 299 (about Chicago schools), and LA School Report. He can be reached on Twitter at @alexanderrusso, on Facebook, or directly at