Q&A with Paulina Likos, investing reporter at US News & World Report
As a Risk Manager at Fannie Mae, Paulina Likos became extensively familiar with the mortgage industry. This paved the way for her role as an Investing Reporter at US World & News Report, where increasing the financial literacy of her readers and guiding them towards decisions about their financial future is the most rewarding part of her work. “I got to where I am today by remaining curious, asking questions, and seeking guidance for self-improvement, which helped me understand where I want to take my professional pursuits,” said Likos.
Which aspects of your work do you find the most challenging?
PL: I find that as an investing reporter and consumer, I am inundated with data from surveys, statistics, and questionnaires – all of which can tell different stories. Choosing how to frame data can be a challenge.
Social media has upended the traditional media landscape. One of the great challenges it creates is authenticity and malevolent actors. How do think journalists and reporters should deal with the rising tide of misinformation?
PL: It can be difficult to sift through mountains of information to determine credibility. To preclude coming across unreliable information is to research data through credible institutions and compare that with insights from expert communities. This may not be ‘misinformation proof’ but it can reduce the probability of inaccuracies.
What do you see as some of journalism’s biggest potential pitfalls? And what gives you hope for the industry’s future?
PL: The internet has put a twist on traditional journalism. News has become free and easily accessible, which may present revenue challenges for news organizations, especially smaller ones. But given the evolving nature of the industry as it moves toward digitization and as more players emerge, I think these changes and competition will be for the better. I hope the industry benefits from a healthy balance of this competition along with collaboration, advancing the field and making it more powerful.
What learnings have made a tremendous difference in your career, and what advice would you share with aspiring reporters?
PL: Be eager to learn. I’m keen on writing about a topic I’m not familiar with. I think a novice perspective is helpful for others who are also learning new subject matter. Additionally, remember that the purpose of your writing/reporting is to improve the quality of life for your audience.