Stephanie Rivera is a journalist for the Long Beach Post who covers politics and immigration, among other issues for the north, west, and central parts of Long Beach.
What makes you happy and excited each day to wake up knowing you’re working at LB Post?
I’m happy I get to work for a company that understands the importance of quality journalism and invests in its employees. I’m excited to be surrounded by seasoned journalists who are experts in their craft and as a result help me become a better journalist.
What sort of impact do you think you’re personally making on Long Beach?
At the very least, I hope my stories help connect the community to each other and bring awareness to issues that need to be addressed in order for the city to thrive. When I cover elections, it’s always my goal to help constituents understand the issues and the people at hand in order for them to make the best decisions they can.
How did you get here? AKA, where did you grow up, what ended up landing you this job in Long Beach?
I was born in LA and moved to South Gate as a kid. I found journalism while attending Long Beach State and got my first taste of what a newsroom is like while working for the student newspaper, the Daily 49er. I was aware that certain voices and stories were not being told and that motivated me even more to continue down the path of journalism. I was a freelancer after college and worked as a calendar editor/secretary at a regional wire service that helped me onto my next journey at the Long Beach Post. I think my knowledge of the city and my understanding of news and willingness to learn helped me get the job.
What’s a favorite article(s) you’ve written in the last year?
Over the last year I’ve been able to follow the political rise of the city’s Cambodian community and that has been exciting to cover. I’ve also enjoyed contributing to multiple types of series the Post started last year, including safe streets and climate change.
What’s the driving force that makes you achieve and excel so much as a young person in your career?
I think for any job, you excel when you care. I believe that because I care about my community, I feel I am able to understand what stories matter and need to be told. Also, I understand that journalism needs to adapt to the future and I think understanding that helps me be a better storyteller.
How could Long Beach become even better in your own vision?
My parents taught me how to be an active member of the community through many ways like being a good neighbor, volunteering, or just voting. Long Beach can be better through people realizing their own potential and acting on that people power.
What’s something you’d like to achieve in the next 5 years personally?
Personally, I hope to go back to school and get a master’s degree. Although you don’t necessarily need one in this industry, it has been a personal goal since neither of my parents received a higher education.