Bloomberg Network’s Patrice Sikora got her start in radio during her senior year in college. “I got involved with my college radio station, and then I got the bug.” Sikora’s first job after college was as a copywriter at a radio station in Albany, NY. “I had no idea what a copywriter did, but I applied for the job,” she says. Now, Sikora’s reporting at Bloomberg focuses mainly on finance and business stories.
One of the things Sikora likes best about working on finance and business stories is having the ability to explain to listeners how it affects them. “People don’t understand how so close to home these stories are. We bring stories home to people in a way they might not know,” she says. “For example, a health care story is tied to business because it will affect how the markets work, and most people don’t completely understand how the markets work.”
Looking ahead, Sikora thinks it will be hard to say what will be the most important financial story of 2016, but thinks some of the key stories will focus around Europe’s migrant crisis and North Korea’s recent nuclear tests. Sikora thinks podcasts will be the new digital platform of radio in 2016. “There has been a lot of consolidation in the industry in the past few years, with bigger companies buying the smaller stations. Now though, we’ve started to see a lot more podcasts featuring local reporters,” she explains.
Even though it was not a story she directly reported on, one of Sikora’s most memorable experiences as a reporter was living through 9/11. “Our offices were on Wall Street, across from the Twin Towers. I watched the South Tower come down.”
In addition to being a reporter, Sikora is also the author of two fantasy novels. “I wrote the first book on the train because I had nothing to read, so I figured I’d write something.” As for her favorite books, Sikora recommends J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series, Lord Foul’s Bane and Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy. When she’s not working, Sikora enjoys spending time with her three sons and her new granddaughter.
Sikora would encourage young journalists to read and listen to everything they can. “Experience as much as you can. Go and visit stations.” She says, “Radio newsrooms are fun places to be, there is a lot of support, and when the news hits, everyone buckles down.”