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Karen Weintraub (MA)


Position: Journalist

Employer: Self Employed

Current City: Boston, MA

Please tell us about your career

I am a career print journalist, now focused on health and science coverage. I completed my degree while working for The Houston Post, which unfortunately, folded shortly after I left. Today, I report and write stories for local and national publications, including The New York Times, Scientific American and The Boston Globe. I also teach journalism as an adjunct professor at Boston University and the Harvard Extension School.

What are the links between your political science studies and your career?

My coursework was more directly relevant earlier in my career when I covered local and state governments. Public Budgeting helped me approach budgets with confidence. Even if I couldn't immediately spot "where the bodies were buried," I knew the questions to ask to find important information, and I wasn't put off - as most journalists are - by hundreds of pages of numbers. I remember working on an investigative piece, trying to understand the roots of a school system deficit, and quietly thanking my Public Budgeting professor for giving me the tools to write it. Statistics and the research I did with polling data were equally important to me professionally - though because it has stuck with me, I'm often annoyed at how badly most journalists cover polls. My degree also enabled me to step into teaching, which has brought me a lot of satisfaction over the last six years. (Most journalism schools require teachers to have at least a Master's.) Overall, my degree has given me confidence, tools and an important credential, even though I am not working in the field of political science.