Member Profile: Randi Belisomo
Randi Belisomo is a general assignment reporter at WGN-TV and a co-founder of Life Matters Media. She holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, but received her Phi Beta Kappa key from the University of Notre Dame.
How did you find out about our local association? When did you join?
Judi [Strauss-Lipkin, president of PBKACA] tracked me down, asked me to join her for coffee at the Peninsula Hotel, and it was due to her enthusiasm and invitation that I’ve been part of PBKACA since 2011.
What was your favorite program/activity you went to through the association and why?
I’ve had the honor of being able to interview some “greats” through the “Conversations With..” series, like Marv Levy and Dr. Dick Wilbur. However, one benefit of the Association is the regular bridge lessons that board member John Ashton offers. I went through the series, grew to love the game and continue to play today — though not as much as I like and not at a level that I can brag about!
Of all the stories you have reported on, what are you most proud of and why?
I was very fortunate to be able to travel to Haiti in the wake of the earthquake there, and WGN was very generous in allowing me to produce a feature about a water well we built in a village named Jerusalem, just outside of Port-au-Prince, in honor of my late husband. The people I met there were inspiring to me in their kindness, warmth and perseverance in the wake of tragedy. However, I meet so many of similar character covering daily tragedy in my own city. Anytime I can do justice to any person’s story with truth and compassion in a way that sparks empathy in viewers, that’s a story with which I’m satisfied. The best stories are ones in which the audience feels something; from my viewpoint, the best feeling I can evoke is that we’re more similar than different in the challenges we face. Being in local news, I would like viewers to come away from local journalism with the feeling that “we’re all in this together.”
Tell me something about yourself that most people would be surprised to know.
I love to read, but I don’t have time to spend with as many books as I would like. As a function of time and convenience, I’ve recently become a podcast junkie; I listen to them in the car, walking around, while exercising, or at my desk. My favorites? StartUp, Radiolab, Freakonomics, ReplyAll, Backstory and Science Friday.