Tara Rosenblum (BA ’00) began her career in journalism as a young child in South Florida. “As a little girl, I ran around my neighborhood delivering a newsletter I wrote with crayons,” says Rosenblum. “For as long as I can remember, I wanted to pursue a career in journalism.” Since then, this SMPA alumna has been busy making a name for herself in broadcast news.
Rosenblum works as a reporter and anchor for News 12 Westchester and Hudson Valley Weekend Edition, both in New York. Since she arrived at News 12 in 2004, Rosenblum has earned more than 60 major industry awards, including 3 Emmy wins and another 17 Emmy nominations.
“My fiancé jokes that I am the Meryl Streep of local news Emmys because my number of wins and nominations is the same as her Academy Award wins and nominations,” laughs Rosenblum.
Her most recent Emmy win occurred at this year’s annual New York Emmy Awards ceremony, where she was named Best Writer for a news piece titled “When Cultures Clash.” The story was a culmination of a year and a half of investigative journalism into the conflict between New Square, New York, a community of devout Hasidic Jews, and its secular neighbors. Although Jewish herself, Rosenblum found it difficult to locate anyone in New Square willing to speak with her, either on or off camera. In fact, once she started asking the community questions about reports of zoning law violations, a man from the religious sect tried to run down Rosenblum and her camera crew with his car in an effort to deter further reporting. Nevertheless, Rosenblum persevered, pounding the pavement to cover on the story. The National Society of Professional Journalists, which just honored Rosenblum for her work on “When Cultures Clash” with an award at the National Press Club last week, praised it as “good old-fashioned shoe leather journalism.”
Rosenblum credits her time at the School of Media and Public Affairs for her solid journalistic foundation. Taking advantage of SMPA’s access to great internships in the city, Rosenblum interned at the White House, Capitol Hill, and CNN’s White House news unit while a student. She also formed close bonds with a number of her professors.
“The education I received at SMPA has been so relevant to my career,” says Rosenblum. “In Professor Steve Roberts’ class, for example, we were taught everything from in-depth questioning techniques to how to craft the perfect headline. I use these lessons every day as a reporter.”
She also credits Professor Roxanne Russell, who helped Rosenblum land her first job—covering the 2000 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles at CBS News—with launching her professional career. “I was so fortunate to have such great professors like Professor Russell who really believed in me,” says Rosenblum.
Since her time as a student, Rosenblum has embraced the visual power of the television medium, which she believes can illustrate a compelling story. Her philosophy? “If a picture is worth a thousand words,” explains Rosenblum, “then a video must be worth a million words!”
When asked what the most rewarding part of her job is, Rosenblum tells the story of Jason Price, a young resident in the Hudson Valley. According to Rosenblum, Price was diagnosed with a rare and deadly cancer, but his insurance company refused to pay for the experimental treatment that could save his life. After she reported on his plight, local residents joined together to raise the over $50,000 needed to cover his treatment.
"It's all about impacting people on a local level with our reporting,” says Rosenblum. “I don’t think there’s anything more powerful than that.”
Watch Tara Rosenblum's Emmy-winning story "When Cultures Clash" below: