The early-rising reporter on local journalism, the big stories capturing her attention, and her can’t miss list in Connecticut.
Reporter Lori Mack is up early. On Fridays, she’s up by 3:45 a.m. When you have a daughter in high school, a dog, and a job covering the top news in Connecticut, you get used to early, busy mornings. And it’s paid off: she recently received a National Headliner Award, one of the largest annual award contests in the country recognizing journalistic merit across the communications industry. Now if only she could finish one of the books she’s been reading.
What’s a typical day like for you?
Most work days are sprints, starting at around 5:30 a.m. when I’m checking news, emails and messages, and about 3:45 a.m. on Fridays when I’m hosting Morning Edition. I have a daughter in high school (she’s just about to graduate) and a dog.
Tell us a little about your background – where you grew up, went to school, etc.
I grew up around Langley in McLean, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C. I went to high school there, then NYU for college.
What do you love most about Connecticut?
My house looks out onto the marsh between Branford and East Haven, and the tracks from The Shore Line Trolley Museum. It’s a great view from sunrise to sunset. There’s also nothing like summer and fall in Connecticut. And some of the most wonderful people I’ve ever met are from here.
What made you want to become a journalist?
I love telling other people’s stories. And there’s something about radio in particular that has been a passion of mine ever since I can remember.
Sound can be very compelling and memorable when your mind creates the pictures. Voices also become more powerful when you can hear someone choking back tears or smiling.
When friends and family visit you, what is your “can’t miss” recommendation about Connecticut?
Mystic Seaport is definitely on my list of recommended places to visit in Connecticut. And dinner at Union League Cafe in New Haven would be a special treat.
What is a book or television show you’ve enjoyed lately?
I really enjoyed the Ricky Gervais Netflix series, After Life. It’s funny, sad, and beautiful. As for books, I’m in the middle of three – The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson, and Calypso by David Sedaris.
What news trends have your attention right now?
I’m covering criminal justice, and there are always new developments to watch for – changes to the state’s correctional facilities, reentry programs, and issues in law enforcement. Of course, I’m also watching what happens with marijuana legislation.
Why is local journalism so important right now?
I think local journalism helps people understand the communities they live in. It informs people about important issues and events that can have a meaningful, direct impact. Local journalism gives a voice to those who might not otherwise be heard, and it can also offer a unique perspective on national issues.
You can hear Lori host Morning Edition Fridays from 5 to 9 a.m. on Connecticut Public Radio. Catch her latest reports on-air and online at wnpr.org.