Practical Pointers Blog
March 18, 2021
Over the course of the last several months, the Impact team has had the pleasure of working with one of Hudson Valley Magazine’s newest reporters, Raphael Beretta, and this month we’re featuring him in our Media Moment series. Keep reading to get the full scoop on Raphael!
Thanks for being our guest this month. Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself and how you got into journalism?
I’ve always enjoyed literature and creativity, so in my early academic years writing was always attractive to me. I got involved as a photographer for a local sports station during my high school years, and really enjoyed covering events. In college, I wrote for my school paper, headed an online magazine, and thoroughly enjoyed showcasing the wonderfully unique experiences in this region. Journalism could be a way for me to curate experiences for other people, and expose them to new elements of local culture. After an internship at Hudson Valley Magazine, I was further enthralled with writing about this part of New York.
What has it been like reporting during the pandemic?
It has been very inspiring to work with so many up and coming small businesses during this time. It would be difficult enough to start a business from scratch, let alone open in the middle of a pandemic. New restaurants, art galleries, breweries, and other businesses successfully launching during this crisis gives one hope that we can bounce back from this global setback.
What stories have been most compelling for you to write throughout your career? Or what types of stories do you like to report on most?
I report on a myriad of lifestyle topics that all present interesting angles, but I especially enjoy writing stories that reveal a fresh element of something I thought I was already familiar with. A simple distillery feature may lead to a discussion on the region’s ties to bootlegging during Prohibition or how the abundance of apples in the Hudson Valley enabled early denizens of the area to make booze with rainwater (applejack). Perseverance is also extremely captivating for me. The creativity of people who were able to shift and evolve the way they make their product, generate their art, or run their business has been incredible to witness and bring attention to.
After a long day or week, how do you best unwind and relax?
Part of the job continues after the work week, when it’s time to do some firsthand research. I adore Hudson Valley beer and studied wine-pairing in Florence for six months, so the region’s never-ending supply of craft beverage producers is a major plus. Visiting these gorgeous estate wineries or discovering how brewers can craft the most inventive flavors out of common industry ingredients is always fascinating. Catching up on movies is always a part of the weekend routine as well, and the Valley’s eclectic record stores provide great atmospheres for old-fashioned music shopping.
What is most helpful to journalists when it comes to receiving pitch ideas from PR professionals?
The more information sent up front, the easier it is to craft an angle for future interviews. Approaching a source with a decent understanding of their craft opens up rich, deep conversation. A well-written press release or a few bullet points in a pitch can go a long way in enhancing interviews.
Tell us something you are looking forward to.
When it is safe to attend outdoor concerts again. Bethel Woods Center for the Arts is one of my favorite places to visit in the summertime, and incredible acts perform there. Even sooner is the reopening of local independent movie theaters, which is another incredible resource to have living in the Hudson Valley. The arts community is so vibrant here.
If someone wants to follow you and/or the Hudson Valley Magazine, how can they connect with you socially? (i.e. Facebook, Instagram etc.)
Like and follow Hudson Valley Magazine on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram @hudsonvalleymag