Raymond Baccari – Political Journalist in Search of a Newsroom


In plotting his course to his dream, this freshman communication major hopes to join RIC Anchor TV.

WPRI 12 journalist Tim White occupies somewhat of a saintly status in the eyes of freshman Raymond Baccari. It's not just because White is an award-winning broadcast journalist, which Baccari hopes to become, but he hosts his own TV program called "Newsmakers" and gets to interview local politicians. 

"That's my absolute dream job – political journalism," says Baccari.

In plotting his course to that dream, Baccari decided to major in communications at Rhode Island College, with a concentration in journalism. However, like any seasoned reporter, he came to RIC with a lot of questions. 

"One of the things I asked the department faculty is if there were any famous alumni who graduated from RIC with a degree in communication," he says. "Right away, they told me Mike Montecalvo [award-winning co-anchor of WPRI 12]. That blew me away because he's the biggest name in Rhode Island journalism, alongside Tim White. There's also a bunch of state reps who graduated from here and Mayor Alan Fung and Congressman James Langevin. It made me even more excited to go to RIC."

Baccari's passion for political journalism was nurtured at Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts, where he attended high school and majored in film. During his junior and senior years, he produced two documentaries in which he interviewed elected officials on topics ranging from gun control to the electoral college. Interviewees included Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, House Minority Leader Blake Filippi, R.I. GOP Chair Sue Cienki and Libertarian Party Chair Pat Ford, along with Tim White.

"It was great preparation for a career in broadcast journalism," Baccari says. "Now, at RIC, I hope to build on those skills."

He also hopes to become part of RIC Anchor TV. "I have this really great idea for a political talk show," he says. "It would be similar to Tim White's 'Newsmakers.'"

But like most of his peers, Baccari may not be on campus this fall due to COVID-19.

"It's very disappointing," he admits. "My biggest expectation for college – the thing I was most looking forward to – was the on-campus experience. People who have gone here told me that meeting new people and getting involved was one of the best things about RIC."

When asked if he considered taking a gap year, Baccari is pragmatic. "No," he replies. "I got a great financial package from RIC that I wouldn't want to risk losing by taking a year off. Plus, I'm eager to learn the skills I need to pursue a career in broadcast journalism."

"Overall, my feeling going in is optimistic," he says.