Meet the Media – Ema Sasic

Bakersfield.comBy Robin Carr, LCI

Ema Sasic is the editor of Bakersfield Life Magazine and reporter at The Bakersfield Californian. Landis Communications Inc.’s work with Centre for Neuroskills connected us to Ema and her publication.

What types of stories, trends or issues are on your radar now?

I always enjoy writing about up-and-coming people who are doing great things in Bakersfield. For our January Bakersfield Life issue, we highlighted several individuals from all ages, backgrounds and professions — health care workers, artists, students, etc. — and introduced them and their work to the community. It’s always so special to recognize someone and then see other community members reach out to them as well.

Since I write for a magazine, we have a different monthly theme that impacts the stories we pursue. For example, our April issue will be dedicated to home and garden. One story I’m going to tackle is how everyone went plant crazy this past year (I’m guilty of it too!).

What elements or characteristics do you look for in a story?

I look for ideas that are unique and really open your eyes to the world around you. I also look for stories that might help someone going through a tough time in their life. If they see that others are experiencing something similar, it might help them to know that they’re not alone.

What story or stories are you most proud of?

During the summer, when various protests and conversations regarding social justice were taking place, a local high school’s mascot, which at one point in its history looked like a Confederate soldier, was under scrutiny, and some alumni were hoping for a change. I did an in-depth story on its history and spoke to various administrators, teachers and former students, including one who wore the Confederate uniform during football games. I’m very proud of that piece because of all the work that I put into researching and interviewing, and it added to the larger conversation. The school currently has a committee dedicated to finding a new mascot.

Tell us about your dream assignment.

I love movies and entertainment, so I would love to attend an award show, interview the nominees and winners and write a story about the night. I also would love to travel, immerse myself in a new culture, speak with locals and share the experience with readers.

Finish this sentence: If I am not reporting I am…

Watching movies, trying a new recipe in the kitchen, spending time with my loved ones (as best as I can now), reading and thinking about my next trip.

What advice do you have for PR people who want to pitch you?

Let me know why this story would be a good fit for our publication and if there is a local connection.

Tell us a little about yourself.

My parents and I are former Yugoslavian refugees, and we immigrated to the United States in the late 1990s. Growing up, I quickly realized how different my life was compared to others. Things were never easy for us in the beginning — my parents had to learn English and try to find employment — and I never really had a typical childhood. My upbringing made me realize that everyone has a story, and that’s what led me to pursue journalism. After graduating from Illinois State University, I moved to California and began working for The Bakersfield Californian, where I have been a copy editor, page designer, reporter and columnist. In August 2020, I became the editor of Bakersfield Life Magazine, our monthly lifestyle publication. Look out for our annual Best Of Guide coming in May where voters pick their favorite businesses, restaurants, services, etc. in Bakersfield and Kern County!

Got a question for Ema? Leave a comment below.

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3 thoughts on “Meet the Media – Ema Sasic

  1. Ema, what an interesting background. Yugoslavia, wow! I share a passion for travel as well and once it’s safer, we’ll be on a plane to somewhere exciting! Keep up the good work! Cheers, David

  2. “Everyone has a story, ” was a running theme in my household growing up. Thanks for connecting that to the work you do, telling the stories in and around Bakersfield.

  3. Ema, congratulations on your mascot story. Illuminating the troubling past of something the community probably hadn’t thought about intentionally for so many years was a great service to Bakersfield. I’m so glad to hear that your story helped spur them to action in seeking a new mascot. The power of journalism triumphs again!

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