February 6, 2023

INBA Podcast: Lauren Lapka, WGN Radio

INBA’s Margaret Larkin interviews WGN Radio’s Lauren Lapka about her career in journalism from sports to news in this podcast.

For managers and aspiring managers, Lauren talks about how working as a manager at Hollister helped her navigate leading other young people in the broadcast business.

Lauren’s worked all over the country from Missouri, to Oregon, and now Chicago. In this podcast, she talks about the importance of speaking truth and including a variety of voices in her storytelling. In a world of divisive politics, Lauren says she feels a responsibility to keep doing the news, and provide balance to the public. She says, “WGN is home,” recalling how special the radio station was to kids and families growing up in the Chicagoland area.

Lapka also talked about her decision to not read a controversial promo script from Sinclair Broadcast Group during her time in Oregon, even against the advice of her own family.

Clips of Sinclair anchors reading the promo was strung together and went viral online in 2018. The promos emphasized that one-sided, biased, and false news stories are “extremely dangerous to our democracy.” While the message of the promos seems journalistic at face value, many former Sinclair employees have spoken publicly about one-sided, must-run stories being a regular part of local broadcasts, contrary to the company’s message.

Mike Miletich

Joining the INBA was one of my best life decisions. I met some of the best broadcast journalists while I was still a college student. Plus, I ended up getting a job through the connections I made!

Nora Baldner

The support INBA gives to student journalists is vitally important as we all discover how technology is changing news dissemination, INBA monitors and actively encourages truth, transparency and accountability from students and their universities.

Molly Jirasek

One of my top goals in my career was to get to Chicago. Thanks to INBA I met Margaret Larkin. She remembered our great conversations about Chicago and first alerted me to a job opening in the city I might be interested in. Lo and behold, I got that job! INBA helped me reach my dream.

Ryan Denham

I recently attended my first INBA conference—and it won’t be my last. The combination of professional and student journalists learning together is electric. Everyone learns from each other and walks away with new friends (and LinkedIn connections). I know I did.

Brian O'Keefe

One of the greatest benefits for me has been getting to see and know other parts of the state. I’m not from Illinois and traveling to spring and fall conventions over the years has transformed dots on a map to memories of places that enhance my story telling process.

Jennifer Fuller

INBA is not only a great networking tool, it also provides advocacy and support for journalists in an ever-changing world.

Andrew Tanielian

INBA taught me how to network in a meaningful way. The scholarship process taught me how to endure a hard job interview and thrive.

Jeff Bossert

When I was working in radio for the first time, I had no idea whether I could truly handle the demands. But INBA made me curious and want to improve. Even now, when I’ve maybe worked a lot of hours or planned some stories that didn’t come together for one reason or another, what I learn from an INBA conference gets me re-invigorated about the business.

Aaron Eades

As a student, it's often difficult to picture what working in the real world will be like. For me, the INBA bridged that gap by giving me the chance to talk to professionals who used to be in the same shoes I'm in now.

Bob Roberts

INBA is as much about friendship and as it is about achieving common goals. It provides two things individual newsrooms cannot: in-service training, and the ability to speak out on issues affecting the profession. But most of all, it brings newspeople together.

Michelle Eccles McLaughlin

INBA is an organization that really caters to continuing education for professionals. It offers a relatively inexpensive way to learn new things, reinforce best practices and network.

Alexis McAdams

INBA played a huge part in preparing me for my broadcasting career. The INBA conventions connect students with on-air talent and news directors who give feedback on now to improve your work. Through relationships I made at those conventions, I was able to obtain my first on air reporting job.

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