Ryan Macasero, CSUEB alumni, shares his experiences as a journalist with CSUEB students

By Mary Katreeb, STAFF WRITER

California State University, East Bay hosted a Virtual Alum Talk with 2011 graduate Ryan Macasero on Tuesday, April 20. Macasero is the Bureau Chief of the Cebu Bureau for Rappler, an independent news organization that prides itself for not having “[an attachment] to any conglomerate or corporation in the Philippines, independent of corporate and political interests,” said Macasero. 

Rappler was named by combining the words ‘rap’ and ‘ripple.’

“The idea is to tell stories that inspire smart conversations and drive action,” said Mascasero.

Macasero joined Rappler’s team in 2013 when they were a new company. Since then, Rappler has grown, and Macasero has worked his way up from a Social Media Manager to his current position as Bureau Chief.

While Macasero has found a successful and rewarding career in journalism, he didn’t always know that was the field he wanted to work in. After high school, Macasero attended community college as a music major. Once he transferred to CSUEB, he was undeclared for a while until feeling inspired by a general education political science course.

“It was the first time that I could actually unpack and really discuss and talk about things that I hadn’t been able to discuss at home,” Macasero said.

Macasero’s interest in international policy and global news drew him to apply for a job with Rappler. Macasero said he has “always been someone who read the news, [and] loved following current events.” 

Despite his lack of journalistic experience, Macasero noted that he had an internship where his mentors “were patient enough to work with [him] and help [him] figure out how to shape a story.” 

Although his degree is not in journalism, Macasero put his college education to use by approaching situations from all perspectives and angles. Yet, Macasero also noted how much he has learned since starting his career because some skills cannot be taught in a classroom. 

When reflecting on his career and what he has learned, Macasero said, “you have to be open to getting it wrong. In pursuing your stories, you [have to make sure] you are not pursuing confirmation bias or cherry-picking facts.” 

Macasero’s personal goal as a journalist is to share stories that are in the interest of the working class. Macasero discussed how he is “not here to be the voice of the voiceless, [he’s] here to amplify their voices.” He feels called to share the stories that may not otherwise get media attention.

He concluded by offering advice to students who intend to pursue a career in journalism. Macasero urged students to believe in themselves by saying, “your weaknesses don’t invalidate you.” It is also important to keep an open mind because what you learn in college “might not be applicable in the field.” While the life of a journalist may not always be glamorous, and they are often underpaid, Macasero says it is all worth it to him. As a journalist, Macasero has the privilege of seeing history unfold up close.