Rebecca Rosen Lum is a veteran journalist with an interest in social issues, the workplace, faith, community and culture.
She was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in beat reporting for her coverage of Richmond, Calif. at the Contra Costa Times. Her series on the financial abuse of elders resulted in changes to California state law, and her reporting on conditions at residential hotels led to criminal charges and the closure of a facility. She recently contributed to a foundation-funded series on the impacts of incarceration on communities and the promises of realignment, a California state program that moves low-level offenders from state prisons to county jails. She is at work on a major project on the confluence of mental illness and homelessness.
Her many awards include top honors from the Society for Professional Journalists, the California Teachers Association, the California Newspaper Publishers Association, and the National Association of Consumer Advocates.
She also chairs the Pacific Media Workers Guild’s flagship freelance unit. Under her leadership, the unit obtained dental, medical and vision benefits, launched the annual Spring Training for Journalists, and negotiates for decent pay and working conditions in news organizations that rely on freelancers.
She edits student work and teaches weekly seminars as part of the team at Bay News Rising, a Guild summer internship program that brings some of the brightest lights in San Francisco Bay Area journalism together with aspiring college students. She has taught English and civics to newcomers in San Francisco’s Chinatown, and served as scholarship chair for the East Bay Press Club. In the wake of mass layoffs that have decimated American newsrooms, the Society of Professional Journalists named her its “Unsung Hero” for her efforts on behalf journalists struggling to continue producing quality work as freelancers.
She can be reached at rrosenlum at gmail dot-com.