Award-winning Investigative Reporter Nathan Baca ’03 Keynote Speaker at University’s 2012 Communications Day
Some people discover early in life what career path they want to take. Nathan Baca can remember watching the news with his mother and first thinking being a television reporter was the right job for him.
Baca, who earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from the University of La Verne in 2003, is now an award-winning investigative reporter for KLAS-TV in Las Vegas. He has received national attention for his coverage of politics, crime, the housing bubble collapse and an 11-part series involving the Church of Scientology.
On Friday, Oct. 26, Baca returns to La Verne to share his experiences with high school and community college students from throughout Southern California during the 21st annual Communications Day hosted by the university’s Communications Department.
“Thirteen years ago, I was a senior at Ventura High School. I attended Communications Day at La Verne that year and it changed my life,” said Baca. “I am honored to speak to the students at this year’s event. They know they want to go to college to make themselves a better life, and they are choosing a career that brings light to a world so often shrouded in darkness.”
Registration opens at 8 a.m. and the schedule of events get underway at 9 a.m. at the Arts & Communications Building on the university’s main campus. The program includes a series of workshop seminars featuring different fields of communications, including news writing, photography, radio and television production, and graphic design. All workshops will be conducted by La Verne faculty as well as alumni who are working professionals. Attendees will be using Communication Department equipment to gain hands-on experience.
Baca’s career began in Palm Springs where he was an assignment editor at KMIR-TV and later a reporter for KESQ-TV. In 2009 he received a regional Investigative Reporting Emmy for his series “The Octopus Murders” involving a 1981 triple murder case. That series led to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department making their first arrest 28 years after the murder.
Since coming to KLAS-TV, Baca has covered numerous major stories. His reporting on Sharron Angle, then the Republican nominee in the 2010 U.S. Senate race, received national acclaim, as did his series on the Church of Scientology. His reporting on home auctions were part of the documentary piece, “Desert Underwater,” on the housing crash and subsequent crisis in Las Vegas, which earned the KLAS-TV staff a national Sigma Delta Chi award.
During his keynote address, Baca intends to share not only his professional tips but also some personal details he believes will give attendees confidence in their career quests.
“Truth is, I still get nervous when I go on live television to speak to thousands of people every night,” said Baca. “I want these students to know it because I want them to understand that it’s ok. That’s where we all start.”
Previous Communications Day keynote speakers include Southern California broadcasters Rob Fukuzaki, Phillip Palmer, Marc Brown, Gayle Anderson and Stan Chambers.
For additional information on Communications Day and to find out more about the University of La Verne Communications Department, call (909) 593-3511 ext. 4291.