Local journalist Gina Wilcox kicks off library’s guest speaker series


Aimee Sitter

Gina Wilcox tells stories about her journalism career during her presentation.

Aimee Sitter, Staff Writer

On Jan. 19 as a part of the library’s new monthly guest speaker series, the president and publisher of Embarcadero Media’s East Bay division Gina Channell Wilcox presented on investigative journalism and in-depth reporting during ACCESS. 

“The thing that inspires me the most about Wilcox is that she will always go through whatever it takes to get to the truth. She’ll never try to hide behind a fact that it isn’t based off of something that isn’t concrete,” said Spencer Thiel (‘23).

This program was started by Amador’s Teacher Librarian, Erik Scherer and Journalism, Digital Art and Video Production teacher Wendy Connelly.  

“In many ways, ACCESS is meant to help students be exposed to different ideas, and once we started ACCESS, we felt that we could bring in speakers to share these ideas. We are bringing in speakers from across the community who have many interesting insights that aren’t necessarily school related but still very interesting,” said Scherer.

Wilcox presented her story “Around the Valley: Don’t trust until you verify,” which elaborated on the fact that people might tell journalists what they want to be facts, but to make sure to have concrete evidence confirming those statements.

“One of the standards of journalistic ethics is that timeliness does not trump accuracy. I would rather be right than be first, ” said Wilcox

Wilcox has been, which includes the Pleasanton Weekly newspaper, PleasantonWeekly, DanvilleSanRamon and LivermoreVine, since 2006. She has been in journalism for 30 years, spending 15 years in Chicago at a daily newspaper. During this time, she also studied to obtain her Master’s degree in business administration and Bachelor’s degree in communications. 

“When I was about five, my parents and I got the newspaper every night and it was a big deal. My parents drove by the newspaper building and I said ‘I’m going to work there someday,’ and I actually ended up working there. That’s where I got my start, at the Beacon News in Aurora, Illinois.” said Wilcox. 

While in Chicago, she worked at a division of the Chicago Sun-Times as an executive editor and association publisher. She was responsible for a daily newspaper, 14 weekly newspapers, and their respective news sites.

Wilcox has earned awards for her stories, “Troubled schools: Parents seek answers on principal turnover, other concerns” and editorials like “Livermore downtown referendum raises serious questions.”

“The story that I wrote that won a couple state and a couple national awards was probably my favorite because it took so much work that, when it finally happened, it took me six months worth of working when I could on it, and when it finally came out in print and online, it was like I had a baby again,” said Wilcox.