Ariana Pekary is an award-winning journalist who formerly worked in public radio and cable news, where she became an integral member of a primetime show hosted by Lawrence O'Donnell at MSNBC. Now she's working to rethink financial incentives in broadcast news through public awareness and advocacy. In September 2020, she joined Columbia Journalism Review as a public editor with a focus on CNN.
Ariana's broadcast career began in 2002 at NPR where she assisted the Ombudsman to assess editorial content. Ariana learned from the industry's best at NPR in Washington, DC and KQED and KALW Radio in San Francisco before joining The Bob Edwards Show at Sirius XM in 2007. There she produced multiple highly-acclaimed documentaries, earning RTDNA Murrow, SPJ Sigma Delta Chi, and RFK awards thanks to her ear for captivating human moments. In 2013, she helped launch a new program to be hosted by Alec Baldwin at MSNBC, making her an accidental TV news producer. Long before any of that, Ariana was a Series 7-licensed financial advisor for Morgan Stanley Dean Witter (an educational experience she appreciates more now than then).
Generally more comfortable behind the scenes than in front of a microphone, Ariana thrives on distilling essential stories that get to the root of the matter through facts and context. Raised on a farm in Virginia, she brings a sensible pragmatism and heartfelt dedication to each project and isn't afraid to get her hands dirty.