Capitol News Illinois


Statehouse Reporting Correspondent in Springfield, Ill.
Jan. 2019 – Present

Capitol News Illinois is a new news service created by the Illinois Press Foundation to provide over 430 member newspapers — dailies and weeklies — and broadcasters from all over the Prairie State with year-round coverage of all things state government.

— Report on all three branches of government, including coverage of the General Assembly, governor, state agencies, constitutional officers, Supreme Court and anything else the news consumers of Illinois find interesting or want to learn more about. Coverage includes written pieces, photos, videos, audio and graphics, as well as longer-form enterprise and investigative pieces.
— Work with the other two reporters to create daily and long-term coverage plans.
— Promote work through the news service’s social media accounts.

Work under Bureau Chief Jeff Rogers

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin


Statehouse Reporting Correspondent in Springfield, Ill.
Jan. – July 2018

Pitched, reported and wrote articles on Illinois state government, covering legislative efforts, committee hearings, courts and lawmakers for Chicago’s legal community from the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin’s statehouse bureau.

Worked under Editors Mark Karlinsky and Paul Dailing and Statehouse Bureau Chief Andrew Maloney

$38.5B budget passes; courts get same amount as last year

Last year’s abortion law acts as a budget hurdle this year

New FOIA exclusions not retroactive, Illinois Supreme Court rules

Judge denies GOP party extras to maverick state Sen. McCann

Overriding Rauner’s veto, Worker Protection Unit bill heads to House

Edelson to Senate: To stop sexual assault, fix defamation law

PAC pushes abortion funding law as issue in gubernatorial race

Democrats need GOP votes to approve equal rights measure

State senator pursues lawsuit over denial of GOP party perks

Senate OKs proposal to hike tobacco age to 21

Before reforming district lines, legislators must meet deadlines

Senator: Supreme Court plea for funding increase ‘almost an insult’

Veterans’ home award cap could rise twentyfold

Courthouse nursing area bill passes state Senate

Net neutrality bill gets first OK, but legal fight looms

Bill expanding who can challenge state agencies draws ire

Voir dire query on prostitution ruled improper

State’s top court strikes clause car insurer used to deny claim

What’s next in the race for AG?

Shades of Butch, Sundance in top court bike case

Law at the time or law now? Top court hears case

Comptroller says salary measure not jab at Rauner

Push renewed to raise age to 21 for tobacco sales

Ives seeks to bolster accusers’ rights in harassment cases

Lawmakers weigh early adoption of blockchain system

Senior drivers may get license renewal break

Proposed amendments would anchor spending to economic measurements

Rauner highlights pension changes in budget address

Bills aim to remove Court of Claims caps

Conservative group appeals dismissal of HB40 challenge

High court turns down foreign bike-maker liability plea

GOP lawmakers push new limits to abortion laws

Dispensaries confident protections for budding pot industry will stay

Chicago Lawyer Magazine


Feature Reporter in Springfield, Ill.
March – July 2018

Reported and wrote question-and-answer feature pieces, called “In Summation,” highlighting pro bono work conducted by Chicago lawyers for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin’s sister publication, Chicago Lawyer Magazine.

Worked under Editor Paul Dailing

Saving Gaston

Quarles & Brady associate John Aramanda took a creative route to help an animal rescue organization get a pit bull back from a foster caretaker.

‘Radical confidence’

Seyfarth Shaw associate Kevin Fritz leverages his “unique perspective” to find resolutions to settle discrimination, leave entitlement and unemployment disputes with employers, to name a few.

Making the time

Reed Smith partner Ann E. Pille has time commitments that keep her from the long, complicated pro bono cases she took on earlier in her career. But that does not prevent her from donating what time she does have to fill a need she knows is there.

The 400-hour case

Morgan Lewis associate James Looby spent 18 months helping nine adults with developmental disabilities in a suit against an Illinois state agency.

Bridging the gap

Judges, private attorneys and public interest lawyers in Cook County noticed a gap in free legal help for families with a loved one with severe mental illness. So two Chicago legal groups collaborated to launch an ongoing initiative to offer assistance in the “critically important but underserved area of law.”

Blank Slate Media


Freelance Reporter in Nassau County, Long Island
March – July 2017

Reported, wrote and photographed stories on local government from school board and city council meetings as needed for a chain of community newspapers in Nassau County on Long Island, N.Y.

Worked under Editor Noah Manskar

Times Beacon Record News Media


Lee Lutz Reporting Fellow in Suffolk County, Long Island
July – Nov. 2016

— Pitched, reported, wrote and photographed at least three stories per week on local government, community leaders and events
— Assisted the special projects manager in promoting editorial content through social media
— Assisted the production manager in preparing the layout for each of TBR’s six weekly community newspapers for print

Worked under Editors Desirée Keegan, Victoria Espinoza, Alex Petroski, Donna Newman and Heidi Sutton; Director of Media Productions Michael Tessler; and Art & Production Director Beth Heller Mason


Theater Talk with David Gow

Founder of Port Jeff Station support center still serving community

Community-oriented officers work to better residents’ lives

Kings Park trio work to revitalize downtown area

Crime Stoppers reduces illegal activity

Cancer center’s Adopt a Family program warms the heart

Largest renewable energy project for LI awaits approval

Book Review: ‘Dylan the Singing Duck’

Two new faces look to fill Congressman Israel’s seat

New classrooms advance Miller Place students in science

St. Charles nurse battling breast cancer

East Wind owner opens The Shoppes in Wading River

Theater Talk with Samantha Carroll and Jeremy Hudson

Councilwoman wants to grow New York’s crop of organ donors

A mother’s Hope for Javier leads to hope for patients

Governor approves standards for lead levels in schools

SBU professor receives grant for an innovative study on autism spectrum disorder

Port Jefferson Station-based family company ensures no roof in Suffolk is left behind

North Brookhaven Chamber to host Family Fun Day

Abby Wambach visits the Book Revue

Theater Talk with Brittany Lacey

Lights of Hope returns to Port Jefferson

County takes step to protect Long Island’s water

Two injured as elevated deck collapses in Setauket

Autism awareness fun day brings smiles to families

Series: Heritage Weekend festivities set for Port Jefferson

These new North Shore eateries will excite your taste buds

SCPD raises funds for drug hotline tip rewards

Series: Make plans for Port Jeff’s Heritage Weekend, part one

No restrooms, no lifeguards at Sand Street beach

North Shore residents have got to catch em’ all

Monkeying with the golden ingredient – love – at the SCPA

Project will reduce runoff into Mount Sinai Harbor

Brookhaven town makes beaches more accessible for all

Scripps Howard Foundation Wire


Reporting Intern in Washington, D.C.
Sept. – Dec. 2015

— Pitched, reported, wrote and photographed stories on government, politics and economics
— Covered Pope Francis’s parade in Washington
— Analyzed the debate over Planned Parenthood’s access to public funds
— Reported about NASA’s Mars program

Worked under Program Director Jody Beck 


Mars mission success needs government support, astronauts say

Capt. Mark Kelly and Col. Terry Virts said at a National Press Club breakfast Monday that NASA must have the support of Congress and the White House to continue achieving important scientific feats and to go to Mars. To get that support, NASA needs to tackle areas of space that grab American’s interest.

Candy industry hopes to use new job data for sugar reform

Candy company executives from across the United States are on Capitol Hill this week to discuss industry concerns with their representatives in Congress as part of an annual Washington forum hosted by the National Confectioners Association.

Pope Francis inspires hope, parade-goers say

Two teachers were two of thousands of people who attended the brief parade Wednesday, watching Pope Francis make his way along the streets circling the White House South Lawn. The parade followed the arrival ceremony with President Barack Obama.

New chip credit cards combat fraud, industry representatives say

Credit card security in the United States is finally catching up to Europe, Asia, Canada, Mexico and South America, industry leaders said.

Obama honors women’s soccer team for inspiring World Cup win

Ayla Ludlow, 13, was not on the field when the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team won the FIFA World Cup, but she was invited to the White House on Tuesday to help President Barack Obama honor the team’s victory.

Covering politics for millennials

That question – how has new media influenced political coverage – addresses only a fraction of what I believe to be a more important one. How have our changing news consumption habits altered how we tell political stories? And is there a better way to do it?

Christie: No Syrian refugees until FBI says OK

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie reminded a room full of foreign policy experts of his seven years experience as a U.S. attorney in an attempt to set himself apart from the other 13 Republican presidential candidates.

Defunding Planned Parenthood could mean struggles for health centers

Critics of Planned Parenthood have called for Congress to withdraw the group’s public funding for a year while an investigation is conducted. Several states have initiated investigations into Planned Parenthood.

White House holiday decorations celebrate timeless traditions

First lady Michelle Obama welcomed members of the military and reporters to preview the 18.5 foot tall White House Christmas tree – decorated in red, white and blue the Fraser fir has a ribbon winding around it with messages from military families to their service members.

Christmas in the capital

For many, the lighting of the National Christmas Tree Lighting Dec. 3 marked the unofficial start to Christmas around the capital. Here are several places around Washington to check out if you’re looking for holiday decorations to get into the spirit, from decorated Christmas trees to light shows.

The Statesman


Stony Brook University’s campus newspaper
Jan. 2013 – Sept. 2015

Advertising Manager (May - Sept. 2015)

In addition to advertising manager duties:
— Updated the media kit
— Helped transition form a paper-based filing system to an electronic one
— Designed ads for advertisers

Editor-in-Chief (May 2014 - May 2015)

— Managed 23 editors and a business and advertising manager and supervised publication of weekly campus newspaper targeting student body of 25,000
— Managed the general direction of the publication, budget and editorial board
— Oversaw production of special issues
— Oversaw the redesign of our website, which won the Society for News Design’s 2015 College News Design Competition
— Expanded Statesman’s social media presence
— Revamped Statesman’s layout guidelines
— Worked to maintain our relationships with campus officials
— Added a literary magazine as a sub agency
— Built a new Web & Graphics section
— Oversaw the association’s Board of Directors, of which I was a director, and filled the other four board seats
— Began the reconstruction of Statesman’s business end

News Editor (Sept. 2013 - May 2014)

— Supervised the assignment, review, editing and layout of all news stories and the posting of news articles to The Statesman’s website
— Supervised, coached and evaluated team of 20 reporters
— Enforced deadlines among news reporters
— Coordinated all graphics and photos for the news pages
— Conducted weekly news staff meetings and brainstorming sessions
— Met with members of the Stony Brook University community to resolve problems such as unhappiness with content and an unwillingness to be interviewed by The Statesman’s reporters
— Handled all breaking news in and around Stony Brook University’s campus
— Co-created and co-produced the news section’s scripts for Deadline, The Statesman’s weekly podcast

Internship Coordinator (Jan. 2013 - May 2014)

— Helped to update Statesman’s internship program and implemented those changes
— Collaborated with Stony Brook’s School of Journalism to ensure the academic quality and integrity of the internship
— Maintained a spreadsheet tracking intern success and progress

Copy Editor (Jan. - Sept. 2013)

— In addition to copy editor duties, updated the stylebook to include new references, reorganized references in a clearer manner and created a special guide for the Sports section.
— As a reporter, wrote news and feature articles.
— As an assistant to the editor-in-chief, duties included research, special projects, management and archiving.

Journalism Without Walls: Kenya


Reporter with the study abroad program to Turkana, Kenya
Jan. 2013

Reported from Turkana, Kenya, with the help of translators; wrote about alternative energy projects at the Turkana Basin Institute; and photographed Turkana architecture. This was the Journalism Without Walls program’s fourth trip, offered by SBU’s School of Journalism to give student reporters the opportunity to work beyond campus.

Worked under Program Editors Ilana Ozernoy and Barbara Selvin; Worked with photographer Frédéric Courbet


Scion of Anthropology Dynasty Tackles Energy

The gasifier is one of three alternative-energy projects currently in development at the Turkana Basin Institute, an international research facility affiliated with Stony Brook University where scientists study early human evolution. The other two energy projects comprise a biogas plant, which turns goat dung into fuel, and solar panels.

The Palm-Frond Huts of Turkana: Not-So-Simple Structures

In the midday desert sun, as loose silt and sand are carried in the occasional breeze, the only breaks along the bleak horizon are stunted trees and straw-colored huts. Although the huts’ appearance is simple, the construction is more complex than it might seem.


University of Illinois-Springfield

Springfield, Ill.
M.A., Public Affairs Reporting
Completed May 2018

The PAR Masters Program is portfolio-based. You can see Rebecca’s here.

Stony Brook University

Stony Brook, N.Y.
B.A., Journalism
Completed May 2016

Service to Stony BrookService to Stony Brook” is Rebecca’s capstone project for her bachelor of arts from SBU. She spent about seven weeks speaking with student veterans at SBU, and the people employed there to make sure they succeed, for this piece about what it is like pursuing a higher education after serving in the military.


Honors & Awards

Marc D. Allen Public Affairs Reporting Scholarship

January 2018
According to the University of Illinois-Springfield’s Public Affairs Reporting program website: “Marc D. Allan graduated from UIS (then Sangamon State University) with a master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting in 1986. He worked as a reporter for many years, including more than 16 years at the Indianapolis Star. In 2004, he joined the staff at Butler University in Indianapolis and currently holds the position of News Manager. While at Butler, he has contributed to publications such as the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and Indianapolis Monthly. Mr. Allan, who made some of his best friends in his 1986 PAR cohort, is pleased now to give a scholarship to a student currently in the program.”

Illinois Press Foundation Scholarship

December 2017
According to the Foundation’s website: “Three $1,200 scholarships are awarded annually to students enrolled in the UIS Public Affairs Reporting program. The scholarships are awarded based upon work experience, academic performance, financial need and the potential for a career in journalism. The scholarships are presented in December.”

Fair Media Council’s Robert W. Greene Award for Investigative Journalism, print

April 2016
For “Title IX at Stony Brook University,” a culmination of a year’s worth of reporting by Rebecca Anzel, Giselle Barkley, Arielle Martinez, Hanaa’ Tameez and Kelly Zegers into SBU’s Title IX compliance — everything from a continuing federal investigation to a lawsuit filed against the university. Statesman’s presentation was compiled by Will Welch, based on this site Anzel built as part of her senior web presentation course.

Independent Coursework

The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas


Investigative Reporters and Editors: 2017 Watchdog Workshop
Long Island, N.Y.

Illinois News Broadcasters Association’s 2018 Spring Convention
Peoria, Ill.

Society of Professional Journalists’ and Google News Initiative’s Elections Workshop
Indianapolis, Ind.

Volunteer Work

Robert W. Greene Institute for High School Journalists

July 2011, July 2012, July 2013, July 2014, July 2015, July 2015, July 2016 and July 2017
Rebecca volunteers each summer to help Catherine Duffy and Zachary Dowdy at Stony Brook University School of Journalism’s Robert W. Greene Institute for High School Journalists, a week-long “boot camp” for high school journalists on Long Island. My roles included working with the students to edit their articles, blog posts, photos and videos and assisting Wasim Ahmad and Frank Posillico, web masters, with editing photos for the web and posts for SEO.


Stony Brook University’s School of Journalism Alumni Board Member

October 2018 – Present