Oral History Interviews

Interview: John Baer


Date of Interview: June 18, 2020
Place of Interview: New Cumberland, Pennsylvania
Interviewer: Ford Risley

Biographical Summary
John Baer was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. After graduating from college, he worked for three years as a high school teacher and coach. His father had been a political reporter for the Harrisburg Patriot and, inspired by him, he got into journalism. He joined the Evening News as a reporter in 1972 and later had a Congressional fellowship in Washington, D.C. He worked at WITF-TV as a writer and anchor for five years. He worked on the gubernatorial campaign of Bill Scranton in 1986. Afterwards, he joined the Daily News as a reporter in Harrisburg and a later as a political columnist. He retired from the Daily News in 2019 and since then has been writing a weekly political column for the Patriot-News.

Interview Highlights
Baer speaks about his family, including his father who was a political reporter; about his first job in journalism at the Harrisburg Evening News; about working at WITF-TV and on the gubernatorial campaign of Bill Scranton; about working as a political reporter and later a columnist at the Philadelphia Daily News for 32 years; about memorable stories and columns; about the role of a political columnist; and about how the newspaper business has changed.

Complete Interview John Baer