Perla Shaheen joined KGET 17 as a political reporter in 2020. A few months before, she graduated from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science.
She knew she wanted to be a journalist ever since she became Copy Editor for her high school newspaper, the SMCHS Eagle Eye. At age 17, she worked at the OC Register and got her last article printed on the front page. She loved print, but wanted to try everything else. So, during her time at UC Berkeley, she took every opportunity to get journalism experience.
She was a News Director and Correspondent for Cal TV, UC Berkeley’s only student-run video production organization. Through this experience, she hit the ground running and learned everything she knows today about shooting, editing, and on-camera reporting. She covered a wide range of local topics, including stories on homelessness and political protests. She even was the first reporter to interview UC Berkeley’s first female Chancellor, Carol Christ.
Perla also wrote about international politics for the Berkeley Political Review. She worked behind the scenes for UC Berkeley’s official news website, creating and editing videos about on-campus events. Her favorite video was her feature on UC Police Department’s new bomb detection K9, Obi.
Outside of school organizations, she worked every summer at a different internship. Her first summer in college, she spent her days at Seeker Media fact-checking scripts for their social media videos. She then took the bus across San Francisco to KRON-4 where she’d spend the rest of the night behind the assignment desk. This was her first experience in broadcast television, and she couldn’t get enough of it.
In her second summer she worked at CNET, a tech review website and magazine. There she wrote articles and starred in videos about phones, tech news and events. Perla spent her last year in college writing scripts and editing video at NBC Bay Area. She worked closely alongside Executive Producer Joyce Huntington, who mentored her and taught her all the ins and outs of working in a newsroom.
All of these experiences shaped her to become the reporter she is today, and she’s grateful for every person who guided and pushed her along the way. She’s inspired by her parents, whose hard work and perseverance brought them to the U.S. after the Civil War in Lebanon. Much of her family still lives in Lebanon, and she visits every year with her parents and older sister.
Perla loves being surrounded by nature, and will spend most of her free time camping or hiking. She’s a California girl through and through and loves volleyball, rock climbing, surfing, and the ukulele.
Perla’s mission as a reporter is to seek the truth and to tell the stories that impact her local community. She sees herself as a public servant to the people of Kern County, and is proud to live in the beautiful Golden Empire.