Maria Sestito

writer, editor & photographer

currently in Palm Springs, Calif.

Reporter and photojournalist interested in educating people about the world, educating myself, traveling and making a positive impact any way that I can.



The Desert Sun, Palm Springs, Calif.

Senior Issues Reporter

Reporter covering seniors and the growing aging population in the Coachella Valley.

Also, a Report for American corps member responsible for helping the newspaper facilitate community trust and engagement.

University Business Partnerships & Services, Berkeley, Calif.

Marketing Assistant

Responsible for brand building and developing social media marketing strategies. Creates content for multiple print and online platforms. Acts as  the department marketing liaison among partners and UC Berkeley stakeholders.

Oakland North, Berkeley, Calif.

Business Reporter

Wrote feature-length business and technology stories for the fast-paced, hyperlocal website operated by UC Berkeley journalism students. In addition to writing news articles, I photographed events, edited the website and social media posts, created video stories and contributed to the affiliated podcast, Tales of Two Cities. 

The Napa Valley Register, Napa, Calif.

Public Safety Reporter

Rebooted the newspaper's crime beat, establishing better relationships within the community as well as law enforcement agencies. Covered breaking news, crime, courts, housing, mental health and the lgbtq community. Curated the Instagram account, increasing its followers fivefold. 

The Daily News, Jacksonville, N.C.

Reporter, Photographer

Responsible for taking, editing and captioning photos for print and online news media. Types of photos include news, feature, sports and photo illustrations. Reporter responsible for crime, business, event and general assignment reporting. Also responsible for writing obituaries as well as updating music and weekend calendars. 











photo & video editing

social media


In print

The Desert Sun

Napa Valley Register

St. Helena Star

American Canyon Eagle

The Weekly Calistogan

Inside Napa Valley

The Daily News

Star News

New Bern Sun Journal

Kinston Free Press

Topsail Advertiser

Coastal Living

Menus & More



2010 - present

2010 - present


UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, Berkeley, Calif.

Graduation: May 2020

Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellow, 2018-2019

Bloomberg-UNC-Berkeley Business Journalism Diversity Fellow, June 2019

Dean’s Merit Fellowship, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, 2018-2020

Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J.

Graduation: May 2012

Major: Middle Eastern Studies                      GPA: 3.8

Minor: Women and Gender Studies

Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Theta Kappa, Delta Epsilon Iota, Tau Sigma