Scott MacKay was born at Lying-In Hospital in Providence in December, 1952. Of Irish and Scots heritage, he was the oldest of four children of the late Robert and Hilda MacKay. Scott and his two brothers, Ian and Peter, and his sister Carole, all live in Rhode Island.
Scott went to the public schools in Thompson and Burlington, Connecticut. He was educated at the University of Vermont, where he majored in political science and history. He caught the journalism bug at UVM, where he wrote for the campus newspaper and called UVM hockey games for the campus radio station.
While still at UVM, he started writing as a stringer for the Burlington Free Press, Vermont’s largest newspaper. He was soon hired as a staff reporter. He covered Burlington City Hall, the Vermont Statehouse and electoral politics.
Scott moved to the Providence Journal-Bulletin in 1984. His first posting was covering town politics in West Warwick. He became the East Bay bureau manager in 1985 and was in charge of the ProJo’s coverage of the communities of East Providence, Barrington, Warren and Bristol. In 1986 he moved to the Providence City Hall beat and several years later became a Statehouse reporter. He also covered New England and regional politics for the ProJo, as well as New Hampshire primaries and Republican and Democratic national political conventions. In 1999, he and colleague Jody McPhillips co-authored the Rhode Island Century series, an in depth chronicle of Rhode Island’s 20th century history.
After leaving the ProJo in 2008 via a buyout, Scott became political analyst for Rhode Island Public Radio, the Ocean State’s National Public Radio affiliate. At RIPR, Scott provides political commentary, both on air and at the station’s web site at RIPR.org. In 2011, he won a Metcalf Award for Diversity in Journalism for commentary about immigration in Rhode Island.
In 2015, Scott delivered the commencement address for Rhode Island College before 9,000 at the Dunkin Donuts Center and was awarded an honorary doctorate of journalism from the college. He is married to Dr. Staci Fischer, an infectious disease specialist, who was chosen as the 2015 Rhode Island Woman Physician of the Year. Scott lived on Providence’s East Side for many years. Staci and Scott now live in Bristol.
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