Media Monday: Harriet Baskas, Multimedia Freelance Journalist

Rosalind Brazel / June 10, 2013

Each Monday, we’re giving readers a chance to get to know the media a little better.

With a little flair.

Our goal is to give readers some insight into the work and work style of area journalists, and get to know a little bit about the person behind the byline. Start your week off with an online networking opportunity through our Media Monday blog post.

This Week: Harriet Baskas, Multimedia Freelance Journalist

jay dotson photographyHarriet Baskas writes about airports, air travel, museums and a wide variety of other topics for NBC News, USA Today, MSN and other online and print outlets, as well for her blog She’s the author of seven books, including Hidden Museum Treasures, due out from Globe Pequot in October 2013.

Harriet is also an award-winning radio producer, whose work has aired on NPR and on stations throughout the Pacific Northwest. She has a Masters in Communication from the University of Washington and served as general manager for three community radio stations in Oregon and Washington: KMUN, KBOO and KBCS.

Q: What’s your favorite kind of story?

A: I’m drawn to stories that give me the opportunity to poke around for – and share – unusual or quirky tidbits. For example, I just finished a book about things museums have but don’t show you and discovered some truly wonderful gems to share with readers.

Q: If you could have someone else’s job, what would it be?

A: Quite happy with my current job – multimedia freelance journalist – which allows me to do a lot of challenging and fun things. Some days, though, I wish I had the job of “insanely well-paid multimedia freelance journalist.”

Q: Finish this sentence: “A good PR person is …”

A: I really enjoy working with PR folks who don’t pitch me until they get what I do (which is, admittedly, a bit eclectic) and are knowledgeable and honest about their clients.

Q: What skills do new journalists need?

A: Fearlessness. Good coffee. And the ability (and/or willingness to learn) to do a bit of everything – from writing and taking photos to editing audio, participating in social media and having your very own brand.

Q: What hidden talent or skill do you have that viewers/readers don’t know about you?

A: On a whim I entered an oyster-eating contest at a local restaurant a few years back and took second place. The challenge was to be the first to eat a dozen oysters with your hands behind your back and my friends are hoping I’ll try it again this year – and come in first.

The PR Pro Takeaway: She touched on an interesting word in her advice to new journalists; Fearlessness. It’s also a good trait for a freelancer who must go with their gut and depend on their ability and reputation to land work. Keep in mind with Harriet that “eclectic” doesn’t mean everything, look for those quirky stories with a great hook.