1. How did you find yourself writing for the Skagit Valley Herald?
I have an environmental studies and journalism degree from Western Washington University, and it just so happened that when I was looking for a staff reporting position in 2013, the Skagit Valley Herald had recently completed a reader survey that indicated strong community interest in more environment and outdoors coverage. I had applied for the education beat, but when the editors saw my resume they thought it was a great opportunity to create an environment beat — and I’m so glad they did!
2. Which of your stories are you most proud of?
In-depth stories on how climate change is shaping our region and expected to impact local communities, and how locals are involved in research documenting changes in other parts of the world. I’ve also reported on the discovery of invasive species and done ongoing coverage of big issues such as the Atlantic salmon farm collapse, about which I’ve written a dozen stories.
3. What is your favorite thing about your job?
There are two things: Getting to spend time out in the field — in places with views of Mount Baker and the San Juan Islands — and getting to share the stories of the people, places and critters that make this region so special.
4. What is your interview style?
I’ve never thought about having a “style.” I just go with my gut and ask questions. If it’s not breaking news, I do background research and prepare some questions based on what I’m able to learn ahead of time.
5. What do you look for in a story?
My editors joke with me on this one because I can find something interesting about just about anything. I believe everyone and everything has a story to tell. But in all seriousness, I look for a news hook — something new or unknown — and a human element or reason it matters to readers.
6. What is your day like at your job?
Each day is different, which is part of what I love about it. A typical day involves checking email and posting to social media from my phone, meeting with a photographer and driving to an assignment, and making phone calls and writing stories from my desk. Less typical days have involved spending a good chunk of the day in a courtroom, on a snowmobile or getting stuck in the mud.
7. Who do you most look up to in the journalism industry?
My academic advisor and mentor Bill Dietrich, a Pulitzer-winning journalist and successful novelist who is ever so humble about his achievements.
8. What is your favorite news outlet?
I don’t have a favorite. I read local news in the Skagit Valley Herald (Yes, it’s important to keep up with what my fellow reporters are covering!) and scan a variety of email lists for other sources of important and interesting environmental news. That often takes me to other small newspapers, The Seattle Times, New York Times and Rueters. Because I admire long-form stories (and the graphics that tend to accompany them), I also have Scientific American and National Geographic subscriptions.
9. Fill in the blank:
- If I am not reporting… I am likely reading, hiking or doing yoga.
- If I could interview anyone, it would be… Henry David Thoreau, Rachel Carson, and the first person to land on Mars.
- My favorite thing about Skagit Valley is… the mountains to sea landscape. I enjoy being able to get to the beach or into the forests of the North Cascades within an hour and see the abundance of amazing wildlife that lives here.
10. What is your guilty pleasure?
Watching historical fiction dramas such as “Game of Thrones” and “Vikings.”
Check out last week’s Meet the Media where we spotlighted Adria Saracino, owner and blogger at The Emerald Palate, a lifestyle blog and food tour company that features the flavors, makers and unique travel experiences of the Pacific Northwest.
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