Media Monday: Allison Needles

Amanda Moss / September 25, 2017

For this week’s Media Monday, we’d like you to meet Allison Needles, reporter at the Puyallup Herald.

  1. How did you find yourself at the Puyallup Herald?

When I graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in 2016, I had already spent my last semester writing freelance articles through my university’s MediaLab. The Puyallup Herald was one of the newspapers I’d been writing for – and it just so happened to be looking for a news reporter.

  1. Which of your news stories are you most proud of?

As a local news reporter, I have the pleasure of writing about people who make a difference in the community. Unfortunately, sometimes we lose those people. In March, I wrote a story about a fundraiser that raises money for children facing serious illnesses called Loganfest. It was coming to an end after 10 years. The fundraiser was inspired by 15-year-old Logan Lewis, a Puyallup student who’d been fighting neuroblastoma for 10 years. I remember him coming to my office with his father to talk with me about the fundraiser, even though he hadn’t been feeling well. He died a few weeks later, and to this day I feel honored to have met him and to have shared his story with the community.

  1. What is your favorite thing about your job?

I have been a lifelong lover of storytelling. That’s by far my favorite part of what I get to do – to share the stories around me with people who care, and stories that might otherwise not be told.

  1. What is your interview style?

I always prefer face-to-face interviews, and I always prefer those interviews to be more of a conversation, because I want my interviewees to feel comfortable talking to me and feel that their stories are in good hands. My fellow reporters also know that I am very fond of using a pen and a paper, and I hardly ever voice record anything. In college, when I was first starting out, my communications professor told me not to rely too much on voice recorders – and it stuck.

  1. What do you look for in a story?

When I look for a story, I look for something that impacts the community and can interest a wide range of audiences. I’m constantly thinking about what affects my readers and what they care most about.

  1. What is your day like at your job?

It varies. The Puyallup Herald is weekly newspaper, and I write about five to seven stories at week. Some days I start on assignment early in the morning, and other days I go to my office at The News Tribune in Tacoma to write stories and call sources. Some days you can find me at city council meetings or school district board meetings late into the evening.

  1. Who do you most look up to in the news community?

I look up to the reporters and editors that I work with at The Herald and The News Tribune. I follow their stories closely and know how hard they work to bring people the information they need – or didn’t know they needed. I look up to honest and dedicated reporters who put themselves in the field.

  1. What is your favorite news outlet?

Is it cheating if I choose The Puyallup Herald and the Tacoma News Tribune? The TNT is a fantastic source for local news, and working alongside those reporters I know they really care about what they do, and they care about honest, accurate reporting, as we all should. On a wider scale, I also get my news from The New York Times and The Washington Post.

  1. Fill in the blank:
  • If I am not reporting, I am… reading! Anything I can get my hands on, but mostly novels.
  • If I could interview anyone, it would be…K. Rowling. I’m a huge Harry Potter fan.
  • My favorite thing about the Pacific Northwest is… that it feels like home. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and it’ll always be home.

 10. What is your guilty pleasure?

Sour gummy worms and Disney movies.