Media Monday: Heather Graf

Olivia Fuller / May 15, 2017

For this week’s Media Monday, we’d like you to meet Heather Graf, reporter at KING 5.

Heather Graf1. How did you find yourself at KING 5?

Reporters tend to move a lot early on in their careers, working their way up to bigger cities and bigger markets.  I’m from South Carolina originally, but Seattle and KING 5 were always on my “destination” list, mainly because of KING’s reputation in the industry.  It’s a station known for great storytelling.  So after stops in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee, I landed here in Seattle.

2. Which of your stories are you most proud of?

When someone I’ve interviewed takes the time to send me a note after a story airs, thanking me for being compassionate and kind and fair — those are the stories I’m most proud of.   I consider those little thank you notes more precious than any award or accolade I’ve ever received.

3. What is your favorite thing about your job?  

I love the fact that every day is different.  My job takes me to new places and introduces me to new people every single day.  My “office” is wherever the story takes me, as long as we have wi-fi and power outlets to run our computers.

4. What is your interview style?  

My goal during most interviews is to try to put the interview subject at ease, particularly during a story that may be sad or emotional.  I think if you can make someone feel comfortable, their responses tend to be more genuine.  I often tell people to pretend the camera isn’t there, that it’s just the two of us having a conversation.

5. What do you look for in a story?

A great character!!  A great character can make you laugh, make you cry, make you think, and leave a lasting impression.  A great character makes a story memorable.

6. What is your day like at your job?

Busy! I work the evening shift, so my work day starts at 2:30 p.m.  I spend some time in the morning researching stories.  Once I get to work, we have a quick editorial meeting, pitch our story ideas, and get our assignments.  Then a photographer and I load our gear into a news car, and for the rest of the day we are out in the field: doing interviews, shooting the story, writing, editing, and sharing our story online and on social media.  Last but not least is a liveshot at ten and eleven p.m. to wrap up the day.  I get off work at 11:30 p.m.  (Safe to say I’m a night owl).

7. Who do you most look up to in the journalism industry?  

There are so many strong, talented, fearless women in this business who paved the way for generations of female journalists to follow in their footsteps.  I feel indebted to each of them.  Tough to pick just one!

8. What is your favorite news outlet?  

KING 5 of course 🙂 Also NBC News and The New York Times. I bought a subscription to The New York Times for the first time this year and I’ve loved it.

9. Fill in the blank:

  • If I am not reporting, I am…exploring a part of Western Washington I’ve yet to visit or traveling to the east coast to visit family.
  • If I could interview anyone, it would be…The oncologist and immunotherapy researcher who saved my mother’s life when she was battling stage four cancer.  He never gave up on her.  The journalist in me still has so many questions about how he did it, and how immunotherapy can help other cancer patients and their families.
  • My favorite thing about Seattle is…Seattle summers!  You really can’t beat having sunshine all day, every day until nearly 10 p.m. Plus no humidity!

10. What is your guilty pleasure?

Reality television – Sssh, don’t tell anyone!