Media Monday: Izumi Hansen

Olivia Fuller / February 13, 2017

For this week’s Media Monday, we’d like you to meet Izumi Hansen, News Editor at the International Examiner.

Izumi Hansen

  1. How did you find yourself at the International Examiner?

I came to the International Examiner through a journalism class at the University of Washington. Travis Quezon, the editor-in-chief at the International Examiner, needed a reporter for a last minute event and sent the request to the class. I took the opportunity, then wrote for the International Examiner a few more times that quarter. I was really impressed with the goals set out by the International Examiner and the standard of work put into articles, so I wanted to stay connected to the paper. When the quarter ended, Travis and I kept in contact and a few months later he brought me on as an assistant new editor.

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

When it comes to stories at the International Examiner, I’m proud of stories that bring to light issues that may not be covered by larger publications, like our stories about undocumented Asian and Pacific Islanders or our coverage of the 70th anniversary of Cathay Post #186.

For my personal work, it’s the stories where I can clearly explain a very complicated topic. I’ve found that complicated topics, like school levies for example, are often the most important but most difficult things to explain. I like to help people better understand things that directly affect them.

  1. What is your favorite thing about your job?

Helping make stories about Asian American issues accessible is one of my favorite parts of the job. I didn’t hear much about the Asian American community when I was growing up, which is a pity. The International Examiner, to me, helps fill in that reporting gap. The community is so diverse in culture, tradition, and history that there’s always something to report on.

  1. What is your interview style?

It depends a bit on who I’m interviewing and what for, but I try to interview with humility, empathy, and graciousness.They are giving me their time to talk with me, so respecting them is very important so they know I value their time. It also gets me in a mode to focus and listen to the person or people I’m interviewing, which very important interview skills.

  1. What do you look for in a story?

The first thing I look for is relevance to the publication. Do our readers need to know more about this issue? The second thing I look for is my personal interest. If I think the story could be interesting or something I think I need to know more about, then I figure that other people probably need or want to know more about it.

  1. What is your day like at your job?

Typically I’ll come in and first check-in with Travis. After that, my work switches depending on the week. We’re a bi-weekly newspaper, so on publication weeks I’ll be copy editing stories, writing last minute news briefs, or helping Travis format the paper. On my off-weeks, I’ll be catching up on emails, updating our story list, and assigning writers to stories.

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

Holly Thorpe is one journalist who I look up to. She’s an exceptional reporter on top of being wicked smart and self-driven. She was hired at the Wenatchee World as an editor just after graduating and three months later started a publication about breweries in North Central Washington. It goes without showing that she’s also very passionate about journalism and her community in Wenatchee, Washington, and I find that very admirable.

  1. What is your favorite news outlet?

The International Examiner of course! Besides us, NPR/KUOW is one of my favorite news outlets.

  1. Fill in the blank:
    1. If I am not reporting, I am…teaching science.
    2. If I could interview anyone, it would be…Former  President Barack Obama.
    3. My favorite thing about Seattle is…it’s history and ethnic diversity.
  2. What is your guilty pleasure?

It’s no secret to those who know me, but Japanese animation and comics. I can’t get enough.