Media Monday: Paris Achen, The Columbian

Rosalind Brazel / December 2, 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: Paris Achen, The Columbian

ImageParis Achen covers courts for The Columbian daily newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. She began her journalism career in 2001 at a small weekly in Houston, Texas, before being recruited as a correspondent for The Houston Chronicle. She left Houston in 2005 for a staff position as education writer with The Mail Tribune daily newspaper in Medford, Ore. In 2011, she joined The Columbian.

She was an embedded reporter with Oregon Army National Guard troops from Southern Oregon when they were deployed to rescue casualties of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. She also covered Obama’s presidential campaign in Medford, Ore., and reported extensively on issues related to legalized same-sex marriage in Washington state.

She has earned numerous awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association for her reporting and writing. She is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma.

Q: What’s your favorite kind of story?

A: A story that shows instead of telling. Even a story about something seemingly mundane can be captivating if it’s well-told/written.

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

A: CNN’s chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour. She has traveled the world and helped foster a greater understanding in the United States of some of the world’s most complicated dilemmas.

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

A: Responsive and accessible before deadline.

Q: What skills do new journalists need?

A: Objectivity, fact gathering, fact checking, persistence and multimedia storytelling.

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

A: I can read and write Arabic characters.

The PR Pro Takeaway: Paris’ expansive career has made her well-rounded with a deep understanding of the dynamics of storytelling. Her thoughts on what a journalist needs to know are basic, but spot on. Follow Paris on Twitter …send it in Arabic if you can.

Take a look at Media Media blog for our Public Relations Global Network:

HMA Public Relations;  Phoenix, AZ

Landis Communications; San Francisco, CA