Media Monday: Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz

Olivia Fuller / February 27, 2017

For this week’s Media Monday, we’d like you to meet Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz, research & editorial assistant at Crosscut and reporter based in Seattle. Her work has also appeared in publications including the Reynolds Journalism Institute.

Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz

  1. How did you find yourself at Crosscut?

I applied for an internship and heard back 6 months later. By that time, I’d forgotten what Crosscut was, and I nearly didn’t take it. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

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

My very first story. I interviewed the lawyer who’d defended serial killer Ted Bundy in the eighties. So this guy is 70 years old and six-and-a-half feet tall; one article had described him as a pit-bull on crack, (not to mention the part about defending a mass murderer). And remember, I’ve never interviewed anyone in my life. I had no idea what I was doing. I was terrified. The day I interviewed him, after leaving his office, I stopped studying for the LSAT and told my mom that I wanted to be a journalist.

3. What is your favorite thing about your job?

Seeing people talk about something they care about, know a lot about, or they’re angry about. I love seeing people passionate about something and translating that into a story.

4. What is your interview style?

I’m growing into it. I always thought I’d have to be an aggressive straight shooter like movie reporters, but people like to talk so much you really just need to nudge them in the right direction. They get to flesh out their own narrative and you get closer to the truth. I’ve also learned to ask the right questions— to be strategic about it. Once someone agrees to speak to you, if you ask good questions, the story writes itself.

5. What do you look for in a story?

A way to give a voice to people that are misrepresented or underrepresented. And to provide a platform for issues, events, and communities that are danger of being erased.

6. What is your day like at your job?

It waxes and wanes with the news cycle. I have quiet days where I’m glued to my desk, but if there’s a big a protest or an event I’m dying to cover, I’ll be there rain or shine.

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

All of the women and journalists of color shaking up an industry dominated by white guys.

8. What is your favorite news outlet?

I’m a die-hard New York Times reader. But Quartz does really interesting reporting, and shout out to the Evergrey’s newsletter for a daily dose of local news.

9. Fill in the blank:

  • If I am not reporting, I am… Doing college. I also read often, paint occasionally, and hike if it’s not freezing.
  • If I could interview anyone, it would be… Michael Barbaro of the NYT. He has the best voice; he always sounds so earnest! I would tell him anything if he just asked me with that voice. But he’s been telling other people’s stories for decades and I’d just love to hear his.
  • My favorite thing about Seattle is… The skyline. And it’s the best place in the world when the sun is out.

10. What is your guilty pleasure?

Late night TV and fantasy fiction.