Media Mondays: Essex Porter

Shea Anderson / August 6, 2012

Each Monday, we’re going to give readers a chance to get to know the media a little better. With a little flair. 

The questions we’ll ask will give you a glimpse of the person behind the journalist. Start your week off with an online networking opportunity through our Media Monday blog post.

This week: Essex Porter, KIRO TV

Essex Porter covers government and politics for KIRO TV. He began his broadcast career at KLMS Radio in Lincoln, Nebraska, then served as a television reporter at KETV in Omaha, and KATU in Portland, Oregon before joining KIRO. He was one of the first reporters on the scene of the Mt. St. Helens volcanic eruption in 1980. He also reported from the scene of the Northridge earthquake in Los Angeles in January 1994. He has earned three Emmy nominations for his reporting and anchoring. He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska, and the William Benton Fellowship for Broadcast Journalists at the University of Chicago.

We sent Essex a few questions via e-mail. Here’s his answers. Thanks Essex.

Q. What was your favorite story last week?

A. Boating Under the Influence Patrol on Lake Washington with the King County Sheriff’s Office.

Q. What skills should new journalists have?

A.  Same skills as always – fact gathering, persistence, storytelling

Q. Finish this sentence for us: A good PR person is … ?

A. Accessible and responsive whatever the issue may be.

 Q. Press releases. Love them or hate them?

A. Love the releases that are in the body of the email, hate the releases that make me open an attachment.

 Q. How has social media changed what you do?   

A. It has given me more places to look for information and more outlets to serve.

Q. Got any hidden talents?

A.  I’m good at baking cakes and making frosting. Not so good at decorating cakes.

The PR Pro Takeaway:

PR professionals would be wise to take note of Essex’s preferences on press releases: No attachments, please.

Essex has been a government and politics reporter for a while, so be advised that he might understand a political or government-issues story better than you. Get your facts straight and be ready to respond quickly.

Also, his cakes may be ugly but stick your fork in anyway.