Meet the Media: Haley Donwerth

Amanda Moss / November 6, 2017

For this week’s Meet the Media, we’d like you to meet Haley Donwerth, Freelance Journalist at The Peninsula Gateway.

Haley Donwerth1. How did you find yourself at The Peninsula Gateway?

I found myself at the Gateway thanks to a rejection from a job with The Olympian, funnily enough. I interviewed with the executive editor there and while I didn’t receive a position, she liked my interview and writing style so she helped me get in touch with other journalists in the area. One person I had an informational interview with is an editor at The Gateway, and he offered me a freelance position on the spot. I’ve been loving it ever since!

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

I love stories where I can capture the lives and passions of others and share it with the world. I like to get to the essence of a person and find out why they do what they do. It helps bring the stories alive for our readers.

3. What is your favorite thing about your job?

The people I get to meet, definitely. I’ve had the chance to talk to some pretty awesome members of the Gig Harbor community and not only does it help me be a better story teller, but it makes me feel more connected to the town. I’m falling more in love with it every day!

4. What is your interview style?

Whether in person or over the phone, I try to bring a casual feel to all my interviews. Especially since there are times I ask more personal questions – it’s important that the people I’m talking to feel like they can be open with me.

5. What do you look for in a story?

No matter what I’m writing about, I always try to find a unique angle that may not be immediately noticeable. It’s always exciting to find a new way to tell a story to readers. That’s also why I try to talk to as many sources as I can; You never know where you’re going to find that angle!

6. What is your day like at your job?

Every day is different, which is why I love journalism so much. One day I could just be researching story ideas, and the next I’m driving out to Gig Harbor for an interview, or calling D.C. to talk to Representative Derek Kilmer. I get to choose my own hours, and I like to keep my schedule pretty random. I usually work on research later in the evening, and any interviews I have usually take place during the day between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., My story deadlines are every Tuesday if not sooner.

7. Who do you look up to most in the reporting community?

The student writers at The Daily Evergreen, WSU’s newspaper (Go Cougs!). That’s where I first found my love of journalism, and the people I worked alongside inspired me to be better every day. They are some of the hardest working students I’ve met and I’m excited to see what they do in journalism when they graduate.

8. What is your favorite news outlet?

I really like The Peninsula Gateway (of course), The New York Times, The Seattle Times, and KING 5. I’ll also tune in to NPR for my news updates when I’m driving.

9. Fill in the blank:

  • If I am not working, I am…Running/walking around Olympia, reading, or practicing my hand in nature photography with my sister.
  • If I could interview anyone, it would be…Margaret Hamilton, the woman who led the team of software engineers responsible for creating the moon landing code. She wrote the code herself, in fact. I think she’s a very inspiring woman and I’d love to speak with her about finally being recognized for her huge hand in one of the biggest technological advances of mankind.
  • My favorite thing about PNW is…The views are incredible! You can take a 15-minute hike and suddenly have the most beautiful scenery in front of you. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of this beautiful state.

10. What is your guilty pleasure?

I am a huge horror movie fan, and I love watching the latest scary flicks by myself at night.


Check out last week’s Meet the Media where we spotlighted Megan Murnane, photojournalist at KING 5 News.

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