Meet the Media: Katherine Long

Bailie Pelletier / May 14, 2020

Our next feature on our Meet the Media series is Katherine Long, real estate reporter at The Seattle Times. Get to know Katherine by reading all about her below and be sure to follow her on Twitter and check out some of her stories!

 

1. How did you find yourself in your current role?

I came to the Seattle Times straight out of Columbia Journalism School’s investigative reporting master’s program. Before matriculating at Columbia, I’d been working for the federal government, managing USAID projects in Central Asia.

 

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

I’m particularly proud of a story I worked on with my colleague Dan Beekman: Advocates worry house flippers may bank on coronavirus fear to target Seattle area homeowners. I mapped the business activities of a home flipping outfit by analyzing their purchase and sale patterns by hand, then feeding those patterns into a SQL query so we could get a sense of how wide-ranging their real estate purchases were. We started our reporting thinking that the company had flipped maybe 40 homes; in truth, they’d flipped closer to 600.

 

3. What is your favorite thing about your job?

I get to call anyone I want and ask them anything I want. A heady rush!

 

4. What is your interview style?

Laid-back. I try not to ask questions. I make notes of a few things I want to make sure I get to before I start a call, then let things happen naturally.

 

5. What do you look for in a story?

I’m drawn to bizarre details, like the corporate breach-of-contract suit that made much of the defendant being John D. Ehrlichman’s grandson.

 

6. What is your day like at your job?

We pitch in our stories or receive assignments by 8:15, then it’s reporting-reporting-reporting…I try to have some words on a page by 2:30, and everything gets more intense as deadline approaches at 5:15.

 

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

My colleagues in the Seattle Times business section are truly some of my journalism heroes. If we’re excluding them – Meg Kissinger, who at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel made the world aware of the health consequences of BPA; Nikole Hannah-Jones, for her profound and necessary storytelling in the 1619 Project; Hannah Dreier for her perseverance in telling the stories of Salvadoran immigrants on Long Island who became entangled with the MS-13 gang.

 

8. What is your favorite news outlet?

The Seattle Times. (Of course.) And The New Yorker.

 

9. Fill in the blank:
    1. If I am not working, I am… Biking, hiking, reading thick novels.
    2. If I could interview anyone, it would be… Whoever’s not picking up my calls at the moment.
    3. My favorite thing about Seattle is… Its proximity to the wilderness.

 

10. What is your guilty pleasure?

Dry white wine.

 

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