For this week’s Meet the Media, we’d like you to meet Kelly Sullivan, a reporter at the Monroe Monitor & Valley News.
How did you find yourself as a reporter at the Monroe Monitor?
I started college with a plan to pursue a major in physics at Western Washington University, but graduated with a degree in journalism. I landed about a year later in Kenai, Alaska where I worked for a daily paper, the Peninsula Clarion, for 2.5 years covering education.
Alaska is amazing, but I missed eating really good food, so I came back to Seattle. I was contacted by the Pacific Publishing Company about a job opening. The chance to report for a weekly paper appealed to me, and I was looking forward to covering a mix of rural and urban news.
2. Which of your stories are you most proud of?
Anything that really explains ‘why’ someone behaved a certain way, or why an event happened. I think that is imperative for impacting an audience.
3. What is your favorite thing about your job?
I love learning. I love being able to see how other people live, understanding more about their beliefs and what drives them. Journalism has taught me how to be a better person, and live more compassionately.
4. What is your interview style?
I go into the meetings with a few questions in mind, but prefer if they remain relatively loose and conversational. I pay attention to what kind of communication style a person has and will appropriately tailor my approach as best I can.
5. What do you look for in a story?
I look for untold stories and also make sure I also am covering topics that people are talking about. I am interested in writing about mental illness, which I feel is gaining more traction in the industry, but generally seems to be underreported.
6. What is your day like at your job?
Usually, I start the day by planning and organizing. After that I check around to see if there are stories that aren’t on my list that should be. Then I make phone calls or write. I would say my daily schedule can vary – I may begin work later if I have an event or meeting to cover that evening, but I try to stick with a consistent weekly routine.
7. Who do you most look up to in the journalism industry?
My coworkers and editors. I tend to learn the most from them.
8. What is your favorite news outlet?
Outside magazine. I love the stories covered and reporters’ writing styles.
9. Fill in the blank:
- If I am not reporting, I am…Reading a reflective adventure memoir, learning more about health and wellness, doing some kind of physical activity, all while mulling over my existence. I pursue the first three items on that list so I don’t do the last as much.
- If I could interview anyone, it would be…I would love the chance to sit down with incarcerated individuals more and ask them about ways they are working on rehabilitation and if more resources could be made available for recovery.
- My favorite thing about the PNW is…The food. I mean the natural beauty. We’ll say both. I love a good sandwich at the top of a tough hike.
10. What is your guilty pleasure?
Chocolate chip cookies and reality shows. I try to limit the latter, and am attempting a break from sweets for two months.