This week on our Meet the Media series, we are featuring Megan Campbell. Megan writes for the Puget Sound Business Journal, covering retail, health and biotech. Read all about Megan below and be sure to check out some of her stories!
1. How did you find yourself as a writer for the Puget Sound Business Journal?
Previously, I was a general assignment reporter with Sound Publishing. Most recently I was in Everett at The Daily Herald in a design role. I missed getting out from behind my desk, talking to people and sharing their stories. When I saw the position at the Business Journal open up, I jumped at it. I love having specific beats to dig into. It helps focus me.
2. Which of your stories are you most proud of?
One of the first stories I wrote was about a biotech company trying to cure Alzheimer’s. Finding a cure for this disease would be huge as about 5.8 million people in the U.S. suffer from it. I have a personal connection to the story, as my great-grandfather died from dementia. The biotech company, Athira Pharama, has an uphill battle – it’s quite common for Alzheimer’s drugs to fail in mid-to-late stage trials – but they seem pretty hopeful. What a wonderful thing it would be if they succeeded. This was one of my first biotech stories and one that I’m still so proud of.
3. What is your favorite thing about your job?
I flip back and forth between which beat I love the most: retail, healthcare or biotech. I love the science and passion behind healthcare and biotech companies, but retail is just a fun beat. I love meeting new people and sharing their stories. But I think it’s the people in my office who keep me coming to work every day.
4. What is your interview style?
I like to approach an interview like I would a conversation with my mom or my grandma. I like to listen and hear the back story. Sure, I have a set of questions I’m looking to get answers to, but I like the conversation to proceed naturally.
5. What do you look for in a story?
At the Business Journal, we have something called the “business lens” – I need revenue, percentage growth, employee count, future plans, money raised or actionable information to justify a story to my editors. Once I have that, I’m looking for a good story, like a mother-daughter duo starting an almond business together out of their kitchen or a researcher who thinks he can solve blood diseases with gold.
6. What is your day like at your job?
My day is structured by to-do lists and meetings. I keep a physical planner to keep myself organized, full of notes, addresses, cell phones and my daily/weekly lists. When I get into the office, I make my to-do list for the day and add to it as emails come in. Slowly, I check off items between interviews and meetings. We have daily meetings in the newsrooms to discuss what we’re working on that day and weekly editorial meetings for bigger picture stuff. On Fridays we talk about the big stories we’re developing. I usually work 10-hour days. It’s easy to stay late, getting carried away by emails or a story I want to publish. I try to get out of the office as much as possible during the day, meeting people in their own space. It really helps ground my storytelling.
7. Who do you most look up to in the journalism industry?
I find that I usually end up looking up to my colleagues, past and present, the most, because I see the work they put into it. Being around people who work hard motivates me.
8. What is your favorite news outlet?
Can I say the Business Journal? I’m a big fan of the New York Times for my national news.
9. Fill in the blank:
- If I am not reporting, I am… walking my dog.
- If I could interview anyone, it would be… Nordstrom co-presidents Erik and Pete Nordstrom. Seriously, please call me.
- My favorite thing about Seattle is… the people. The weather is a close second.
10. What is your guilty pleasure? Bread.
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