For this week’s Meet the Media, we’d like you to meet Sarah Toce, founder and publisher of The Seattle Lesbian.
- How did you find yourself as the founder/publisher of The Seattle Lesbian?
I created the opportunity after realizing there was a niche not being filled in Seattle for LGBTQ+ news that fit the diversity of our lives. That was back in 2010 and we’ve been around eight years now.
2. Which of your stories are you most proud of?
I really can’t choose. They are important to me for different reasons or I wouldn’t spend time on them.
3. What is your favorite thing about your job?
Being able to shine a light on a story that might not have otherwise been shared is rewarding. A hot cup of strong coffee in the morning isn’t bad either.
4. What is your interview style?
I prefer to interact in a natural discussion that feels more fluid and fulfilling than scripted.
5. What do you look for in a story?
The human factor. Ways in which we can relate and spark a conversation about the topic, people or situations at hand.
6. What is your day like at your job?
It fluctuates with the news cycle and what’s currently going on in the world, but mostly I start the day by going through email, catching up on the business side of things, and then diving into story editing, publishing and distribution. Selling advertising and marketing our brand is a large part of my business day, as is working with contractors and journalism students on their stories.
7. Who do you most look up to in the journalism industry?
I think there is room enough for everyone to shine in our business. I really appreciate the journalists and publishers who carve themselves a seat at the table and have shown longevity, like Tracy Baim at Windy City Times and Cathy Renna at Target Cue. Both are my friends and both have added significant value in my work on and off the page. It can be challenging at times to find alignment with creative types of varying tenure because this is a unique line of work and not many people can appreciate how intense – and beautiful – it can be with effort, stamina, fierceness, and the sense of purpose and responsibility required to stick around.
8. What is your favorite news outlet?
Now, you know I can’t answer that! Many of my friends work for competing news outlets…so….any of them covering “real news” will have to be my answer.
9. Fill in the blank:
- If I am not reporting, I am…spending time with my daughter and wife, organizing one event or another, advocating for women and the LGBTQ+ community, and trying to sit still – at least for an hour or two.
- If I could interview anyone, it would be…I used to say Gloria Steinem, but then she called me from New York and said she read The Seattle Lesbian so now I have to come up with a new goal. Melissa Etheridge called my phone and I thought it was a prank by a mutual friend so that was interesting. And I’ve had an entire conversation with Lily Tomlin while she drove in L.A. with the top down trying to comb her hair, so there was that…it’s just an interesting ride! I am intrigued by strong women and men making history by not backing down. Hillary Clinton would be an amazing interview.
- My favorite thing about Seattle is…Nature and the coffee. Nearby hiking, camping, river rafting, running, exploring the San Juan Islands, and kayaking.
10. What is your guilty pleasure?
When there is an opportunity to watch a show after my daughter goes to bed, it’s Grey’s Anatomy, The Crown or The Handmaid’s Tale. With a glass of wine. Wild night.
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