Meet the Media: Olivia Sullivan

Stella Heekin / December 18, 2018

For this week’s Meet the Media, we’d like you to meet Olivia Sullivan, a reporter at the Federal Way Mirror.

Olivia Sullivan 1. How did you find yourself at the Federal Way Mirror?

Funny enough, by reading the newspaper. While earning my journalism degree, I was a reporter and eventually editor-in-chief of the Highline College newspaper, The Thunderword. After I graduated, I was an editorial intern for Paradigm Communications Group, publisher of the Alaska Airlines in-flight magazine, Alaska Beyond. During the last five years, I worked in customer service at a local fitness facility and in 2017, I developed a monthly digital newsletter for the facility that combines marketing and storytelling. In July, a coworker (Hi, Caitlin!) heard about the opening and recommended the job to me. I then found the job posting for a reporter position in an issue of the Federal Way Mirror. Once I applied, the transition from customer service to reporter happened within a month and the rest is history.

I’m so grateful for the opportunity to report on happenings in my hometown of Federal Way while still creating monthly newsletters for the communities of Metro Parks Tacoma.

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

If I had to choose, I’m most proud of my stories that highlight our local community members. Whether it’s a small business, standout high school athletes, or people who do good in Federal Way even when no one is watching, I love giving those individuals a moment to shine.

3. What is your favorite thing about your job?

It’s almost impossible to choose one favorite part. I love being able to meet so many people and having the opportunity to live a day in their life – even if just for an hour or so. I love the new experiences and how I am constantly learning each day.

4. What is your interview style?

Depends on the story. It’s more conversational when I’m doing feature pieces to gain an idea of who the person is so I can reflect that in the story. Other times I’m more direct with questioning when developing investigative pieces. Either way, I listen more than I speak.

5. What do you look for in a story?

Newsworthiness, a human aspect and the unexpected. The best stories derive from careful listening ears because a different angle can unveil itself at any time.

6. What is your day like at your job?

Each day is different (another one of my favorite aspects). I could be at my desk writing stories and editing photos, out conducting interviews, photographing sporting events, or reporting on and attending interesting events in the community.

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

I look up to all the editors worked with so far, but I most look up to my former journalism professor, Dr. T.M. Sell (he never told me what T.M. stands for… so I assume it means Tiny Miracle).

8. What is your favorite news outlet?

There’s a few! For broadcast media, I’ve always admired KING 5 and the Today Show on NBC. As a kid, I’d playfully mimic the news anchor sign-offs with my own name. I’m a big fan of The Seattle Times. I also follow coverage by CNN, The Associated Press and The New York Times for national news.

9. Fill in the blank:

  • If I am not reporting, I am… on a run, listening to My Favorite Murder podcasts or when the weather permits, gardening with my mom.
  • If I could interview anyone, it would be… Michelle Obama. Could she bring Barack, too?
  • My favorite thing about the PNW is… the scarce but sacred sunny days, the abundance of hikes and gorgeous mountain views.

10. What is your guilty pleasure?  Punny Instagram captions and Goldfish snacks.

Check out our last Meet the Media where we spotlighted Graham Johnson, news reporter for KIRO 7. 

Want to be featured in a Meet the Media? Email ofuller@feareygroup.com.