How #MeToo is Changing Culture, Politics, and Journalism: A Conversation with KUOW’s Sydney Brownstone

What role does empathy play in journalism? Why do sexual assault accusers go to journalists instead of the police? Why does the #MeToo movement keep showing us photographs of sad ladies looking out of windows?

Join award-winning journalist Sydney Brownstone for a look behind the curtain of some of her most complex and impactful reporting on rape and sexual assault. Sydney will open this event with an in-depth examination of how she reports stories involving trauma. Her presentation will include tips for interviewing accusers and the accused, fact checking strategies, insights about self-care for journalists and others close to trauma survivors, analysis of “sad lady” portraits and other clichés in trauma reporting, and more. After her presentation, Sydney will be joined in-conversation by Seattle University Professor Sonora Jha, and then the floor open for audience Q&A.

Doors: 6 p.m.

Resource Fair: 6-7 p.m.

Program: 7-8:30 p.m.

Resource fair continues: 8:30-9 p.m.

About the speakers

Sydney Brownstone has been called the “trauma whisperer” for her empathy as a journalist working with survivors. She is currently the online editor at KUOW.  Sydney is an award-winning journalist who came to KUOW from reporting on criminal justice and enterprise stories for Seattle’s alt-weekly The Stranger. There, she was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in feature writing for her work breaking the story of a Seattle journalist who created a fake online identity as a pornography recruiter to trick aspiring actresses into having sex with him. In 2017, Sydney won Society of Professional Journalists Western Washington Journalist of the Year award for her reporting on rape, and the year prior she won the Gender Justice League’s media justice award for her coverage of “bathroom bills” targeting the trans community and sexual assault. Before coming to Seattle, Sydney worked as a staff writer at Fast Company and the Village Voice in New York City. She also was a Fellow at Mother Jones in San Francisco, and before that worked as an assistant editor and writer at The L Magazine in Brooklyn. Connect with Sydney on Twitter @sydbrownstone.

Sonora Jha is a professor of journalism and an associate dean at Seattle University. She is the author of the novel Foreign (Random House India, 2013). Dr. Jha’s academic research focuses on the press, politics, and the Internet and also on media, race, and feminism. She was formerly a chief of bureau with The Times Of India and her recent work has been published in the New York Times, Seattle Times, The Establishment, and Dame Magazine. She was awarded the Society of Professional Journalists Western Washington Journalism Educator of the Year award for 2018. Sonora was recently the 2016-18 Writer in Residence at Richard Hugo House. She is working on a book about raising a feminist son.

Seattle Arts & Lectures–Literary Arts Series Katherine Boo

Katherine Boo is an internationally celebrated journalist on a quest to amplify the voices of our most disadvantaged populations. She is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Behind the Beautiful Forevers, the powerful, heartbreakingly true story of families living in a makeshift settlement in Mumbai, striving for a better life in the shadow of inequitable wealth and luxury. Boo’s current research explores social mobility in low-income families, drawing on years of intimate reporting in African-American neighborhoods in Washington, DC.

Seattle Arts & Lectures–Women You Need to Know–Soraya Chemaly

Soraya Chemaly is an award-winning writer and media critic whose work focuses on the role of gender in culture, politics, and religion. As the director of the Women’s Media Center Speech Project, Chemaly has spearheaded successful campaigns challenging corporations to address online harassment and institutional biases that affect free speech. In her debut book, Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger (2018), Chemaly urges women to understand how and why they repress their anger and to use it as a tool for positive change.


SAL Journalism Series–An Evening with Dean Baquet & Marty Baron

Sit down with Dean Baquet, the executive editor of the New York Times, and Marty Baron, the editor of the Washington Post, for a conversation about the importance of investigative journalism and the path forward for media in this political era. The first African-American in the Times’ top post, Baquet won a Pulitzer Prize for documenting corruption in the Chicago City Council as an investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune. Newsrooms under Baron have won 14 Pulitzer Prizes, including the Boston Globe’s investigation into the Catholic Church’s pattern of concealing clergy sex abuse, portrayed in the Academy Award-winning film Spotlight.

SAL Journalism Series–Kara Swisher

A tech icon and “Silicon Valley’s most feared and well-liked journalist” (New York Magazine), Kara Swisher is known for her insightful reporting and straight-shooting style. She is the executive editor of Recode, and the host of the Recode Decode podcast. Swisher is also the co-executive producer of the annual Code Conference, which brings together a global community of the biggest names in the business for in-depth conversations about the impact of digital technology.

Capitol Hill journalism is not dead: Seattle Central College has a new student newspaper

(Images: SCC)

Student journalism at Seattle Central has had a long but turbulent history at the Capitol Hill community college. Now, students and faculty are on track to start a brand new student-run newspaper.

Johnny Horton, Seattle Central English faculty and advisor to the budding publication has been vetting applicants for the five member publication staff of “board members” — and an additional individual to be social media manager.

“We’re going to have a focus on both investigative reporting and hard news within Seattle Central as well as the community,” said Horton. “What happens in Seattle politics and what happens in Capitol Hill affects students here.”

If everything goes smoothly, according to Horton, the new staff will begin publishing to its website by the end of January with a full-fledged print edition in swing by the end of the winter quarter. Continue reading

Capitol Hill pot publisher covering the business of Seattle’s retail pot economy

10336788_301921989965574_8598761731603846361_nWhile there might not be any I-502 pot shops on Capitol Hill proper that doesn’t mean marijuana-related businesses aren’t cropping up around the Hill. One man is even crazy enough to try to make it in the media business! John Tommervik created High Above Seattle to review bud and rate the new stores opening around the city. It launched in March. You can check it out at

“I looked at applying for marijuana license and all these different things and I just realized that where I would be best at because of being a creative director and a marketer and all that is to develop a website that just focuses on the local Seattle marijuana industry and just cover it,” said Tommervik who runs the site from Capitol Hill and lives in the neighborhood.

He says his home neighborhood is a big influence on HAS and the growing marijuana industry in Seattle. Continue reading