Media Monday: Sanjay Bhatt, The Seattle Times

Rosalind Brazel / March 11, 2013

Each Monday, we’re giving readers a chance to get to know the media a little better.

With a little flair.

Our goal is to give readers some insight into the work and work style of area journalists, and get to know a little bit about the person behind the byline. Start your week off with an online networking opportunity through our Media Monday blog post.

This Week: Sanjay Bhatt, The Seattle Times

Sanjay BhattSanjay Bhatt grew up in Texas but was born in a Christian missionary hospital in Southern India during a time when American immigration policy was aimed at recruiting foreign doctors, engineers and scientists. Swaddled in his mother’s arms, he arrived in the United States when he was less than two months old.

He got hooked on journalism in high school. The Houston Chronicle recruited him for a minority student internship program and recognized him with an award. He went on to graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Duke University in Durham, N.C. He interned at The Wall Street Journal and has worked at The Times Leader in Wilkes-Barre, PA and The Palm Beach Post in West Palm Beach, Fla. before coming to The Seattle Times.

One of his most surreal experiences was covering the nation’s first confirmed anthrax case just weeks after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks which initially targeted media companies. From this coverage he received a Knight fellowship at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where he mapped West Nile cases in Louisiana, crept into dark attics looking for rabid bats and learned about the politics of public health.

Bhatt paid a visit to The Fearey Group offices last Friday. He met with Fearey staffers to discuss his new beat assignment at The Seattle Times, commercial real estate. Bhatt will be taking over for the recently retired Eric Pryne, featured in a previous Media Monday video.

He’ll be leaving the banking and financial beat to cover real estate, but he’s also covered the metro beat and written about Seattle neighborhoods, so real estate should be a familiar transition.

Bhatt says there are two types of stories he and his editors will be looking to cover in real estate:

  1. Trends
  2. Scoops on significant real-estate projects or players in the market

He also took the time to answer some of our traditional Media Monday questions:

Q: What hidden talent or skill do you have that viewers/readers don’t know about you?

A: I’m fascinated with data and presenting readers with the “story” the data is telling. It requires a good mix of left-brain and right-brain thinking, and I am constantly learning new things in trying to communicate these stories to my readers.

Q: If you weren’t working at your current job, what would you be doing?

A: Traveling around the world.

Q: What’s the best thing about being in the Seattle media scene?

A: The Seattle media scene is a hotbed of experimentation in media arts, whether it’s blogs, documentaries or social media. It’s a great community for storytellers.

The PR Pro Takeaway: Bhatt is a diverse, well-traveled and experienced journalist who knows what he’s looking for to build a good story. He’s wide open to ideas and has the newspaper prowess to develop complex stories and make the simple ones compelling. Send him straight up, well-developed pitches and he’ll be able to flesh out the details.