Media Monday: Susannah Frame, KING 5

Rosalind Brazel / August 27, 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: Susannah Frame, KING 5 Investigative Reporter

ImageBefore joining the investigative unit, Susannah anchored the KING 5 Weekend Morning News, KING 5 News at Noon, and was a general assignment reporter. She has multiple awards and has covered a number of high-profile stories for KING 5 News such as the Oklahoma City bombing and the O.J. Simpson trial.

She holds degrees in both Broadcast Journalism and Spanish from the University of Washington. Susannah also attended the University of Guadalajara in Mexico and Hunter College in New York City. She is a frequent lecturer and faculty member on journalism issues for groups such as the Society of Professional Journalists and the Washington State Bar Association.

Q: What’s your favorite story you’ve done in the last week?

A: I have been on vacation for several weeks so I haven’t done one! As an investigative reporter I typically work on one topic for several months. My most recent series of stories exposed mismanagement, wasted tax dollars, and a lack of transparency at the Hanford nuclear site. I’ve enjoyed working on this investigation very much. I love to learn about new things and hold the powerful accountable. When my vacation is over I’ll be exposing more on Hanford. I hope the public finds these stories interesting and important to our region!

Q: What skills do new journalists need?

A: New journalists need to come in with a willingness to learn to write. Writing for broadcast, newspapers, or on-line reporting isn’t a talent. It’s a skill. You learn by doing it over and over again. New journalists should find mentors in their craft and learn to write. After 26 years in the field I’m still learning-as it should be.

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

A: Being a full time mom.

Q: Finish this sentence: “A good PR person is …”

A: Not sending me a press release. I would never do a story based on a press release. I want a PR person to think I’m the best reporter for their particular story and pitch me an exclusive. Successful journalists need to be enterprising stories and/or investigations. Reporting on the same story as the Seattle Times and KIRO doesn’t cut it. That might sound short sighted to the PR world, but I can assure you that a good, exclusive story will get a lot more play, time, and dedication from a reporter at KING TV than one that is being reported on by everyone.

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

A: I can whistle really well. Not the kind of whistling that is pretty and melodic. I’m talking about the kind of whistle that is heard above a stadium full of Seahawk football fans. It’s actually kind of embarrassing.

The PR Pro Takeaway: A powerful message here about how Susannah interacts with the PR industry. Press releases won’t cut it and tips should be given exclusively and accurately. She is a humble journalist with a long history in this area. When you hear a loud whistle, it could be Susannah Frame!