For this week’s Meet the Media, we’d like you to meet Tracy Record, editor and founder of the West Seattle Blog.
1. How did you find yourself as the editor of the West Seattle Blog?
I founded the site as a personal project in late 2005. One year later, during the aftermath of the Hanukkah Eve Windstorm, people kept asking us questions they weren’t finding answers to in the regional news media. Over the ensuing year, we got more such questions about stories, and we started covering them in our off-hours. By the end of 2007, my husband and I decided to see if we could make a go of the West Seattle Blog as a fulltime commercial news publication. I quit my job as assistant news director at Q13 (TV) and now in our 11th year, we’re still going strong.
2. Which of your stories are you most proud of?
There were two situations in which city government agencies either took action or were about to take action without consulting the community. We brought both situations to light after tips from community members. One was the installation of federally funded police surveillance cameras. That became citywide news, and the cameras, which as a result of the outcry were never activated, were just removed earlier this year.
I’m also proud of the ongoing coverage of community groups, both neighborhood and issue-centered. Ninety-five percent of the time our reporter is the only reporter at those meetings, even though so much information emerges from them.
3. What is your favorite thing about your job?
That community members continue to message us with tips, questions, photos, video, updates, calendar listings and lost/found pets. This has been a community-collaborative enterprise since day one, and we never know what that next text, call, e-mail or tweet will be about.
4. What is your interview style?
Listening. Asking a question that gets somebody talking for a long time because they will likely say something that I wouldn’t even have known to ask about, which makes the story even better.
5. What do you look for in a story?
Because we’re a geography-based news organization, there has to be a West Seattle angle!
6. What is your day like at your job?
A lot of typing, reading, researching and making lists of potential stories. There are always so many stories waiting to be told!
7. Who do you most look up to in the journalism industry?
All the folks who are putting their lives on the line to get information, whether it’s war correspondents, political reporters uncovering corruption, or people reporting the news in countries where the government and/or other groups don’t look kindly on that.
8. What is your favorite news outlet?
I don’t have just one. I particularly appreciate other independent reporters who cover certain topics such as Melissa Westbrook with Seattle Schools Community Forum and Kevin Schofield with SCC [Seattle City Council] Insight.
9. Fill in the blank:
- If I am not reporting, I am…asleep
- If I could interview anyone, it would be… no one person. Chasing down the kind of info that our readers expect from us doesn’t quite result in big “interviews.” Right now I’d settle for just getting a 100 percent reply rate on all the questions I have to ask government agencies about projects, plans, etc.!
- My favorite thing about Seattle is… West Seattle, of course!
10. What is your guilty pleasure?
Going out to the open ocean once or twice a year just to look at and listen to the waves.
Check out last week’s Meet the Media where we spotlighted Michael Moore, arts and entertainment reporter for the Kitsap Sun.
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