Crosscut Focus

Crosscut's Focus series seeks to elevate and examine some of the most significant issues facing the people and places of the Pacific Northwest through in-depth reporting and inventive multimedia storytelling.

 

The New Normal

3 images, 1 of a grocery store, a woman, and a doctor.

"The New Normal" takes a look at life during a pandemic. On the surface, our communities are slumbering as the vast majority of Washington’s citizens are homebound. Empty roadways and businesses offer a daily reminder of the risks the coronavirus presents. How we work, live, play and interact have all shifted. From the front lines to those in isolation, COVID-19 has affected everyone and behind every door, stories unfold.

Resetting the Table

Resetting the table

Washington is an agricultural powerhouse, producing some of the highest yields of fruit, vegetables and grains in the country — yet despite this bounty, plenty of people can’t access it. Entire communities can’t get to the food they need, and while many are in urban centers, rural and suburban communities deal with the issue in entirely unique ways. While visiting diverse communities throughout western Washington — immigrants, farmworkers, grocery shoppers in rural and urban areas alike — we found examples of what fixing Washington’s food system might look like from the ground up.

 

Equal Play

Equal play

The fervor over the U.S. Women's National Team and its victory in the FIFA Women's World Cup this past summer made two things clear:  Women's sports are ascendant and the fight for equal pay is heating up. The Seattle area currently has a courtside seat to all the action. Professional teams here are seeing continued success and tremendous change as they further knit themselves into the fabric of their communities and the future of American athletics. And the players that will populate that future are being trained here as well, be they college champions or hopeful juniors. Meanwhile the fight for equal pay goes on. In this edition of Crosscut's Focus series, we explore the shifting landscape of women's athletics, explain how it is transforming our region and spotlight the women who play here.

Forged In Fire

Forged in Fire

Washington has always been a landscape shaped by wildfire. And humans have been caught in the middle — as stewards, victims, fighters, bystanders, and more. Now with climate change bringing greater uncertainty to our seasons, wildfire has become a year-round concern, igniting fresh fears and inspiring new, and renewed, forestry practices.

In this weeklong series, we’ll delve into the history and share perspectives and experiences from people on the front lines — explaining why, for them and us, the fire never goes out.