Then Crosscut put out a call for a journalist to highlight the dynamic voices that make up the Evergreen State, underscoring that coverage with a focus on equity. It was perfect.
My goal as a reporter is to understand how different communities navigate their worlds and coexist with one another. And the timing could not have been better. I was in the last laps of my role at the Free Press, where I covered Vermont’s communities in a way that paralleled the mission embedded in Crosscut’s new position.
I am intrigued by the sociocultural backdrop that influences a community and, as with most reporters, my areas of interest aren’t limited to one topic. They run the gamut, from politics to race to religion. One week I might cover gun culture, the next the opioid epidemic. These subjects matter because they impact the people of Washington.
My reporting is about getting on the ground and meeting people both influential in and influenced by changes happening across the state. It’s about hearing firsthand how they experience Washington.
It’s about chatting with Black-owned coffee shops and hearing what it’s like breaking into a white-dominated industry. It’s about getting to know the Wallingford restaurant owner donating a portion of his eatery’s proceeds to help refugees from Afghanistan, a country he left decades ago.
This story was first published in Crosscut's Weekly newsletter. Want to hear more from reporters like Maleeha Syed? Sign up for the newsletter, below.
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