Meet our new Crosscut Now host: Paris Jackson

When she's not on air, Jackson will be hosting our Crosscut Talks podcast and speaking at the upcoming Crosscut Idea Festival.

Paris Jackson at the Crosscut Now set

Paris Jackson with Crosscut Now on Wednesday, March 15, 2023. (Amanda Snyder/Crosscut)

What a time to be alive – to speak truth to power.

Democracy is teetering with the rollbacks of rights in statehouses across the country, history books being banned in some school districts and mass shootings becoming increasingly common in our sacred spaces.

Since the birth of my young son and daughter, they have strengthened, influenced and challenged my worldview. Like many parents, my husband and I are concerned about their education, health, safety and the planet they will inherit.

As the new host of Crosscut Now, we will highlight the in-depth reporting by our award-winning newsroom within our segments, going deeper on topics you may be familiar with or shedding light on untold stories. It is a big responsibility to lead this program with a fresh take, and one I champion.

In addition to my TV duties, managing editor Mark Baumgarten, former host of the Crosscut Talks podcast, is passing the baton to me as its new host. We will premiere our first episode on May 11, which you can listen to wherever you get your podcasts.

My conviction as a journalist is to be curious and steadfast in asking tough questions that affect the daily lives of people by telling stories that reflect the fullness of humanity and connect cultural and historical nuances.

That foundation stems from my upbringing. Raised in a loving home of faith and strong values, my single mom stressed the importance of service to others. This is the lens through which I view journalism.

After 14 years of meeting and talking with people, there is one simple truth: Everyone wants their voice heard.

For seven years I was an anchor and reporter on the KOMO News Morning Team. From sharing breaking news as the transportation expert to highlighting important stories to help viewers better prepare for the day, I embraced my work.

Prior to that I was a general assignment reporter for WVTM-TV in Birmingham, Alabama. In a city filled with down-home Southern hospitality and a tumultuous history, I sharpened my skill set by covering county government and high-profile court cases; severe weather — too many tornadoes to count; and various stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

A year after graduating from Washington State University, I landed my first on-air reporting job, where I schlepped my own gear to story assignments – shooting, writing and editing my work for KEZI-TV in Eugene, Oregon.

Crosscut Now host Paris Jackson at the KCTS 9 studio recording a virtual interview. (David Lee/Crosscut) 

Soon I will have an amazing opportunity to sit down before an audience with Michael Barbaro, New York Times political journalist and host of the acclaimed The Daily podcast, at the Crosscut Ideas Festival Headliners Gala. It’s the kickoff event for the festival, which runs from Saturday, April 29 through Saturday, May 6.

Barbaro and his team break down the biggest national and international stories for more than three million listeners a day. The Daily lifts the veil of storytelling to allow the audience to hear from reporters as they gather information or directly from the people at the heart of the stories.

The conversation will focus on the role and responsibility of The New York Times — and the media — given what we’ve learned over the years about the increase in media distrust, and how the press should forge ahead with the 2024 presidential election approaching.

In every iteration of my career, it is with pride that I hold these positions, still occupied by  very few who look like me. I invite you to let me know what you think of Crosscut Now by sending your tips to me at

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