I wasn’t expecting to cover state politics when I graduated from journalism school. In fact, I pursued my journalism degree specifically to write about science. But since starting at the Washington State Wire nearly a year ago, I’ve discovered that what I love about science writing shares a lot in common with writing about state politics.
The Morning Wire: Keeping you informed on Washington politics, policy, and political economy
Both topics can be complicated. On one hand, science journalism might require me to break down the intricate steps of a lab experiment or describe the interworkings of a cellular process. On the other hand, covering the legislature and state agencies involves digging through budget reports, reading pages of proposed legislation, watching hours of committee meetings, and sifting through dozens of PDC finance reports. Writing about science and politics requires taking a complex subject, breaking it down, and turning it into something accessible and engaging.
Both also require reading between the lines to reveal why a reader should care. On the surface, science and politics can seem bland. But when you take a political issue, or scientific study, and evaluate it in a larger context, they can reveal new insights and new understanding of broader issues.
Lastly, both state politics and scientific breakthroughs have a direct impact on people. Whether it’s a promising new medical treatment or legislation securing new funding for fighting wildfires — both impact lives. They are significant.
After spending the majority of the 2018 legislative session in Olympia, the need for state political coverage has become increasingly apparent to me. So much happens at the local level that is important and impactful, but goes unreported.
I write for the Wire because staying informed matters. And I write because what happens in local politics impacts us all.