How #MeToo is Changing Culture, Politics, and Journalism: A Conversation with KUOW’s Sydney Brownstone

Written by Karen L. Bystrom
January 1, 2019

KUOW online editor Sydney BrownstoneWhat role does empathy play in journalism? Why do sexual assault accusers go to journalists instead of the police? Why does the #MeToo movement keep showing us photographs of sad ladies looking out of windows?  

The College of Arts and Sciences and KUOW present How #MeToo is Changing Culture, Politics, and Journalism: A Conversation with KUOW’s Sydney Brownstone on February 26, 6 to 9 p.m. in Campion Ballroom. Sonora Jha, PhD, will facilitate a conversation with Sydney following her presentation. We are inviting a number of community organizations to participate in a resource fair as part of the program.

Tickets for the Seattle University community are free and information will be distributed in January. General admission tickets are $5 and are on sale now.

Sonora Jha, PhDJoin award-winning journalist Sydney Brownstone for a look behind the curtain of some of her most complex and impactful reporting on rape and sexual assault. Sydney will open this event with an in-depth examination of how she reports stories involving trauma. Her presentation will include tips for interviewing accusers and the accused, fact checking strategies, insights about self-care for journalists and others close to trauma survivors, analysis of “sad lady” portraits and other clichés in trauma reporting, and more. After her presentation, Sydney will be joined in-conversation by Seattle University Professor Sonora Jha, and then the floor open for audience Q&A.

Before and after the program, an interactive resource fair will be open in the lobby featuring local and national community organizations.

  • Doors: 6 p.m.
  • Resource Fair: 6-7 p.m.
  • Program: 7-8:30 p.m.
  • Resource fair continues: 8:30-9 p.m.

General admission tickets are on sale online now.

About the speakers

Sydney Brownstone has been called the “trauma whisperer” for her empathy as a journalist working with survivors. She is currently the online editor at KUOW.  Sydney is an award-winning journalist who came to KUOW from reporting on criminal justice and enterprise stories for Seattle’s alt-weekly The Stranger. There, she was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in feature writing for her work breaking the story of a Seattle journalist who created a fake online identity as a pornography recruiter to trick aspiring actresses into having sex with him. In 2017, Sydney won Society of Professional Journalists Western Washington Journalist of the Year award for her reporting on rape, and the year prior she won the Gender Justice League’s media justice award for her coverage of “bathroom bills” targeting the trans community and sexual assault. Before coming to Seattle, Sydney worked as a staff writer at Fast Company and the Village Voice in New York City. She also was a Fellow at Mother Jones in San Francisco, and before that worked as an assistant editor and writer at The L Magazine in Brooklyn. Connect with Sydney on Twitter @sydbrownstone.

Sonora Jha is a professor of journalism and an associate dean at Seattle University. She is the author of the novel Foreign (Random House India, 2013). Dr. Jha’s academic research focuses on the press, politics, and the Internet and also on media, race, and feminism. She was formerly a chief of bureau with The Times Of India and her recent work has been published in the New York Times, Seattle Times, The Establishment, and Dame Magazine. She was awarded the Society of Professional Journalists Western Washington Journalism Educator of the Year award for 2018. Sonora was recently the 2016-18 Writer in Residence at Richard Hugo House. She is working on a book about raising a feminist son.

Sydney Brownstone photo by Megan Farmer, KUOW