Suki Dardarian

Managing Editor (Curation), Seattle Times

Seattle, WA

[WA-E 0301]

I see the power and purpose every day. I see it in daily stories that we cover in which we clarify for readers what happened in that police incident or what happened in that public policy issue. And I see it in the bigger, larger investigative pieces that we do. And the most recent investigative series we conducted was a project called “Seniors for Sale.”

It looked at how the adult family home business was putting seniors in this community at risk. And families were entrusting these homes with their parents and grandparents, and they were assured that they would be well taken care of in these homes – there were alternatives to nursing homes, they seemed homey. But in fact, due to a variety of policy issues and business issues, and other factors, countless, countless seniors were being poorly cared for, they were being put at risk, and in some cases they died – as a result of their poor care.

And the stories that we heard from the community about the impact that that investigation had on their families and their lives – those were huge.

And the folks who sat down with us and shared their stories about the loss of their loved ones and in some cases their own feelings of guilt about that, they chose to sit down with us – they trusted us – and they told their stories. We were able to highlight areas for explanations for why this had come about.

[It had a] huge impact on our community – from a family that’s trying to decide where to put mom, to legislation that’s being worked on right now in our state legislature. None of those changes would’ve happened without us.

Nobody knew about these situations, but we have a great investigative team: An intrepid investigative reporter, who takes data and his own knowledge of this state and that industry and his fabulous way for sitting down and understanding people’s lives and people’s stories. He was able to pull all that together and, with the rest of the folks of the newsroom, deliver an incredibly powerful package of stories that, you know, we’re all incredibly proud of and made a huge impact on the community.

And I think they appreciate us for doing that.