Podcasts & RSS Feeds
Phyllis Fletcher's public radio career began in the swimming pool. It occurred to her there that if she were not submerged in water, she'd be listening to KUOW — as she was the other 23 hours of her day.
Her previous career in software had become a casualty of the Seattle dot–com bust. Her days of complimentary high–end sodas and yoga classes at the office were long gone. As she crossed Queen Anne pool doing the crawl stroke, it came to her: why not try to work at KUOW, where she probably wouldn't need free pop to be happy?
A few months later, she volunteered to help at KUOW's membership drive. She came in every day to answer phones. A KUOW news reporter noticed Phyllis, and did what reporters do: "You've been here every day," she said. "What's your deal?" Phyllis confessed her interest, and the reporter gamely took her on as an intern. From there, Phyllis became a freelance reporter, fill–in newscaster, staff reporter, and, ultimately, an editor for KUOW News.
Phyllis' demographic research and reporting have highlighted school districts hit hardest by the recent recession. Her series on the recession and public education was the culminating project for her master's degree at the University of Washington. Phyllis' original investigation of primary sources has also revealed the true identity of a swing musician who passed for white from her childhood through her death, exposed abuse of a government database of unemployed job seekers, and led to the preservation of student press freedom in Seattle. For these reporting opportunities, Phyllis thanks the members of KUOW.
Phyllis has earned academic credentials in demography, computer programming, and accounting fraud detection. Her skills in those areas help her support her colleagues in their reporting. Phyllis' honors include a national Edward R. Murrow Award, a Gracie Award, a UNITY Award, a first prize in beat reporting from the Education Writers Association, and a fellowship on the national desk at NPR. Phyllis talks about herself in the third person and lists her awards only when directed to do so by her employer.
She grew up in Fremont and is a proud graduate of James A. Garfield High School.