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John Ryan



Environment reporter John Ryan welcomes tips, documents and feedback from listeners. Reach him at or for secure, confidential communication: he's at 1-401-405-1206 on the Signal messaging app or

Good thing John was a clumsy traveler.

Otherwise his cheap microcassette recorder wouldn't have fallen out of his pocket in an Indonesian taxi, a generous BBC stringer wouldn't have lent him some recording gear, and he wouldn't have gotten the radio bug. But after pointing a mic at rare jungle songbirds and gong-playing grandmothers for his first radio story, there was no turning back.

Two decades later, he has freelanced for most of the major public radio news shows as well as newspapers and magazines and covered transportation at the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. He’s been a reporter at NPR stations in southeast and southwest Alaska (KTOO-Juneau and KUCB-Unalaska) as well as Seattle. He became KUOW’s first full-time investigative reporter in 2009 and one of the first shop stewards for KUOW’s SAG-AFTRA newsroom union, as well as KUOW’s full-time environment reporter, in 2018.

John’s stories have won multiple national awards for KUOW, including the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi awards for Public Service in Radio Journalism and for Investigative Reporting, national Edward R. Murrow and PMJA/PRNDI awards for coverage of breaking news and a Society of Environmental Journalists award for in-depth reporting.

He believes democracy only works when journalism holds the powerful accountable for their words and actions.