Trying to cover all these do-gooders in Seattle and hereabouts is hard enough without something like this happening. Earlier, I bemoaned the Seattle Times’ Kristi Heim ending her “Business of Giving” blog.
Now, journalist Clay Holtzman, who has covered the local philanthropy scene for years, is leaving the Puget Sound Business Journal to take a job as a writer for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Here’s his post on the move.
This is a loss for the community, which I believe benefits from having independent journalists reporting on it, and for me — since I prefer to have him do the work crafting a story that I can then just link to.
Clay has done a great job documenting the philanthropic activities in this region, and in frequently raising tough, important questions that others either don’t think of or maybe didn’t want to ask — such as he did during the still-mysterious demise of the local microfinance firm Unitus. He also tends to tick off the Gates Foundation at times, which I would like to assume makes me look good.
I wish him well. I don’t know what he means by having “fuzzy” plans to continue doing freelance reporting on nonprofits, philanthropies and social business in Seattle and King County, but I hope it means we will continue to benefit from his coverage of this burgeoning new “industry.” It will be a little weird for him, since he will now work at the Hutch, but as he notes we journalists live in weird times.
And to be clear, Kristi is still out there reporting on all this stuff. I just enjoyed her blog and was sorry to see it go. I was told it took up too much of her time. Tell me about it …. I’ll be interested to see how Clay swings trying to do this on the side.
One last thought: Here we are in at least one of the centers of the universe for philanthropy, for global health and the fight against poverty. We are overrun with do-gooders these days, but most of the do-gooders don’t buy ads in the Seattle Times (or at Humanosphere, for that matter).
Most of these organizations do “messaging” or just good old self-promotion, but is media coverage important to this community?
I can’t tell. All I know is it ain’t easy. Good luck with the new endeavor Clay.