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    2015 DAA Recipient

    Kathy BestKathy Best
    Editor, The Seattle Times
    Masters of Arts in Public Affairs Reporting, 1990
    University of Illinois at Springfield


    The journalism career of three-time Pulitzer Prize winner, Kathy Best, has taken her from coast to coast.  She began at The Seattle Times in 2007 as managing editor of digital news and innovation and was named editor in 2013. The 2010 Pulitzer for Breaking News Reporting, shared by The Seattle Times staff, followed the killing of four police officers. With Best’s leadership, the paper invited Seattle citizens to contribute tips, photos and videos, using Google Wave and other online sources to inform the community—one of the earliest examples of the use of social media during a community crisis. Best and her team won a second Pulitzer for investigative reporting in 2012.  Once again, Best has led her staff to the industry’s highest honor—the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news for its coverage of the fatal landslide in Oso, Washington, which took the lives of 43 people in March 2014. 

    Before joining The Seattle Times, Best was the assistant managing editor for Sunday and national news at The Baltimore Sun. Previously she had been assistant managing editor/metro at the St. Louis Post–Dispatch and at the Seattle Post–Intelligencer.

    Best has led The Seattle Times to do pioneering work in the digital coverage of breaking news, and has covered events including hurricanes, wars, earthquakes, floods, scandals, corruption and politics.  She honed her skills as a statehouse intern/reporter while earning her master’s in Public Affairs Reporting at University of Illinois at Springfield.  In 2006, she was inducted into the Public Affairs Reporting Hall of Fame. Seattle Times executive editor, David Boardman says of Best: “Kathy is whip-smart and steel-tough, unafraid to take on powerful people and institutions. She is one of the finest journalists I’ve known in three decades of working in the newspaper business and one of the finest human beings.”