Kathi Goertzen: Quiet warrior, consummate journalist
During her 30 years on air at KOMO, the Seattle native and Washington State University cougar made television news anchoring seem if not fun, then at least a very interesting way to spend your career. It is one of the toughest jobs in television news - I challenge anyone to successfully connect with disparate viewers day after day, ratings season after rating seasons - Goertzen did it with the right mix of witty banter and dogged reporting skills. .
An editor long ago advised me to not just cover a beat, but own it. Goertzen owned her anchor chair.
She died Monday at age 54 after a long battle with a brain tumor. The outpouring of sorrow and love from those bidding the veteran journalist adieu is heartwarming. She deserves every single adjective linked to her name right now. Fearless, courageous, strength, perseverance, class, funny, friendly, accessible.
I'd add one more: giving. Life-threatening illnesses have a way of making us more time conscious and reluctant to waste even a second. Some have mistaken that as a reason to turn inward or become reclusive. Not Kathi Goertzen. She was involved in her profession and her community until the end.
The consummate journalist, Goertzen willingly provided a window into her very tough journey. We were all educated about her illness and moved to help. Journalists have large platforms that we are encouraged to use for good. That's what Goertzen did, pushing for a cure for brain tumors, including the type that eventually took her life.
That's the ultimate lesson in giving.
(Photo: Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times)
Achenblog by Joel Achenbach
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