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THE VIEWPOINT INTERVIEW:

Phyllis Fletcher

EYES ON THE PRIZE

B Y J U L I E GA R NE R

P

hyllis Fletcher, ’00, ’11, an editor for KUOW radio, is a journalist with an extra-sharp eye for a good story and the curiosity to dig deep. Those professional qualities have earned Fletcher five national awards this year. Take Fletcher’s story “Secrets of a Blonde Bombshell” about Ina Ray Hutton, one of the swing era’s first female bandleaders. Fletcher won a coveted Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association for her story on Hutton. Although Hutton grew up black on Chicago’s south side, Fletcher discovered that she passed as white during her musical career and in her personal life, even among family members. “I looked at a picture of Ina and her all male orchestra, all white men. She was standing in a gown smiling and holding this baton and her facial features shouted out to me,” Fletcher recalls. She checked U.S. Census data that revealed Hutton’s black/mulatto heritage. In addition to the Murrow Award, Fletcher also won both Gracie and UNITY awards for her Hutton story. (Gracies are given for work about women or by women. The Radio Television Digital News Association presents UNITY awards for outstanding achievement for coverage of diversity.) If that weren’t enough, the Journalism Education Association recognized Fletcher with a National Award for Education Reporting in 2011. “It is the type of work that isn’t typically recognized but it’s the daily grind,” says Fletcher, who grew up in Fremont and is a graduate of Garfield High School. She started at KUOW as a volunteer during a membership drive, later worked as an intern, freelance reporter, fill-in newscaster, staff reporter and worked her way up to being an editor. PHOTO BY ANIL KAPAHI the story of diversity at UW

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Viewpoint - Spring 2013  

Thanks to their UW education, Huskies from underrepresented backgrounds are making their mark as leaders in a variety of fields--and blazing...

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