On Thursday, I had the uncommon privilege of hosting a visit from 19 journalists from countries in Africa and the Middle East who spent the bulk of the day learning about our state government and Legislature.
The journalists, participating in an Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists hosted locally by the World Affairs Council in Seattle, began the day with a tour of TVW. The visit then segued to the John A. Cherberg Building, where they participated in a lively Q&A session I hosted with members of our own Capitol Press Corps, then to the Capitol Dome Deli where Sen. Karen Fraser joined me for 90 more minutes of Q&A with the journalists over lunch. From there, the group enjoyed a tour of our Capitol building and then met with the governor’s communications staff.
I was particularly struck by the insights revealed by the journalists’ various questions. They not only showed a keen interest in the details of how our public process works — from the Legislature to the initiative process — but demonstrated an impressive knowledge of national issues that have impacted our state and even key legislation at the state level such as marriage equality and legalization of marijuana. They were keenly up on local current events, including our sudden call to a special legislative session and the Boeing proposals that surround it. I was left with the impression they could have fill in for our savvy Washington Press Corps and barely miss a beat.