Posted by Bob Heck on Oct 26, 2020
Rotary Club of Olympia
The Wheel
 
Today’s Program: Homelessness Discussion with Dusti Demarest, Executive Editor of The Olympian, and Brandon Block, The Olympian House and Homelessness Reporter
 
Meeting Called to order: President-Elect Cindy Zechmann @ 12:03 pm
  • Invocation by: Peter Brennan
  • Pledge of Allegiance led by: Bret Anderson
  • Four Way Test led by: President-Elect Cindy
Program: Homelessness Discussion with Dusti Demarest, Executive Editor of The Olympian, and Brandon Block, The Olympian House and Homelessness Reporter
 
Chuck Fowler assisted with the organization of today’s presenters and introduced Dusti Demarest and Brandon Block. Dusti has been with the Olympian for 26 years, beginning in 1994. She was appointed Executive Editor 5 years ago and grew up in Tacoma. She shared an update on Report for America – a program designed to train emerging journalists and place them in news deserts and other under-covered communities. The work by Report for America is in response to the changing funding model of print/digital journalism. The parent group for Report for America (which is similar to Teach for America) is the nonprofit GroudTruth Project. Brandon came to Olympia via placement through Report for America.
 
Brandon grew up outside of Philadelphia. He graduated from Johns Hopkins and interned at Baltimore City Paper. He covered city government, cops, courts, immigration, art and other beats. He previously was a Princeton in Asia fellow, and worked in Bangkok, Thailand before applying to Report for American and coming to The Olympian in 2020. He is the House and Homelessness Reporter for the bureau. Brandon’s approach is guided by scholarship and data about what causes homelessness and the interventions that work.
 
Brendan and Dusti shared a power point presentation about how he and the paper are approaching reporting on Housing and Homelessness in our community/region. The presentation is available on the club’s website. Following the presentation Dusti and Brandon took questions from the club members.
 
Meeting Adjourned: 1:03 pm by President-Elect Cindy