What The Emerald Means to Me: Everything

by Marti McKenna

(In support of the Emerald’s 7th Anniversary fundraiser we asked community members to share about what the Emerald means to them.)

As an editor for the South Seattle Emerald, I get to see so many great stories before they go out to our readers, and I am continuously blown away by the breadth of topics, the depth of reporting, and the heart in the stories the Emerald brings to South Seattle and beyond. To me, the Emerald represents everything that is right with independent journalism in the Greater Seattle area.

The Emerald is a true gem in our community, and over the past year, it has shone brighter than ever, uplifting community voices to tell stories that directly affect the readers it serves. 

In particular, in 2020, indepth coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the most marginalized among us has helped to raise awareness of the inequities in how solutions are developed and applied in times of crisis, while breaking stories shone a light on police abuse and the flaws and loopholes in the accountability processes as we navigated ongoing unrest following the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and too many others.

It was the Emerald’s own Carolyn Bick who took the deep dive into the story of Tommy Le’s murder by a King County Sheriff’s Deputy and uncovered discrepancies, evidence tampering, and facts previously concealed from the public and the Le family.

And all the while … 

  • Journalists kept us informed about national and local elections, labor issues, inequities in health care and education and the people who are fighting to make things right.
  • Artists helped us see the world and each other, and poets gave us alternate perspectives and hard-won wisdom along with simple joys and enjoyments. Writers told us stories of their lives and of their imaginations.
  • Photographers took us to events and locations and showed us our city and our neighbors in all their beauty and imperfection.

The Emerald lifts up stories and voices we might not otherwise hear & supports the community it serves in so many ways, both tangible and intangible. It is a needed resource, and in order to exist, it needs our help. Today and every day.

Your contribution will directly impact and support the journalists, artists, photographers, poets, storytellers, and all who work together behind the scenes to bring you the Emerald every day. It will help ensure that this vital resource remains strong, resilient, and ready to keep working for all of us.

Please join me in supporting my beloved South Seattle Emerald today.


Marti McKenna is a writer/editor living and working in Beacon Hill. She has been a fiction editor and publisher, a games writer, a country/pop singer, and a pizza-slinger, among other things. She’s proud to be a contributor and editor for the South Seattle Emerald.

Featured Image: Original illustration by Alexa Strabuk 譚文曠.

Before you move on to the next story …
Please consider that the article you just read was made possible by the generous financial support of donors and sponsors. The Emerald is a BIPOC-led nonprofit news outlet with the mission of offering a wider lens of our region’s most diverse, least affluent, and woefully under-reported communities. Please consider making a one-time gift or, better yet, joining our Rainmaker Family by becoming a monthly donor. Your support will help provide fair pay for our journalists and enable them to continue writing the important stories that offer relevant news, information, and analysis. 
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