Reed Cowan – Community Impact EP

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“Every life has a story, every story has a lesson, and every lesson has the power to change the world.”

When I tell stories, that’s my drumbeat and my mantra. It is also my promise to those who see or read my stories that I will always fulfill this mission of holding up a mirror of people-centered journalism.

I come from a family of storytellers. From the cowboy poets of my youth in rural Utah, to my aunt’s nationally published style of searing memoir, to essays written to challenge and elevate our culture, I come through my love for telling stories in a organic.

My broadcasting career began in radio over three decades ago, when I was still in high school reporting sports scores on the sidelines. A graduate of Utah State University, I was the first student to air to Salt Lake City to cover breaking wildfire news in the western Utah desert. I was Utah’s first LGBTQ anchor and one of the lead reporters on the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping case, a story I told on our morning show that horrible day.

On another horrifying day in the news, I found myself the subject of a tragic story, forever changing the way I interact with victims. I was the reporter who made national news after being tipped off by my television station about what ended up being the accidental death of my four-year-old son, Wesley. CBS published a story about what it was like to be a journalist who found himself on the other end of the lens, and my evolution towards compassion in journalism.

In Miami, I found myself reporting live for CNN and Studio B with Shepard Smith, and traveling to cover the stories of people swept away by Haiti’s natural disasters. In Las Vegas, I received Emmys and an Edward R. Murrow Award for my hours of live coverage the night of the Las Vegas Route 91 Harvest Festival mass shooting.

I was a national reporter covering the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Pyeongchang, South Korea and Tokyo, Japan. These experiences have helped me tell the stories of triumph and hardship in Rio’s neighborhoods, of traversing Kim Jong-Un’s North Korea, and being at the center of quarantines as Tokyo hosted the World Games amid a global pandemic.

I’m also a documentary filmmaker, having directed, written and produced two films that have screened at film festivals around the world, including the Sundance Film Festival for a film shot in San Francisco with Oscar-winning MILK author Dustin Lance Black .

Because I believe that storytelling is an art and a craft, I know I will never reach the ideal or the peak, as I am still a student studying ways to perfect the craft for you, the people whose stories are sacred and whose trust you ask us to tell your stories. For this reason, I’m about to get a master’s degree at Harvard University, where I’m constantly working to become a better writer.

As KPIX 5’s 15-Hour Anchor, Community Issues Reporter, and EPIC Storytelling Executive Producer, I hope to get to know you and earn your trust. I promise that when I tell your story, I will do my best to live my values ​​about how stories can shape and change our world, always seeking to make visible what is essential to the stories that shape this beautiful part of California.

About Walter J. Leslie

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