What I Read: Christine Chen

Seattleites came to know Christine Chen as a news anchor on KCPQ-13.

These days, she’s left her television career behind to run her own communications and public relations firm, Chen Communications. (Small disclosure: In the past I did website copy for a client of Chen Communications, but no longer work for them). Chen doesn’t miss her time in front of the camera, and instead relishes the fact that she’s now her own boss and can put her business smarts to work.

Though she no longer works as a journalist, Chen is no less up on the news. She’s a regular at online news sites, Twitter, blogs, and every other possible media outlet. Chen figures she needs to be current on communication trends if she wants to pass on the best advice to clients.

When not reading about current events, the devoted yogi can be found curled up with books on yoga instruction.

Here are Chen’s responses on what she’s reading:

1. What are your favorite local news outlets? Why?
My favorite local news outlets, as always, are ones that honor traditional fact-checking best practices and training to balance out the speed of today’s information gathering… ones that are thoughtful/contextual with their local coverage for their own specific audiences.  With the proliferation of many hyper-local news sites and twitter feeds for news consumption, trust/credibility remains paramount.  Listen/watch with an educated filter.  Who’s talking?  Why?  How?

2. What do you consider “must reads” every day? Must watch? Must hear?
Must read: 1) USA Today for efficient, mainstream roundup of stories-it’s so quick, 2) WSJ Marketplace – fantastic take on consumer-facing topics, 3) what my friends on Facebook are discussing, linking to, commenting on.. because I have many smart friends in/from the media world, and 4) Entertainment Weekly to clear my brain of all the news clutter.   I’ll admit it.  This is pure junk reading of the best kind.   It also works for some client work, as well. :)

3. Do you consume news through: print, television, radio, laptop, smart phone, ipad, podcasts, other?
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes +++  Build the mix that works for you!  Just listen carefully and use your Brain (capital B). Then, turn it off periodically to let it rest and have fresh perspective for a whole new round.

4. Do you use Facebook, LinkedIn, and/or Twitter for news and information?
Yes.  In so many different ways – for myself and for clients.  But, I think it’s important to make sure these tools don’t take over your full range of communication.  It’s still important to talk (really!) to people for information and look around for other perspectives.  Integrate!  I learn more, leverage more, share more, and grow more by connecting with the larger information ecosystem.

5. What online news sites or aggregators do you visit regularly?
This varies widely.  Usually, I’m searching for work-related/client topics I hear about through various people/channels.  Then, I follow the flow of the information. My info journey is different each day.

6. Do you regularly visit any individual blogs for news, analysis and opinion?
This varies widely – my time is usually spent gathering useful info for client work, so blog visitation usually depends on projects.  Right now, I’m working on two video game industry projects, so I’m reading “fan boi” and consumer electronics blogs a lot.  I’m also working with an international hospital, so…health blogs.

7. Have your news consumption habits changed in the last few years? If so, how?
For many years, my job was in local news as an aggregator, so I absorbed a ton of information across a range of topics, at rapid pace, aggregating/editing it for delivery to viewers.  Today, that same “habit” is more focused on specific news topics for clients.  There’s still rapid absorption, but the aggregation is used a little differently in the execution of projects.

8. Do you read for fun? If so, what? Last novel you read? Non-fiction book?
Currently, I’m training for yoga instruction, so I’m reading several yoga-related books simultaneously, such as: The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (a Hindu scripture and foundational text of yoga ) and The Language of Yoga (learning actual sanskrit).  The last non-fiction book I read was What She’s Not Telling You (what women don’t say in focus groups and why it brings consumer marketing to its knees).  The last fictional book I read was a gift from my husband:  The Art of Racing in the Rain by Seattle author, Garth Stein.  The cover featured a golden retriever that looks just like my dog, but the dog in the book isn’t a golden retriever.  (Hmm…Marketing?)

About Heidi Dietrich
HEIDI DIETRICH has worked as a journalist and writer for the past decade. She began blogging for the Washington News Council in spring 2010. Read Heidi's blog posts, see more about Heidi, or see more of what she's writing at http://heidiseattle.com/.


  1. Fact Check says:

    Why is it not disclosed anywhere that Heidi works for Christine at her communications firm? Wow.
    Giving your boss a puff-piece profile is bold. Not disclosing makes it seem like you know it’s not good.

    • wnc says:

      Thanks for pointing this out. A disclosure has been added. Heidi no longer works with Chen, so the “about us” on her site is not the most current.