By Tom Watkins
July 22, 2016
Under our Capitol Dome you find legislators, lobbyists, administrative officials, career civil servants, tourists and members of the Fourth and Fifth Estate – aka, “the Media.”
These days, Capitol correspondents are fewer in number, but several quality journalists still exist serving a vital interest while continuing to make our “free press” the foundation of democracy.
There is one journalist who has made a mark on the “good ole boy” network of Michigan Capitol Correspondents, long before she turned 40. You can find her on the pages of these newspapers, along with other outstanding media outlets: NBC News, CNN, Newsweek, Forbes, The Economist, National Public Radio, the Australian Broadcast Corp., Al Jazeera, The New York Times, Washington Post, Politico, The Atlantic, The Columbia Journalism Review, The Guardian (U.K.), Chicago Sun-Times, Bloomberg News, Reuters, The Boston Herald, Seattle Times, Toronto Sun, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, San Jose Mercury News, (St. Paul) Pioneer Press, Des Moines Register and Michigan Public Radio.
Also, The Huffington Post’s Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire as well as those here in Michigan: The Detroit News, Battle Creek Enquirer, Lansing State Journal, Dome Magazine, Impact, PennLive, Real Clear Politics and the eight papers that make up MLive.
Who is this quality media production machine? Susan J. Demas, owner, editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics.
Politics may dominate my thoughts (and much of my writing), but my heart belongs to the mountains. Over the years, I’ve written about traversing Europe, trekking the Appalachian Trail with my daughter, and conquering a Fourteener solo. I’m pleased to share some of my pieces and photography from these journeys.
Why I Write
Writer. Entrepreneur. Mother. Journalist. Public Speaker. Political Analyst. Those are all just words to describe me. What you need to know, most of all, is what drives me to fulfill those roles. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was seven, scribbling down observations about people and events in ratty spiral notebooks. My mother always told me that my unique ability to understand people and feel what they were going through was both a gift and a curse.
I struggled for many years to make ends meet, especially before my first child was born. I wondered if I’d ever be able to contribute anything of value, something to make the world a better place. I found my calling in journalism, honing my craft for the last fifteen years. Being a writer has always been who I am. But now it’s also what I do.
I have an insatiable curiosity to investigate what’s going on in Michigan and the world. I believe in speaking truth to power and following Mencken’s rule to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” I’ve taken on the Old Boys Club in politics (and political journalism) and won, always preserving my integrity. All this has given me a distinctive voice and fearless style to communicate with people why things are happening and what can be done.