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This year (2022) KBIA celebrates its 50th anniversary - the station first went on air in May 1972.To mark that milestone our reporting team reached out to alums across the country and in a wide range of media. We spoke with them about the work of journalism and their memories of KBIA.The 50 Project was made possible through the support of our sponsors, long-term KBIA listeners David Black and Lee Wilkins.

KBIA alum Beatriz Costa Lima talks environmental justice in the Pacific Northwest

Beatriz Costa Lima sits on a hill facing toward a beach with surf and shoreline in the background. She is wearing a large backpack and headphones and holds a mic and some other equipment in her lap.
Sarah Hoffman
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Beatriz Costa Lima

Beatriz Costa Lima is a a Video Editor/Producer at Seattle’s public television station KCTS 9 and member of the undergraduate class of 2016.

She also received a Master's in documentary journalism from The University of Missouri in 2018.

Costa Lima spoke with KBIA producer Shea Baechle.

Shea Baechle:
How did KBIA help you get to where you are today?

Beatriz Costa Lima:
So I had an experience with KBIA in undergrad, but it was really in grad school—I can't quite remember what the conversation was, but I wanted to kind of get into a newsroom again. There was just something always so comforting about KBIA, as far as, like, all of the editors and all the students were always really committed to their work, but also very supportive of each other.

And it was the perfect environment, I think, for me to really, really practice what I wanted to do and and get good at it, and know that I was in a really safe environment. I think all of the the J School newsrooms have that aspect to it, but I will be super flat out and say that KBIA is the best.

Shea Baechle:
What has been your most rewarding experience while working for KCTS 9?

Beatriz Costa Lima:
My most rewarding experience—and this is something I think public media in general does really well, which is why I've stayed in that realm so far—is really highlighting stories in underrepresented and marginalized communities. Doing them in a way that's collaborative and empathetic.

And there's just a special like relationships that you have with these people who grew up in the car listening to NPR with their parents, or in my case they grew up watching PBS. And now they're looking at the news as an adult.

But to be able to, like, go out into those communities at the same time to be like, "What stories do you want to be told?" And to, like, work with them has been really rewarding.

A specific example is I just completed a story—or a series—called Deeply Rooted that dealt with environmental justice issues in Washington State and the Pacific Northwest. And, especially when it comes to environmental reporting, so much of it is, like, science or, you know, what are we going to recycle and climate change.

And instead, like, I was able to talk about how climate change or how diversity in the outdoors is impacting all these different groups of people and, and to also include them in that storytelling process.

I think was exceptionally rewarding, and when the stuff published, we got so much amazing feedback of people being really appreciative, but also learning that different issues that they had never heard before. So, that has been a really rewarding experience for me, definitely.

Shea Baechle:
To go off of that, what has your company done to build that trust with journalists in the community they're representing?

Beatriz Costa Lima:
Oh, man, that is, there's a lot. I mean, we have a committed audience team that is there for the sole purpose of figuring out how we do that better.

Well, one really important thing is making sure that your newsroom is representative of the community and things that are in writing for us to make sure that, as a newsroom if we're going to be serving our community, we have to reflect that.

Shea Baechle:
Why do you think those types of factors make journalism so important for youth of today?

Beatriz Costa Lima:
I think just the state of the—almost apocalyptic state—the world has been in has created a lot of introspection with people of all generations and ages and in our career. But I just, anytime we have students come in, visit the newsroom, anytime I talk to students, I just get such an energy of "We are ready to tackle this."

The 50 Project was made possible through the support of our sponsors, long-term KBIA listeners David Black and Lee Wilkins.