Courtney Flatt

Multimedia Journalist - Based in Richland, WA

Courtney Flatt began her journalism career at The Dallas Morning News as a neighbors editor. There, she also wrote articles for the Metro section, where she reported on community issues ranging from water security to the arts. Courtney earned her master’s in convergence journalism at the University of Missouri and developed a love for radio and documentary film. As a producer at KBIA-FM she hosted a weekly business show, reported and produced talk shows on community and international issues. Her work took her from the unemployment lines, to a Methamphetamine bust, to the tornado damage aftermath in Joplin, Mo.

What I cover
Energy, climate change and the Columbia Basin

Soon to be favorite outdoor activity
Having never lived so close to mountains before, I am determined to learn to snowboard this winter.

A funny thing happened one day in the field...
It was an icy winter morning, and I was trying to get some ambient sound of the Missouri River, which seemed easy enough. I had to make it over a pile of cement rocks to reach this one sandbar. (And if you know me, you know I’m a walking example of Murphy’s Law.)

Realizing this, I securely attached every piece of equipment to my body. Everything except my extra mic. I had climbed halfway across the cement pile when, woosh! My mic fell through a small hole covered by leaves. The mound was probably 10 feet tall.

As I peered down, a fisherman wandered by. He helped me lift a few of the blocks – they probably weighed 50 pounds each. But the mic wasn’t anywhere near the top. Every time I saw the pile after that day, I wondered where my mic wound up.

Likes
Farmers markets, traveling, tea and painting (though I’m pretty bad at it)

Dislikes
There’s not much… Maybe traffic?

If I weren't a journalist, I would be...
Working on an organic farm in Spain. I actually joined the WOOF program right before graduation. Then I got a job.

Ways to Connect

Courtney Flatt / Northwest Public Radio

Mount Adams rises above the horizon as Washington’s second tallest volcano -- 12,276 feet. It’s a peak that Northwest Public Radio’s Courtney Flatt has been dreaming of reaching for years. She convinced two friends to climb to the summit with her this summer, and sent an audio - and video - postcard. 

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

When women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, doctors usually try specific drugs first, and therapies like chemotherapy. But new research could eventually give patients treatments that target their specific tumor.

Courtney Flatt / Northwest Public Radio

The past few fire seasons in the Northwest have been brutal. Record-breaking blazes burned through the towns of Chelan and Pateros. This year is already starting out dry and hot. That’s why hundreds of firefighters across Washington are prepping for the summer.

Photo Courtesy of Vivid Learning Systems

Last week’s mass shooting in Orlando might leave you wondering what you’d do if you were in that situation. One Northwest company has created an “active shooter” training to help you be better prepared. It also shows you how your own brain chemistry might make it harder for you to immediately react.

Yakima Valley Emergency Management Office

If a 9.0 earthquake and tsunami hit Washington state, people in the central and eastern parts of the state would not be the hardest hit, but survival would not be a walk in the park either. That’s why emergency organizers east of the Cascade Mountains are preparing to handle that kind of disaster. 

Courtney Flatt / Northwest Public Radio

Some people might not think of sock monkeys as a piece of art. But a new show featuring all different textiles -- including sock monkeys -- wants to change your mind. The exhibition features a type of art known as surface design. All that’s needed is some type of fiber, and a surface to transform. The rest is up to the imagination.

Courtney Flatt

More than 100 people showed up today  in Pasco to a final public hearing for a proposed coal export terminal. And most of them supported it.  

David Gillihan works at Millennium Bulk Terminals. He echoed one of the main reasons people voiced support of the terminal: jobs.

“All of you with your lofty ideals, those who oppose us, deny us the opportunity to make a good living doing what we want,” Gillihan said.

Courtney Flatt

If you’ve ever had chickpeas, lentils, or dry peas and beans, you’ve eaten pulses. Some think these dried legumes will become even more hip than quinoa and kale. There’s an international push to put more pulses on your table - and that’s good news for Northwest farmers and foodies.

Hannah Letinich

Some foresters say many Northwest forests simply have too many trees. That makes them more prone to disease, insects - and most worrisome of all - mega-fires. But what’s the best way to thin out forests and bring these areas back to more natural conditions? Turns out, there’s an app for that.

ENERGY NORTHWEST

A third anonymous letter is criticizing an investigation into the Northwest’s only nuclear power plant. The investigation stems from other letters written by apparent insiders at Energy Northwest and is looking into the plant’s performance.

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