Episode 1: Anika Anand - On Founding the Evergrey and Being a Journalist of Color

In the first episode of the Nerd Farmer Podcast, the guest is interview journalist Anika Anand. Anika gives her “soul answer” to how she got into journalism. The obvious answer is journalism in grad school, business economics in reporting, et al,. But Anika states the real answer is “I wanted to be a poet as a kid but my parents didn’t think I would make any money.” Anika’s father has always had anchor worship. She feels journalism isn’t as community centered as she would have hoped early on and therefore created The Everygrey.

Nate expresses the idea of The 3 Faces that represented one narrative and the idea that a universal or dominant truth is dying. Nate poses the question “You went into this knowing the ambiguity [of journalism], how has that been?”

In response, Anika poses a more difficult question, why people trust what they read: “If we can have no common truth…how can we move forward?” Anika dives into detail regarding Walter Cronkite being a universal truth and is ultimately worried that without that, she is afraid for our future.

Anika speaks to her rise in journalism, including beginning her rise in a national scene and moving into local journalism.

Anika began as an Engagement Editor for the Seattle Times when she moved to Seattle. Those duties included connecting communities through events, people, readers, and meet-ups. This led her to a partnership. The idea was to connect people who are both new to Seattle and natives to understand “where do I fit in?” Seattle is ever-changing and always becoming new and different.

The newsletter arrives each morning with news of the city of the day, week, month. Not only is it a place that you can find events, one can find original content and see what is happening in the city. The newsletter covers anything that concerns the people of the city. The Evergrey details things from Democracy Vouchers to Bar Church and anything else valid to Seattleites and citizens of the Sound.

Anika iterates about the responsibility of speaking to a community with all different viewpoints and being authentic. In discussing the election results via the newsletter, Anika nonchalantly mentioned ‘we should go on a road trip to meet the county that has our opposite election results.” Subscribers were taken with with idea. The Evergrey got in touch with Sherman County, OR (20 % Hilary, 80% Trump) and proposed a discussion with King County (20% Trump, 80% Hilary). 17 subscribers drove 5 hours down and spent 3 1/2 hours discussing and having conversations about the ideals and reasons for each thought process.

[Sandy] asked Anika ‘How could you vote for someone who had _xx_ people killed in her inner circle?’ This prompted a conversation: “Where do we get our information? Who do we trust? What do we believe?” This led to a great discussion: should we have one person with whom were all agree? How we know what to believe?

Anika references growing up in North Carolina and having quite the different perspective that Seattle’s left and how her father actually stated that Mr. Trump would win weeks prior to the election.

The name “Evergrey” comes from palette of Seattle. Yes, the colors of Seattle are blue and green but our grey skies are an intricate piece of our color scheme and should be noted, as well. Hence, Evergrey.

Anika foresees Evergrey becoming a place in which one can of to find information in an accessible way, to spark events, to get people talking about lives, politics, and local experiences- to Build a Bridge.

Who Should We Listen To?

“The people we should be listening to is each other. We should be trying to find people who disagree with us and have conversations.”

Who Should We Be Reading?

“I read the Evergrey… gotta start there. There is a newsletter by Saul Villareal… he writes a newsletter that basically rounds up news about Trump and then presents what the left is saying about it and what the right is saying about it. It’s a really, really great resource challenging what your beliefs are… I’ve also liked Fox News’ Page some other conservative pages, as well. I’m making sure that’s a part of my Facebook feed.”

How Can People Connect With You?

“With The Evergrey, you can find us on Twitter and Facebook. You can go to theevergrey.com. Important T-H-E-E-V-E-R-G-R-E-Y… Follow us @theevergrey. If you ever just want to chat and talk more about anything going on in Seattle, going on in the world, you can email me at anika@theevergrey.com.

The Nerd Farmer Podcast is also available on iTunes and Stitcher.

Nathan Bowling

Republic of Cascadia