Sarah Cutting of Tacoma blog Exit 133 — and one of the Business Examiner’s 40 Under Forty honorees this year — has been a resident of the city for the last 15 years. She originally moved here to study at University of Puget Sound and University of Washington Tacoma, and now, she’s been the editor at Exit 133 for almost two years. As somebody who keeps her pulse on everything Tacoma for her blog, we thought it would be interesting to get some insight from her regarding Tacoma, what she sees in the city’s future, and her own line of work — specifically, the changing world of journalism and how she sees it continue to evolve.
What do you see for the future of Tacoma?
I think we’re starting to turn around right now economically, which is pretty exciting. We’re starting to see more investments in real estate and projects, between State Farm and some of the apartment projects that are coming back online. I think for a few years there things were looking a little shaky, but I think it’s pretty exciting and some of the things the city is doing to improve things, like the waterfront, trails connecting the cities — I think that’s really exciting.
What’s one business sector outside yours that you see growing?
I don’t know if I have a good answer to that. I think tech stuff. I think people finding ways to apply new technology. I don’t know if it’s going to be big companies, kind of like our parents’ generation and even people a little bit closer to my age. I think we’re going to be seeing a lot more people doing innovative things on their own. I wonder if the era of the cubicle farm is going away and if there’s going to be more entrepreneurial enterprises.
You spent about a year in Europe last year. Is there anything you saw in your travels that you wish we did here in the South Sound?
I think one of the things I really enjoyed traveling was how “walkable” European cities tend to be and just the way that some of that experience of having people out on the streets kind of changes the feel of a town or a city. You see more when you walk than when you drive and you have more of a sense of who else is there than when you’re all in your cars.
Do you see that ever happening here?
Yeah, I think you look at some of the areas Tacoma has designated for dense growth, like the Hilltop and Stadium District, especially areas that they’re thinking about putting the Link light rail into. You look at the encouraging mixed-use developments — retail with apartments over the offices.
Is there anything you saw that we do better in this part of the world?
I think the hours of operations are certainly more reliable. When we were in Italy, you’d have a sign up that would say “back after lunch” and they wouldn’t be open until the next day. I’ve heard that the economy there isn’t that great because that’s how it is in some of their smaller towns.
You’ve said before that you’re proud to be able to contribute to the changing field of journalism, so what do you see for the future of journalism?
I think we’ll see how it lands. I think people still want to know facts, but the way people consume their news is changing. You don’t really get your daily newspaper and read it front to back like my dad did. People are more selective and there’s more linking to things, more of like a curating and kind of aggregating of stories.
How will you contribute?
We’re not a traditional journalistic outlet. We’re not trying to write a newspaper. We’re trying to find the stories that are going on in our community and point in that direction and spark a conversation in that way, which I think is a really great thing about online news — that there’s the opportunity to have conversations with people in a way that you just don’t reading the newspaper at home by yourself.