Community Connections: Profile of former intern Katie Davidson
What year did you work in the Crookston Times newsroom?
I began working in the Crookston Times newsroom in 2011 after my sophomore year of high school. I was lucky enough to return to the Times during the summer of 2012 and during the first semester of my senior year in 2012.
What was your favorite part of your experience at the Times?
Interns are typically assigned all the busy work and given little freedom to cover a variety of topics. That wasn’t the case for me during my time at the Times. Mike Christopherson threw me into any story that needed coverage on any given day. That terrified me at first, but looking back, I realize how valuable that experience was.
I also appreciate how thorough Mike was while editing my work. As a reporter, it’s often terrifying to sit down and critique your writing one on one with an editor. After my time at the Times, I continued to pursue journalism, so Mike must not have made my editing experience too unbearable.
What was the biggest thing you learned about yourself and/or the biggest life lesson that you took with you when you left the Times?
Well, for starters, my time at the Times led me to study journalism in college and start a career in sports journalism. I owe all of my success in the industry to my experience at the Times.
I gained the confidence to strike up a conversation with random strangers, which is something I struggled with before my internship at the Times. I began to discover my voice at the Times and also learned how to share the voices of others.
What have you been doing since? Give us an update on where you’re at, what you’re doing, who you’re with, etc.
I moved to Minneapolis attended Augsburg College after graduating from Crookston High School and majored in Communications and minored in English with an emphasis in media writing. After graduating in 2017, I began working at a small, local newspaper in Ellsworth, Wis. where I covered all athletics and school boards in Pierce County. I soon experienced all the highs and lows of writing for a small newspaper.
I began blogging about the Timberwolves in the fall of 2018, which eventually led me to become The Athletic’s Minnesota Lynx freelance beat reporter the following summer. Shortly after that WNBA season wrapped up, I took a full-time position working for the Timberwolves and Lynx as their digital content associate. Despite not making a living wage with The Athletic or the Timberwolves and Lynx, I loved spending my days studying and covering my favorite franchises up close. Few things beat sitting in press row at an arena your childhood sports fandom was centered on, and I’m forever grateful for the people who led me to those experiences.
My career in sports ended abruptly in July of 2020 when I was laid off due to the Timberwolves and Lynx’s financial hardships brought on by COVID-19. I continued to cover the Lynx as a freelance beat reporter for The Next during the 2020 WNBA season but lost a part of my love for sports reporting while our country was suffering from a pandemic and ongoing racial injustice. I started looking for jobs outside of reporting and ended up taking a job as a community health worker with Hennepin County.
I’ve been with the county since December of 2020 and am currently working at a transitional housing site that helps homeless people find and keep permanent housing. I’ve never loved a job more.
What are you passionate about these days?
I’m passionate about affordable housing, affordable healthcare, racial equity, police reform, immigration, ending the war in Afghanistan, Sturgill Simpson’s music, the Timberwolves keeping their 2021 first-round draft pick, the list goes on.
Following you on social media, it’s clear you are a basketball junkie and are hugely into the Minnesota Lynx and Timberwolves. You’ve also worked for both organizations. Tell us how much the game itself and Minnesota’s teams mean to you, but try your best not to mention Andrew Wiggins…
Ha! Andrew Wiggins will win a ring before the Timberwolves do.
Basketball was the first thing — aside from my family members, of course — I loved. I loved how accessible the game was and how invincible it made me feel at times. As a fan, I always loved how close you were to the action when at a game. I remember seeing Kevin Garnett in person for the first time at a preseason game against the Milwaukee Bucks at the Alerus Center during his first stint with the Wolves and just being amazed at how larger than life he seemed. Plus, I grew up watching some pretty damn good Pirate hoops teams as a kid, which fed my love for basketball.
The Lynx and Timberwolves are polar opposites, and I love them for different reasons. I’m amazed at what Cheryl Reeve (who will probably forever remain my favorite person to speak to as a reporter) has done with her four-time championship Lynx team on and off the court. As for the Timberwolves, I’m amazed at how dysfunctional their franchise is, but the hardship will be worth it once Anthony Edwards and Jaden McDaniels bring us our first ring.
After starting your career in journalism and then bouncing around a bit trying to cover Minnesota basketball amid the pandemic, you recently accepted a position with Hennepin County, working with vulnerable populations. Have you found your career niche?
As I mentioned before, this is the best job I’ve ever had. Don’t get me wrong, I loved getting to work with professional athletes daily and getting paid to go to Target Center. But not even covering a Timberwolves Finals run would top building relationships with those our country often tosses to the side and setting them up for success.
Tell us how the pandemic impacted you/continues to impact you…
Getting laid off during the pandemic forced me to become a little bit less of a control freak, which is something I’m still working on. The pandemic introduced me to a career that allows me to make a more tangible change in my community than sports reporting did. Most importantly, it reinforced how important it is to reach out to your loved ones and not take your time with them for granted.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to run, try new coffee shops (and bars) in the Twin Cities, read, stay up to date with current events, bask in my Timberwolves misery, post stupid tweets, and be around people who bring out the best in me.
Look in your life’s crystal ball: Where do you think/hope you’ll be 10 years from now, and what do you think/hope you’ll be doing?
I’m happy to say that I’m comfortable having absolutely no clue where I’ll be in 10 years. But I hope I’ll have a career I’m passionate about but one that doesn’t define who I am. I hope my loved ones are happy, have tremendous healthcare, and never go a day questioning how much I love them. And I hope I’m a Timberwolves and Lynx season ticket member in Minnesota — not Seattle.