Sara Bernard

Multimedia Journalist

Seattle, WA

Sara Bernard

Writer, audio producer, photographer, globetrotter


Rape Culture in the Alaskan Wilderness

One night a few years ago, when Jane was 13, a man she’d grown up with stumbled into the room she shared with her two sisters in Tanana, Alaska, a tiny village northwest of Fairbanks, and climbed on top of her. He was stumbling drunk and aggressive. “He tried getting into my clothes,” she recalls.
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The Cost of Clean Coal

Barbara Correro was at home drinking tea, reading the paper. She had spent the past five years and most of her savings on a long-cherished retirement dream: a small mobile home on 24 acres of pine and hardwood forest, a large organic garden, and a pack of friendly dogs in rural Kemper County, Miss.

The Double Bind

Editor’s note: The following story contains detailed descriptions of sexual assault, and may be triggering to survivors. It was the day the Seahawks won the Super Bowl, and Monique was hanging out at a house party with friends, drinking hard cider and eating chicken wings. She didn’t have work the next day, so when she left the party, she didn’t go home; the city was still out celebrating, so she went out to a bar, alone.
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Where the Housing Is Affordable and the Air Unbreathable

In early 2015, Kelly Welker began to notice that the gritty air she was accustomed to breathing near her home on Flora Avenue South, in Georgetown, was grittier than usual. Within a few minutes of leaving her house, it would get into her eyes and burn. It would get into her sinuses and burn. It began searing her throat and coating her tongue, leaving a chalky, metallic aftertaste.
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With Trump in Power, Scientists Turned to Activism. Then Things Got Complicated.

On a gray and drizzling late-April morning, some 20,000 people rallied in Cal Anderson Park for March for Science Seattle—one of hundreds of such actions across the globe that day. A lineup of speakers stepped onto a small raised platform, including Jay Inslee. The governor told the crowd that he wasn’t a scientist, but he nonetheless wanted to declare a new law of thermodynamics.
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Totality Is Just as Intoxicating As They Said It Would Be

We were joking, the day before the sun went black, that the weather forecast looked sunny and clear: Mostly sunny, that is, with a 100 percent chance of a moonstorm. The storm would start a little after 9 a.m. How does one prepare for such a storm? “Does anyone have any moonscreen? I’m afraid I’ll get a moon burn,” joked a friend.
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The Fight to Bring Hotel Housekeepers Out of the Shadows

Ermalyn Magtuba moved to Seattle from the Philippines 17 years ago. She has two kids, and to help support them, she works two jobs—roughly 74 hours a week—in room and food service at two different downtown Seattle hotels. “To survive and have a good life” in this city, “you have to have two jobs,” she says during a late-morning interview with Seattle Weekly in early June.
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On the Eve of Commercial Expansion, South Park Prepares

Julia Ramos opened Jalisco back in 1992. Twenty-five years later, through good times and bad, she still serves her clientele with hearty plates of steaming enchiladas, refried beans, and camarones al la diabla seven days a week in the heart of South Park’s small business district, two blocks south of the Duwamish River.
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How One Seattle Woman’s Assault Led to Proposed Legislation Nationwide

A lot of things felt wrong to Leah Griffin when, in April 2014, she tried to get help following an alleged sexual assault. She arrived at Swedish Medical Center in Ballard in crisis—exhausted, disoriented, and bleeding—but was told that they “don’t do rape kits here.”. If she wanted forensic evidence collected for a possible prosecution, she’d have to go to Harborview on First Hill.
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Behind Bars With the Prisoners Training to Become Yoga Instructors

It’s a dreary day in mid-December, dark as flint and spitting cold rain. The Stafford Creek Corrections Center, near Aberdeen, rises neatly from the gloom like a well-manicured high-school campus. Its dozen or so concrete buildings, in various shades of gray and pale beige, are connected by long, wide sidewalks and clipped grass.
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My Mother, My Sister, and I Attended Three Different Women’s Marches in Three Different Parts of the World

By 9:15 on Saturday morning, Judkins Park was already flooded with thousands of hot-pink pussy hats. Thousands upon thousands of women — mostly women and girls, but also plenty of men and boys and babies and dogs — had already poured across the grass, hoisting giant puppets, banners, a colossal planet Earth, and a plethora of homemade signs.
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Inside the Fight to Bring Parole Back to Washington State

The best job Greg Steen ever had was as a DJ at KRIZ 1420AM in Seattle. It was late 1989, and the then-24-year-old had just finished a crash course in radio production at the Ron Bailie School of Broadcasting, at the time tucked into a handful of small control rooms on Denny Way. He adopted the DJ name “Greg Miles,” interviewed with KRIZ, and, as a trial run, recorded an advertisement for The Seattle Medium, the weekly newspaper that owned KRIZ at the time.
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Sara Bernard

I'm a freelance multimedia journalist and audio producer with a huge appetite for long-form narrative. Most recently, my focus has been podcasts. After several years as a staff writer for Seattle Weekly, I produced and hosted a weekly narrative podcast for that news outlet called "Seattleland." In 2019, I produced another narrative podcast for a law firm here in Seattle -- "Trial Insider: Dinh v Ride the Ducks," a six-episode story about a trial and its context; find it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get podcasts. For about six months, I produced the podcast "Crosscut Talks" for Cascade Public Media; now, I produce and host "This Changes Everything," a Crosscut podcast about the events that transform society ( or wherever you listen). The first season explores the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic; the second, the movement to defund police.

Before all this, I was a fellow at, a staff writer and multimedia producer at Edutopia magazine, and a freelance reporter and avid international traveler. I grew up in upstate New York and the San Francisco Bay Area, studied abroad in Toulouse, France, and spent several years freelancing, traveling, and volunteering in Thailand, Vietnam, India, France, England, Peru, Ecuador, Haiti, and Nicaragua before obtaining a master's degree at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and moving to Seattle.

As a writer, radio reporter, photographer, and web producer, I've fallen pretty hard for the myriad possibilities of multimedia storytelling. I've reported, produced, edited, voiced, and polished long-form audio documentaries. I spent a year reporting part-time for Crosscurrents on KALW 91.7 FM in San Francisco and a summer reporting for the Alaska Public Radio Network. I've produced radio pieces for broadcast on KQED’s The California Report, KUOW in Seattle, the National Radio Project’s Making Contact, and KALX 90.7 FM in Berkeley, along with many audio slide shows and add-ons for news outlets and nonprofit organizations. I've shot and edited videos, mapped data, and built stories using a variety of software platforms and CMS systems including Creatavist, Drupal, and Wordpress.

In addition to Seattle Weekly and Edutopia, I've written for Grist, Wired, The Atlantic, Crosscut, VIA, Bay Nature, Afar, Ode, Yoga Journal, Adirondack Life,, KQED’s MindShift, and The Bold Italic, among other publications, about education, travel, food, health, science, art, social justice, and the environment. I'm passionate about the power of high-integrity media to inform and inspire… and intensely curious about pretty much everything.