Meet the Media: Marc Stiles, Puget Sound Business Journal

We are always happy to reconnect with Marc Stiles, a veteran reporter at Puget Sound Business Journal focused on real estate. Marc takes us behind the scenes, sharing insights into his meticulous research process, how he navigates complex business landscapes and all of the elements that go into his reporting on impactful stories.  

Photograph of reporter Marc Stiles against a grey background


Can you walk us through your typical process for researching and developing a story? How do you ensure accuracy and reliability in your reporting, especially when dealing with complex business topics?

I start by collaborating with one of our skilled editors. Together, we sift through facts, figures, voices, images, and infographics, all while mindful of looming deadlines. Unlike the daily hustle, we carve out time for in-depth exploration throughout the year, focusing on one major reporting project annually. Currently, our spotlight is on public safety.  

Note: Pitching me around noon to 3 p.m. isn’t ideal, as I’m usually immersed in fact-checking or reaching out to sources. 

In your experience covering the business landscape, what are some key trends or shifts as you’ve observed in the Puget Sound region’s economy over the past few years? How do you anticipate these trends evolving in the near future?

Hybrid work has emerged as a transformative force post-pandemic. We’ve shed the chains of daily commutes and embraced flexibility, with many opting for office attendance three or four days a week. Despite the benefits of in-person collaboration, office footprints are shrinking. Personally, I’m not sold on hot desks—seems they’re not everyone’s cup of tea. 

Could you share a particularly memorable or impactful story you’ve covered during your time at PSBJ? What made it stand out to you, and what were some of the challenges you faced in reporting on it?

Covering the gentrification of 23rd and Union, the heart of Seattle’s historically Black neighborhood, remains etched in my memory. It was a complex narrative, rife with conflict. As a white reporter, gaining trust within the community presented a significant hurdle. Attending meetings and seeking interviews with longtime residents helped bridge that gap. Although I encountered some resistance, the experience was invaluable, especially witnessing pivotal moments like high-profile evictions and impassioned demonstrations. The issue of equity continues to reverberate, and it’s a dialogue that demands attention.

As a Senior Reporter, you likely have insights into the intersection of policy and business. How do local regulations and government decisions impact the economic landscape of the Puget Sound area?

Delving into City Hall affairs is a highlight of my job, particularly because of its profound implications for the business realm. Take housing affordability, for instance—it’s a pressing issue where regulatory measures intersect with economic dynamics. Building more is imperative, yet obstacles persist, primarily from NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) homeowners. 

Looking ahead, what are some upcoming projects or areas of coverage you’re particularly excited about exploring at PSBJ?

We’re currently immersed in our public safety package, as mentioned earlier. Additionally, I’m finalizing a piece on the escalating costs of security for building owners and businesses, shedding light on the disparity between perception and reality in downtown safety. Stay tuned for more compelling stories in the pipeline. 

Are there any emerging topics or industries that you believe will shape the future of the Puget Sound region’s economy, and that you plan to delve into further?

Electrification, decarbonization, and green energy—especially advancements in battery technology—are poised to reshape our region’s economic landscape. While I’m hopeful for positive change, there’s a lingering concern that our efforts might be too little, too late.  

As a comedian friend humorously puts it: “We’re all going to die, and then the earth will get better.”