I’m Kevin Ko, an Emmy-winning reporter for KIRO 7. Join me on KIRO 7 from 4:30 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. where I cover everything happening in the moment from our Live Desk. I also fill in on traffic to cover any major incidents and, of course, getting you to your destination on time. You can also watch my reports on KIRO 7 at Noon.
7 Questions With Kevin Ko:
1. Where did you grow up?
Los Angeles County
2. Why did you become a journalist?
After my dad passed away, the stories he shared with me were all I had. Shortly after his funeral, I went on a solo-trip to his hometown in the middle of South Korea. I’d lived my entire life knowing the stories of his life, but it never struck my soul until I dug in and saw it for myself: the farm he grew up on, the fields of crops, and the pond in the Ko Farm backyard where he almost drowned. I realized how impactful a memory or tale could be, if it was told and presented properly. On that same day, I sat in my aunt’s (dad’s younger sister) living room floor and applied for journalism school.
3. What cities have you worked in during your journalism career?
Mid-Missouri (mostly Columbia and Jefferson City, the state capital), Spokane, and Seattle.
4. What’s the most memorable story you’ve ever covered?
This is like asking a parent to pick their favorite kid. I’ll pick one from each city:
Columbia, MO: During a city council race, a candidate was found unconscious in his drivers seat in the middle of a street for (what he described as) a medical emergency. He was a candidate endorsed by the local police union. He was cited for DUI, but the union kept its endorsement and cited the medical emergency. (The candidates blood-alcohol level was .119, compared to the legal limit of .08). I went to a bar the candidate was known to frequent, where I found a receipt with a time stamp (night of the DUI), purchase information (evidence alcoholic beverages were purchased), and personal information (the council member’s name was on the receipt because he used his credit card). I tracked down the candidate and presented him the information on camera, which he declined to comment on. He lost the race.
Jefferson City, MO: the resignation of Governor Eric Greitens, which I also covered in St. Louis.
Spokane: Mask effectiveness experiment with Providence Medical Center to show what exactly a mask does in preventing the spread of droplets.
Seattle/Tacoma: After a group of teenagers randomly assaulted a Korean man, I was given the chance to speak with the victim and his family. We did the entire interview in Korean, which allowed him to speak comfortably and authentically. The interview wouldn't have been possible unless we broke the language barrier. It makes me think about how many people aren't sharing their stories because they don't think they can. (We can!)
5. What are you most proud of in your career in news?
Having opportunities to provide a voice for people who feel like nobody’s listening.
6. What’s something people don’t know about you?
I can chug a bottle of water in about 4 seconds. Like, the whole bottle. I also used to do food challenges but retired for the sake of my health.
7. What do you like to do when you’re not working?
My dog and I are big sports fans. We love watching the Seahawks, basketball at all levels, and 54% of Mariners games. I also used to be a line cook for years, so if I’m not cooking, I love trying new food. I’m a big fan of looking at menus.