The number of likes and fans Kathi and KOMO have received are obviously trivial in comparison to what Kathi is going through. It’s not easy to get so deeply personal as Kathi has, and journalists in particular have largely instituted an arms-length distance between themselves and the public. For those willing to take a risk and bridge that gap, there’s a genuine connection to be had that can change someone from that person on TV to that person who I know.

Journalist Paul Balcerak as quoted in Lost Remote about the passing of Seattle anchor, Kathy Goertzen.

After a long battle with brain tumors, KOMO TV anchor Kathi Goertzen passed away on Monday, sparking a massive social outpouring in Seattle. A beloved figure in the community, Kathi chronicled her struggles on Facebook even in her final days, which only amplified today’s surprise of her passing. As of this writing, a few hours after the news broke, a new wall post is appearing on Kathi’s Facebook pageevery ten seconds. And photos of her fill my Facebook news feed.

Goertzen’s story exemplifies the journalist-audience relationships that transcend boundaries through social media.

Through her own courage on Facebook, Kathi transcended the anchor-viewer relationship to forge a special bond with the Seattle community. We did know her, and we miss her immensely.

H/T: Facebook+Journalists

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