Suzanne Hurt is an award-winning journalist who has written about everything from boxcar tramps and crooked Chicago politicians to surf kayaking and the vanishing Borneo rainforest.
She has worked as a reporter at a Chicago wire service and daily newspapers in California and Oregon. She has also worked as an editor and freelancer producing hard news; features; and nature, science, travel and adventure sports content — including multimedia — for newspapers, wire services, magazines, radio and their websites.
She carved out a reputation as an accurate, hard-working reporter covering big breaking news as well as specialized reporting. Beats have included Chicago and California politics, government, immigration, homelessness, crime, courts, business, development and more. She has also written about science and conservation as a staff reporter and freelance journalist.
While working for Chicago’s legendary City News Bureau, Suzanne learned to never let natural or man-made disasters get between her and a story. She covered dangerous breaking news when natural gas explosions rocked a Chicago neighborhood, killing three people and damaging or destroying 17 buildings. She was at the scene just after three cops were shot in the South Side’s deadliest neighborhood. She drove toward a tornado disaster while broadcasters warned people to seek shelter. And when a politician’s giant bodyguard pushed her out of a horde of journalists on his boss’s heels, she shoved right back.
Suzanne specializes in narrative storytelling, backed by extensive hard news experience, strict journalism standards and a master’s in literary nonfiction from the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communications. She also has a bachelor’s in news/editorial journalism from Northern Illinois University.
She’s used literary nonfiction to tell the story of one person’s survival of the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center, to trace a man’s path out of homelessness, and to chronicle a search for elusive wild orangutans during a stint living and working in Southeast Asia.
Multimedia is another strength. Suzanne has produced photos, slideshows, video and audio.
She takes the heart of an explorer and the soul of a journalist everywhere. She has explored Borneo, Sulawesi, Bali, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Belize, Costa Rica, Spain, Mexico, Canada, Hawaii and the United States.
She is into science, exploration, nature, conservation and immersion in nature via rock climbing, diving, backpacking, skiing and other adventure.
On the trail for stories, Suzanne has gone searching for freshwater dolphins in the Mekong River, documented the disappearing art of kite fishing off a remote Indonesian island and come proboscis to proboscis with sphinx moths in an Eastern Sierra desert canyon. She climbed Monkey Face at Oregon’s Smith Rock and the little-used eastern summit of Mt. Kinabalu on Borneo.
She was born in San Francisco and lived in Chicago before returning to the West Coast. The move gave her a chance to combine her love of journalism and research with her craving to explore nature and science.
Suzanne now freelances from a base in Sacramento. Clients include Reuters, The Chicago Tribune, The Sacramento Bee, Her Sports, Rock & Ice, Climbing, Mammoth Monthly, Dandelion, Mercator’s World, Forest Magazine, High Mountain Sports and others.
Through her work, Suzanne hopes to share a passion for protecting the earth’s fragile ecosystems and the cultures and wild things living within them.