Zoe Gottlieb



Initially I believed that my beat would be easy to cover because I could imagine that given the nationwide George Floyd protests and ensuing riots, Black police officers were more likely to feel at odds with their career. As I got to talking with more sources, such as the community resource officer of the Ogden City Police Department and a member of the Commission on Racial Equity on Policing, I learned that entities qualified to speak on the subject of community policing were more at liberty to tell me what was going on with Black officers in the police department than the police departments themselves. My beat taught me that as a reporter, you cannot create problems for the sake of creating problems. If Black police officers find that their time on the force was not at all conflicting with their identity, you have to respect the source.

An epiphany I recently experienced in regards to my career is that in some ways, journalism is the more creative medium that what I initially wanted to do: creative writing. Journalists are able to depict scenes faithful to the sources who witnessed them while adding their own flair. I discovered just how much I enjoy writing creative ledes and how I could potentially make a career out of writing feature pieces with the kinds of melodic ledes I enjoy writing.

I would like to continue with this beat because I learned from my sources that the way to draw the Black community here is to show that Black culture is alive and thriving in Utah. I believe that the Black experience is especially unique here because the culture shock of being in a predominantly white state can lend to some really amazing stories of surmounting obstacles and hedging out supportive communities.


Zoe Gottlieb grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and moved to Salt Lake City four years ago to attend school at the University of Utah. As a member of the National Society of High School Scholars, the Mortar Board and Pi Eta Sigma Honors Society, and a consistent Dean’s List student, Zoe is a high academic achiever.

Zoe has been a media producer for K-UTE radio since January 2020 and has produced her own podcast, “Ute Tell All” with Blog Team Leader and co-host Joseph Moss. She is currently the Podcast Team Leader on scholarship for the radio station and worked for the Daily Utah Chronicle as an Arts writer during her final Fall term at the U. In her free time, Zoe enjoys writing short stories and sharing them with the Young Writers Society. She is self-taught on the ukulele and has been playing guitar for six years.

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