2018 Silver Circle Inductee John Sharify

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John Sharify lives and breathes storytelling and is grateful to those willing to share their stories.

He believes his passion to express himself in words is in his DNA. It turns out his late father, Nasser Sharify, was a well-known poet in Iran. John, who had doubts about his own abilities as a storyteller early in his career, will always remember that moment when his dad declared. “Son, that story you did, didn’t have one extra word. It was poetry.”

That moment, for John, was better than any award he has received in his lifetime.

John believes in the power of storytelling. He believes in the importance of telling meaningful stories and finding meaning in the stories we have the privilege to tell as journalists. It IS a privilege.

He is currently a special projects reporter for KING and general manager of Seattle Colleges Cable Television. He began his career in journalism in New York City in 1981, where he worked as a producer and then a reporter at WPIX. In 1989, he headed to Seattle to report for KOMO, where he delivered his signature life-affirming stories for 18 years. He is grateful to have served as president of the Northwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences from 2006 to 2010.

John has received 68 Emmy® and eight National Edward R. Murrow awards, including three National Murrows for Writing. He was selected National Press Photographer Association Reporter of the Year in 2015. John was honored to present a Tedx Talk in 2012 about his National Murrow-winning documentary, “Climb of a Lifetime,” which chronicled the lives of homeless men training to climb Mt. Rainier.  

His passion for storytelling has taken him around the world as he presents workshops in newsrooms and at journalism conferences on the craft of writing and visual storytelling. John has mentored hundreds of journalists across the country and takes pride in their growth as storytellers. He reminds them, “not one extra word.”

His all-time favorite stories are the ones he wrote about his son Perry, when he competed as a breaststroker at the Olympic Trials in 2012, and the story he did about his daughter Jade on “Bring Your Daughter to Work Day” when she was just 10 years old. Jade did all the work that day.