Where do gumshoe-style reporters go when their newspaper dies? If you are former Seattle Post-Intelligencer investigative reporter Robert McClure, you keep digging into corruption and pollution, and then create a new forum to broadcast your discoveries. McClure cofounded, runs and reports for Investigate West, an independent journalism studio that develops stories for media partners, including KCTS public television, KUOW-FM and this year, for the first time, The New York Times. From pollution in South Seattle to sexual assault on an Oregon campus, Investigate West’s reports have led to reforms and road maps for change. Yet for all of Investigate West’s multiplatform modernity, McClure pierces the veil of secrecy the old-fashioned way, phone call by phone call, mind-numbing report by mind-numbing report. And through it all, even the folks who have been forced by his stories to clean up their act admit this guy is nothing if not fair, a modest Northwest version of Clark Kent gravely needed in a post–Post-Intelligencer world.
The Full List: Most Influential People of 2013
Their finger prints are all over Seattle. From protecting honeybees to regulating marijuana to popping and locking, these 54 men and women (and in one case, a machine) are shaping our neighborhoods, economy, attitudes and future. In the case of our person of the year—for the first time in our nine years of compiling this list, it’s a tie!—the impact is on a global scale. We may not always like the direction they are taking us in but it’s hard to deny: these folks are taking us somewhere.