Kaitlyn Buss first became interested in journalism as a career when she saw the impact of journalism after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, and Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
“My dad is a journalist, so I’ve always had an interest in journalism. I’ve also always loved politics and writing but seeing the impact that journalists and reporters had during these two events motivated me to move in that career direction,” she says.
Buss grew up in Rochester Hills and graduated from Notre Dame Prep in Pontiac. She attended Oakland University as a vocal music major before transferring to Hillsdale College, where she earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science, music, and journalism.
After college, Buss moved to Washington D.C. and worked in various roles in the communications field, where she gained a broad range of experience that led her back to the Detroit area eight years ago. From 2014 to 2018, she was a member of The Detroit News editorial board, where she worked as a writer, editor, and columnist. She then resumed working in communications and public relations until this past spring, when she returned to The Detroit News as assistant editorial page editor.
Buss sees her role in media as one with important duties and responsibilities.
“When it comes to writing, editing, debating thoughts, civil dialogue – it’s a challenging environment right now. Many people don’t understand the difference between editorial and straight objective news writing. There’s great power and responsibility in media, especially in the social media age,” she says. “With regards to critical thinking and decency – media is in a weird place right now.”
Following the latest elections, Buss says, “I’m really proud of the work we did at The Detroit News during the recent endorsement season. People are clearly desperate for information they can trust and sources they can rely on when analyzing information. I’m grateful we get to share information and persuade.”
While both are Michigan natives, Buss and her husband met in Washington, D.C. They currently live in Birmingham and share the challenges, juggles, and joy of raising four children ages seven years and younger. She acknowledges that the COVID-19 pandemic was a particularly difficult period for her and her family.
“It was such a hard, lonely time being a parent during the pandemic – I learned a lot and value community more than ever before. I’ve embraced that I need help and I need other people.”
With four young children, Buss likes to decompress by getting outside as a family, especially going on hikes. In her sparse spare time, she loves gardening. She is also appreciative of having her parents and family nearby. “I’m growing my roots in Michigan and feeling invested,” she said.
As for advice for aspiring journalists, especially during these turbulent times, Buss offers, “Commit to critical thinking and finding answers rather than getting caught up in social media. Look for faults in arguments, ask questions, and demand answers from people in authority. Debating differences has made the U.S. great – we can’t stop. We need to challenge ourselves, ‘How can we do better?’ Be skeptical. Many people with money and power have hidden agendas – things aren’t always as they seem.”
Story: Tracy Donohue
Photo: Chris Ward