Seattle’s Most Influential People 2019: 'Seattle Times' Reporter, Dominic Gates

As a reporter on the aerospace beat, Gates extensively covers the Boeing 737 MAX crisis

This article appears in print in the November 2019 issue, as part of the Most Influential People of the Year feature. Click here to subscribe.

Where were you when Boeing’s bad news—that the corporation had ignored flaws in its 737 Max system, which resulted in two international plane crashes in five months—broke this year? It’s likely that many of those news reports originated with Seattle Times reporter Dominic Gates, who has been on the aerospace beat since 2003, when he joined the newspaper. Keeping his eye on the skies has led Gates to develop years-long relationships at the aircraft manufacturer, cultivated with Boeing’s communications department, retired Boeing workers and others, and given him an edge over national and international news outlets. Even for a veteran reporter like Gates, keeping up with a story this big was a unique experience: “I’ve never been in quite as intense a news environment as this,” he told The Seattle Times in June. “There’s no letup, and you have to keep going constantly, keeping up with the information being put out by other outlets and gathering your own information.” 

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