Meet the man behind Seattle’s Somali news source

Runta means “the truth,” in Somali. It’s also the name of a Seattle-based news website, founded by longtime journalist and Somali refugee Mohamud Yussuf.

Mohamud started the paper while he was living as a refugee in Nairobi, Kenya, back in 1995. He moved to Seattle a year later, and decided to restart Runta in 2001 as a newsletter to serve our city’s growing Somali community.

Since that time, Seattle’s Somali population has continued to grow — and spread further south to Tukwila and SeaTac. As the community shifts, Runta has grown and changed as well, moving from a newsletter to a newspaper to an online-only news source. But Mohamud’s goal remains the same: Keep telling true stories about and for the local Somali community.

“To have your own voice, it’s important…” he says. “If you have your own paper, it can speak for you.”

By Eric Keto
Eric is a video producer based in Seattle, Washington.