THE WASHINGTON NEWSPAPER
IN PASSING Kenneth F. Bunting and Theodore Grossman, two big names in state journalism, pass away unexpectedly.
Vol. 99, No. 5 May 2014
Journal of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association and Allied Daily Newspapers of Washington • www.wnpa.com
WNPA executive director steps down
fter nearly 17 years of dedicated service to the Washington Newspaper Publisher’s Association, Executive Director Bill Will last month announced his resignation. “It’s been a tremendous pleasure to work on behalf of Washington’s community newspapers for the past 16 1/2 Bill Forhan Bill Will years and an honor to represent the Executive Director’s job an organization that was formed when the organization needed in 1887 — two years before to reduce paid staff. There, he statehood,” Will said. “But it’s worked to keep member newspatime for a change — for both me pers informed of threats to open and WNPA.” Will saw WNPA through some government records and meetings difficult times and stepped up to and was a passionate advocate
for newspapers big and small. “Washington’s newspaper folks have taught me many important lessons over the years,” Will said, “but the one that sticks with me most is just how vital newspapers are to their communities. You do important — essential —work. Your news pages are the glue that bind people together and prompt informed debate. Your advertising is the lubricant of the local economy. Your editorial pages hold the government and other public institutions accountable. You make democracy possible. And you work damn hard at it,
with remarkable dedication and passion. My hat is off to you all.” The WNPA board of directors is now examining how to best to fill the Executive Director’s role. That process will include setting goals for the organization and then finding the right staff mix to accomplish those priorities. “We thank Bill for his devotion to WNPA,” said WNPA Board President Bill Forhan. “His departure marks the end of one era, and the beginning of a new one for our organization. We wish him well.”
BETTER NEWSPAPER CONTEST IMPORTANT DATES May 12 • Deadline EXTENDED for Regular Entries and General Excellence June 6 • Deadline for Tourism/Community Guide Special Sections Aug. 6 • Announcement letters mailed to publishers whose staff have won awards Oct. 3 • Winners announced at 127th Annual Convention, Chelan Details: www.wnpa.com/ awards
MOON PLUS SNOW EQUALS EXCELLENCE
Anna Ferdinand/La Conner Weekly News
For this remarkable photo, Anna Ferdinand and the La Conner Weekly News earned first place in the Color Pictorial category, Circulation Group I, of the 2013 Washington Better Newspaper Contest. In the words of the judges, ‘Excellent. Very imaginative and great framing.’
Beacon Publishing expands with new Mill Creek paper
he new Mill Creek Beacon, to be published twice monthly, joined its weekly sister publications in Mukilteo and Edmonds on April 18. The three Beacons share the same look, albeit in different colors, and together, they have circulation of 28,000 in Snohomish County. Like its siblings, the newest Beacon has a hyperlocal focus, with coverage of the Mill Creek city council and school news. Paul Archipley By fall Publisher Paul Archipley hopes to hire a parttime reporter, but initially he took on the editor’s role in Mill Creek himself. “I’m not making any more for taking this new job,” he said. “Lean and mean is the secret to success.” For example, to build revenue, he contracted with an experienced sales person from Mill Creek who presold enough ads to cover the new Beacon’s costs for six months. His longtime advertising manager, Doug Kimball, also upsold several clients from the See BEACON, page 3
Review part of Nikkei exhibit at park The North American Post
he Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park in Pioneer Square opened the new exhibit “Community of Courage: Japanese-American Story” featuring Bainbridge Island Japanese American (Nikkei) history. The exhibit begins with stories of early Japanese immigrants to the island as sawmill workers and farmers growing strawberries. The main part of the exhibit focuses on what happened to the small community of 272 Nikkei around World War II as the first mass removal group under Executive Order 9066. Their longtime project “Nidoto Nai Yoni (Let it not happen again)” is a message to future society. A huge display shows how the local newspaper, Bainbridge Island Review, covered the Japanese American incarceration as an important story of the island community. The Woodward family, who owned the paper, published editorials against President Franklin Roosevelt’s decision leading to mass incarceration and kept running articles from the incarceration camps to share their daily lives. Clarence Moriwaki of the
Shihou Sasaki/ The North American Post, Seattle
Lilly Kodama, left, and Kay Nakao, right, with the Bainbridge Island Review display featuring co-publishers Walt and Millie Woodward, at Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park in Seattle. Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial Association said that the local medium helped the Bainbridge Island community become a safe enough location for Nikkei to have 150 returnees, unlike other areas. He added that 62 Nisei men and women from the island served in the military during World
War II. The exhibit was a project by the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park and the University of Washington Museology Graduate program and contributed to by the Bainbridge Island Japanese American See PARK, page 6
Cable company carries its fate in its own hands
n March 30 we ran a story about Tacoma’s public cable system. It began with a bold, front-page headline and went on to fill a page and a half inside the paper. All of that ink was spilled, essentially, to divulge one simple number — 300 percent. That’s how much we believe Seattlebased Fisher Communications raised its fees to Tacoma’s cable system, so Click could air the local ABC-affiliate, KOMO, and associated channels. The price spike happened in three short years. Three hundred percent is the answer to a simple question we asked more than a year ago. In a very public fight, Click resisted a rate increase, and Fisher yanked KOMO from Click customers for a month. Click eventually
Officers: President: Bill Forhan, NCW Media, Leavenworth l First Vice President: Keven Graves, Whidbey News Group, Coupeville l Second Vice President: Lori Maxim, Sound Publishing l Past President: Jana Stoner, Northern Kittitas County Tribune, Cle Elum Trustees: Donna Etchey, Sound Publishing l Eric LaFontaine, Othello Outlook l Don Nelson, Methow Valley News, Twisp l Stephen McFadden, RitzvilleAdams County Journal l Fred Obee, Port Townsend Leader l Michael Wagar, Lafromboise Communications Staff: Editor/Manager of Member Services: Mae Waldron
Officers: President: Dave Zeeck, News Tribune, Tacoma Treasurer: Christine Fossett, Chronicle, Centralia Board: Nathan Alford, MoscowPullman Daily News l Tyler Miller, Daily Record, Ellensburg l Heather Hernandez, Skagit Valley Herald, Mount Vernon lRob Blethen, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin Executive Director: Rowland Thompson THE WASHINGTON NEWSPAPER is the official publication of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association. It is published monthly by WNPA, P.O. Box 29, Olympia WA 98507, phone (206) 6343838. Email: mwaldron@wnpa. com; URL: www.wnpa.com, in conjunction with Allied Daily Newspapers of Washington, P.O. Box 29, Olympia, WA 98507, (360) 943-9960. Email: email@example.com.
caved to what they called an “unreasonable” increase. Our question: What was the increase? Getting an answer should Karen have been Peterson simple. Click is Executive editor, a government the News agency, so we Tribune, Tacoma asked for its retransmission contracts with Fisher going back a few years. To compare, we also requested Click’s contracts with other local broadcasters. The city said it would release them, but had agreed to notify broadcasters if there was any threat of public disclosure. Once
notified, broadcasters lawyered up, raced to court and got an order prohibiting the release. We continue to press for their release through an appeal — now before the state Court of Appeals. In addition to locking up the contracts, the judge also locked up documents “related” to the contracts. That meant the city couldn’t divulge even the amount of checks made out to the broadcasters. Keeping those documents secret sets a dangerous precedent. State law is clear that taxpayers get to see who their local governments write checks to and for how much. It’s information about those transactions that the city, apparently inadvertently, gave out to another requester who asked
about all the city’s contracts. TNT reporter Kate Martin found among them amounts paid to broadcasters. She used them to calculate the amount Click was paying broadcasters, persubscriber, to retransmit their signals. That’s what led to the March 30 story. In our minds, the story comes a year late. But making the information public remains important. Ratepayers of a public cable company are the owners of the system and should know what’s behind their rate increases. Click has raised rates five times since 2010 and is asking for a sixth hike. Our more detailed information confirms why. Local broadcasters — who once shared their
channels for free — now charge ever-higher retransmission fees. It’s a gold mine in their new business model. National cable programmers — ESPN, Comedy Central and the rest — are increasing fees, as well. The rates they charge are easier to find. A simple Google search turns up 2013 monthly per-subscriber rates of $5.54 for ESPN and $1.24 for Turner Network Television. Click isn’t alone in passing along higher rates to customers. The same thing is happening to people who subscribe to Comcast and other cable networks. This story offers a peek into what’s happening to their bills, as well. But beyond Click’s 20,000 cable customers, every customer of Tacoma Public Utilities and See CLICK, page 3
Openness wins out in Skagit County
he Skagit County Fire District 13 Commissioners voted unanimously April 8 to accept a mutually agreed settlement to end a lawsuit filed by La Conner Weekly News over violations of the state’s open government laws. In the $24,500 settlement, the district does not admit liability concerning the newspaper’s allegations that its office staff withheld public records and that commissioners held illegal meetings last year. After a closed session with the district’s lawyers and insurance risk manager, the commission signed an agreement to provide complete agenda packets to the newspaper and to the public for every meeting, make draft meeting minutes available within five days after each meeting and turn over all public documents that this newspaper requested and were withheld. Most importantly, the district agreed to make sure its office
staff and elected officials receive comprehensive training on the state’s public records and open meeting laws to avoid such Sandy lawsuits in Stokes the future. We Editor and have insisted publisher, that such train- La Conner Weekly News ing be done within 90 days of being elected, appointed or hired and be conducted by the Attorney General’s Office, the Washington Coalition for Open Government – which provide free training – or Municipal Research and Services Center. On Wednesday, April 9, the newspaper signed the settlement agreement. Attorney Michele Earl-Hubbard of Allied Law Group in Seattle, started working on this case in November and brought it to a positive outcome for not only
the newspaper, but for the taxpayers in District 13 who now have an agency that recognizes its obligation to be accountable to the public. La Conner News began seeking public records from this agency in an effort to determine how much taxpayer money was spent producing a “Confidential Investigative Report” that was derogatory to one of the commissioners on its three-man governing board. The other two commissioners released the report the day before the ballots were mailed out for the November 2013 election. The timing and fact that all the “witnesses” named in the report were actively campaigning for one of the men who released the report warranted careful scrutiny. Under the terms of the settlement and ensuing judgment, the district must deposit $24,500 with Allied Law Group’s trust account by April 25. The bulk of the money will go to pay the legal costs.
In our initial settlement offer, which was presented to the district immediately after the lawsuit was filed on March 6, we let the district know that the newspaper expects to end up with $3,750 after the bills are paid. And we told the district what we will do with the money: We’ll donate $1,000 to La Conner Boys & Girls Club; $500 to the new La Conner library building fund; $500 to the town’s fund to develop the new waterfront park, $500 to the La Conner volunteer firefighters and $500 to the WNPA Foundation. We’ll keep $750 to help cover our wasted reporter time and other expenses this saga has cost us. Although the donations are not mentioned in the final settlement agreement, we consider keeping our promises to be every bit as important as keeping our government agencies honest.
Free speech: Some thoughts from the bench
o, what part of the First Amendment, or the law around it, would you want to change? For most of us, the answer is an academic exercise at best. For a few legislators, lawyers and litigants, the response is proposed legislation or lengthy briefs and pointed legal arguments. But when the words involve justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, it is cause for special attention. Justices Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a recent public appearance, and retired justice John Paul Stevens in a new book, opine on subjects ranging from a landmark 50-year-old libel law decision to the current hot-button topic of campaign finance laws. Scalia and Ginsburg appeared together April 17 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., for a discussion about First Amendment freedoms. Scalia would repeal
the Supreme Court’s 1964 decision in New York Times v. Sullivan which set out the principle that public officials – later Gene expanded to Policinski public figures senior vice president, – have to prove “actual First Amendment malice” to win Center a libel lawsuit. The 9-0 ruling in 1964 involved a lawsuit brought by Montgomery, Ala., police commissioner L.B. Sullivan against the newspaper and a group of civil rights advocates over a full-page advertisement critical of local police actions. The ad contained factual errors. To allow for the widest possible debate on matters of public interest, the Court held that the First Amendment protects even erroneous statements about the conduct of public
officials, except when made with knowledge that the statements are false, or with reckless disregard of the truth. Scalia maintained that libel law historically was set at the state level, outside the purview of the U.S. Constitution, and the court was wrong to change that circumstance. “It was nine lawyers who decided that is what the Constitution ought to mean, even though it had never meant that,” he said. He also said, “I think George Washington, I think Thomas Jefferson, I think the Framers would have been appalled at the notion that they could be libeled with impunity.” Scalia said that “If you are a public figure, you cannot sue somebody for libel unless you can prove, effectively, that the person knew it was a lie. So long as he heard from somebody, you know, it makes it very difficult for a public figure to win a libel suit.” For her part, Ginsburg noted that the situation facing the court did not exist in colonial
times, where libel law could have been used “as a way of squelching the people who were asserting their freedoms.” She said the Times decision empowered the press to report fully on the civil rights movement, and that the ruling “is now well accepted.” She added, “I suspect if the Founding Fathers were around to see what life was like in the 1960s, they would have agreed with that” decision. Televising the Supreme Court’s proceedings, currently banned by court rule rather than law, found no support from either Ginsburg or Scalia. Both said they have reservations about allowing cameras in their courtroom. “If the American people watched our proceedings from gavel to gavel, they would be educated,” Scalia said. The justices said their fear is that by watching only portions of arguments before the court, or “man-bites-dog” clips used in See BENCH, page 3
OPEN ACCESS & LEGAL ISSUES
Judge’s ruling blocks low-level sex offender list release Yakima Herald-Republic
Yakima County judge has blocked the release of names and addresses of low-level sex offenders to a Mesa woman who wants to post the information on a website. Ruling April 11, Superior Court Judge Blaine Gibson permanently blocked Donna Zink’s request for low- level sex-offender registration forms from the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office. The move had been sought by 22 low-level offenders who said releasing the information would subject them to public scorn and threaten their safety. The ruling covered all low-level offenders who comply with state law, such as registering with authorities, and have permanent addresses. Zink, who would not speak to reporters afterward, said she would appeal Gibson’s orders, along with similar orders in Benton and King counties denying her requests for Level 1 offender information.
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brief news reports, the public would be misinformed rather than better-educated about what they do. Retired Justice Stevens, in a new book published April 22, “Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution,” calls for a return to spending limits by corporations in political campaigns. Stevens dissented in the landmark 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision that eliminated a ban on corporate and union campaign spending. In his latest book, the 94-year-old jurist argues for “reasonable limits” on campaign spending, to be set by Congress or the states. In a New York Times interview published April 21, Stevens said Citizens United and later decisions – likely including the recent removal of caps on the total amount corporations and individuals can spend in federal elections – are “really wrong.” The result, he said, is that “the voter is less important than the
Level 1 sex offenders are considered the least likely to offend again, and their names are typically not posted publicly, except in rare circumstances, and then only released to those who have need for the information. The names of Level 2 and Level 3, those considered most likely to re-offend, are routinely released as they change addresses and are listed in public registries. Zink filed the request with the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office in November for the registration forms filled out by all Level 1 sex offenders in the county. Zink is trying to assemble a database to be posted online listing all known sex offenders in the state. The sheriff’s office was prepared to release the forms and notified the Level 1 offenders that the information would be made public. Several offenders filed suit to block the release. As of April 11, there were 674 registered Level 1 offenders in Yakima County, according to a website maintained by the sheriff’s office.
man who provides money to the candidate.” Justices Ginsburg and Scalia declined to comment on whether reporters involved in recent disclosures of National Security Agency surveillance programs merited their recent Pulitzer Prize. But Ginsburg, in speaking about the news media’s historical role, said, “The press has played a tremendously important role as watchdog over what the government is doing. That keeps the government from getting too far out of line. Yes, there are excesses in the press, but we have to put up with that.” And of that view, I suspect, Washington, Jefferson and the Founders would be proud. Gene Policinski is chief operating officer of the Newseum Institute and senior vice president of the Institute’s First Amendment Center. He can be reached at gpolicinski@ newseum.org.
Attorney Greg Scott, who represented the 22 offenders, argued the ruling should apply to all Level 1 offenders, noting that some couldn’t afford attorneys or did not want to step forward and risk exposure. But Gibson limited his ruling to those in compliance with state law and with permanent addresses. The law allows the sheriff to post the names of transient and homeless offenders, as well as those who are not in compliance with the registration law. Scott said Gibson’s prohibition on releasing the names would extend to future offenders, since the judge ruled that the forms were exempt from disclosure under the state Public Records Act. Gibson based his decision on a 1994 state Supreme Court ruling that declared requiring a sex offender to register was not an additional punishment, as long as the state used an offender’s potential for offending again as a factor in determining who should be informed about their
The Columbian, Vancouver
-Tran is facing questions after holding an unusual closed-door session in the middle of its April 8 board meeting to discuss the bus rapid transit project that was up for action that night. The sharpest criticism has come from one of the C-Tran’s own board members, Clark County Commissioner David Madore. The Republican commissioner has gone as far as accusing the agency of violating the state OPen Meetings Act. C-Tran maintains the executive session was authorized and appropriate under state law. The April 8 meeting included a resolution advancing BRT, an enhanced bus system proposed in Vacouver that has been a source of some controversy. The board stood by the project with a 5-3 vote after more than an hour of public deliberation. But just before discussing the
issue publicly, the board held a 20-minute executive session. C-Tran public affairs manager Jim Quintana said April 10 that the closed session centered around a draft memo from legal counsel Tom Wolfendale about BRT. Madore later said the discussion involved financing options for the project. As justification for the executive session, C-Tran has cited sections of RCW 42.30.110 including potential litigation — “when public knowledge regarding the discussion is likely to result in an adverse legal or financial consequence to the agency.” Madore made it clear he wasn’t satisfied with that reasoning. “We’re just acting as if people, if they knew what we were doing, they might sue us. They might find something,” he said. “Well, that’s what the Open Public Meetings Act, and that’s what the Public Records Act is supposed to do: hold us
BEACON operator, Click struggles to keep up with programming costs and pricey technology advances. It has a tough private competitor in Comcast, not to mention Netflix, Hulu, etc. It is losing subscribers. More than 700 small cable companies have gone out of business in the past five years. As for the broadcasters, it’s hard to blame our disclosure for their next rate increase. They’ve gone up dramatically in recent years, even when the rates were secret. If anything, disclosing their hefty increases may cause them to slow down. If not, the public may perceive their ultimate motive as piracy rather than mere profit. This much is clear: Broadcasters want to keep the rates hidden. They told the judge the rates were “trade secrets,” known to virtually no one. No one, that is, except every broadcaster and the big
risk. “If (the offenders) were not dangerous, they would not have to register,” Weigand said. She also noted that their convictions are a matter of public record. Weigand argued that the Legislature never defined the offender information as exempt under the records act. While there are some restrictions on posting it to registries, she said it is not exempt from records requests. Weigand also argued that Yakima County could be legally liable for not granting Zink’s request under the records law. Zink, who argued her case herself, said Gibson’s ruling turned the registration law on its head, and instead of protecting the public, it was being used to protect offenders’ privacy. She said it also violated a principle of the state Public Records Act in that if information is released to some people, it has to be released to all.
Closed C-Tran session criticized
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citizen of Tacoma has a stake in this cable company and how it’s run. They all helped to pay for its infrastructure. And when Click rates don’t cover its costs, they all bear the losses. In the end, the city as a whole must decide if it belongs in the cable business. Having detailed information helps citizens make that decision. City and Click officials — threatened by the broadcasters that disclosure of the retransmission rates might cause them to sue, to raise rates or to pull out of the network altogether — pressed us to not publish our story. They gave us a 12-point memo about it. If the TNT publishes, it does so “knowing that it could lead to Click!’s demise,” the memo said. Click has challenges to its long-term viability, but our story isn’t one of them. As an independent cable
past crimes. “The Supreme Court recognizes that the mere declaration that someone is a sex offender is harmful to the person,” Gibson said. “Even if your neighbor next door has been a good neighbor for 10 years, when you learn that they were a sex offender 20 years ago, it affects how you deal with them.” Gibson said the fact that the Legislature put some restrictions on distributing Level 1 offender information suggests that it did not intend for the information to be released through public records requests. The law limits notification about Level 1 offenders to law enforcement, schools the offender might attend, and the offender’s victim and witnesses to the crime. Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Stefanie Weigand, who represented the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office, said there was legitimate public interest in granting Zink’s request. She said the Level 1 classification may mean low risk, but it is not zero
cable companies that operate in markets across the country. Left out of the trade nonsecrets are independent cable companies like Click. Even they should be able to find a consultant who can advise them of the going rates for retransmission fees. The only people who really didn’t know the fees being charged our public utility were the owners — ratepayers and taxpayers. We believe making rates public levels the playing field and will lead to better decisions about Click’s future. Like it or not, Click is a public cable company. That has its advantages, but also comes with responsibilities. One of them is transparency. Click — and the broadcasters — should have anticipated that as a cost of doing business. Reprinted with permission.
all accountable.” Madore has accused C-Tran of violating the state’s public meetings law, and said he planned to file a complaint. As of April 10, that had not happened, Quintana said. The accusations came during a separate discussion about recent public records requests — including Madore’s — and the resulting legal costs to C-Tran. Other board members were quick to defend the agency and its practices. “Commissioner Madore, there is no conspiracy here,” said Vancouver City Council member Jack Burkman. “I understand that you believe that. You’ve been very clear about that on your Facebook page and elsewhere that there is a conspiracy to hide the information of this body from the public. There is not.” C-Tran typically places executive sessions at the end of meetings, after the public agenda is complete.
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Mukilteo and Edmonds papers. To keep that momentum going after the start-up phase ended, Archipley hired a new advertising representative, Chris Clifton, for the Mill Creek paper. His existing production staff builds the papers on successive days, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, eliminating the need to add staff for that process. Despite an experiment with a monthly in South Everett in early 2011 that didn’t pan out, he expects the Mill Creek Beacon to do well. “Mill Creek demographics are more like the readers of our Mukilteo and Edmonds papers, “Archipley said. “I got a couple of nice notes and phone calls already, after the first issue came out, and
I think before the year is out we’ll go weekly.” For advertisers in the three upscale communities, Beacon Publishing provides opportunities to reach readers beyond their immediate neighborhoods. Archipley is still a believer in print, despite steady growth of his online sites. “Google ads help cover the cost of the platform, but newsprint is still where the money is. Advertisers seem to be coming back.” “I’m finding as the shakeout continues that the survivors are the community newspapers. People still want to know what’s going on in their back yard. You go to any high school, and what are the kids reading? They’re reading the school newspaper.”
Coverage of mudslide challenges Herald staff Harrowing event occurs while paper prepares to move its newsroom Editor’s Note: The March 30 story below was published more than a week into the coverage of the March 22 Oso mudslide. Links to the Herald’s complete reporting are organized chronologically at http://www.heraldnet.com/section/ osomudslide
The Daily Herald, Everett
aily Herald reporters have written tens of thousands of stories and Herald photographers have published almost as many photos from 1213 California St. in Everett, the newspaper’s home since 1959. On Monday, March 31, the staff would unpack and resume work from a new office at 41st Street and Colby Avenue. During the week prior to the move — with reporters and editors crowded around portable tables while their desks were being moved across town — the staff found itself covering a disaster that demanded long hours of work under trying circumstances. Herald reporter Chris Winters and photographer Annie Mulligan were in the north county on the morning of March 22, covering a Knowledge Bowl competition at Arlington High School, a typical weekend assignment. Winters headed back to Everett, but Mulligan remained, looking for the right photo to frame the story. “There was a fair amount of chatter” on radio scanners when Winters got back to the newsroom. “Something was happening somewhere,” he said. Scanners and Twitter reports from the Washington State Patrol alerted him to a mudslide on Highway 530 near the town of Oso. It was obvious there were injuries, and the landslide was more massive than routine mudslides that often block train tracks during rainy months.
The coverage began. Winters called City Editor Robert Frank and reporter Rikki King. A brief story was put up on the HeraldNet website and Winters headed for the slide. Mulligan was still in Arlington when the Herald’s chief photographer and her husband, Mark Mulligan, called to tell her of the mudslide. She thought about waiting for more details. She wasn’t prepared to cover more than the Knowledge Bowl. She didn’t have a laptop to transmit photos. She didn’t have extra memory cards for her camera. And she didn’t have a jacket. Her editor called back a minute later. “Mark said: ‘This is a big deal and you need to go,’” she said. “He said, ‘Head up 530 and keep driving until you can’t go any further.’” Winters hit a roadblock on Highway 530 and was directed to a command post. Authorities were concerned because the slide had blocked the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River. The river was backing behind the slide, threatening a flash flood if it broke through. Winters gathered information and then relayed the news to the Herald’s makeshift newsroom where Frank and King began writing the first stories for HeraldNet and the Sunday Herald. Details began coming in, Winters said: Stories of a 6-month-old boy pulled from debris alive but badly injured; first responders struggling with the quicksandlike mud; fears that the danger of more slides and a flash flood hadn’t passed. Residents and family members of Oso residents gathered at a fire station, alongside emergency workers, officials and news reporters and photographers. Shock and grief were evident already. Winters recalled seeing an Oso firefighter, still in his turnout gear, grieving the death of his wife and loss of his home. Annie Mulligan had been turned back short of the slide and settled into work at the command post. Photographing victims and first
Chuck Tayler/The Herald, Everett
Amid a tangle of cords and cables, Herald reporters worked from a temporary newsroom as the Herald offices were moved to a new home. responders takes balance, she said. A journalist must document what has happened but not intrude on victims and their grief. “I hung back,” Mulligan said. As people learned — or in many cases, couldn’t learn — the fate of loved ones, Mulligan gave them space. “I wouldn’t follow,” she said. Firefighters and first responders typically are more accustomed to journalists. “They were very kind. They would talk to us, offer us food. They understood what we were trying to do,” she said. Fellow Herald photographer Genna Martin arrived, delivering a laptop to Mulligan and then starting her own work for the weekend. Martin had better luck at roadblocks and, at least at one checkpoint, an emergency worker knew that Martin was one of the photographers who had covered Darrington High School basketball games. That sort of experience and familiarity can provide a level of comfort and trust. “There was one very helpful (public information officer) who told me, ‘Tell Rikki (King), I was nice to you.’” Martin said. “ It helps that the community knows the Herald.” Martin also connected with a public information officer who was escorting the Arlington mayor, two state representatives and a county commissioner who were inspecting the damage.
“He took me up the hill that looked out over the slide area,” she said. The devastation came into focus. She talked to one resident who had found the remains of his best friend’s home. Martin watched neighbors sorting through the wreckage and pulling out something to keep. Others were looking for the neighbors themselves who had not been accounted for. “It looked like a tornado came through. One house was just splinters,” Martin said. A photo used March 24 on Page A3 was Martin’s: an Oso resident, his back turned to the camera, walking through mud, tangles of roots and debris, late Sunday near sunset. “He was just wandering around dumbstruck,” she said. “There was just so much wreckage, and the environment was unrecognizable. It’s now this muddy flood plain that used to be grass and houses along the river.” A week after the Oso landslide, the work of Herald reporters, photographers and editors continues. At least 18 people are dead, and 30 are missing. The Herald’s reporting in the weeks ahead will require the trust of the community to provide information and access. “We’ve been given the opportunity to get it right,” King said. “People recognize your face and know why you’re here and that this is our home, too.”
Maxim, Etchey promoted as Sound restructures Gavin steps Vice president accepts down from expanded publisher role World post
ound Publishing has announced a strategic change in its management of its papers in Kitsap County. Sound Publishing Vice President Lori Maxim has taken a new, expanded role as the regional publisher overseeing all Donna Gloria Lori Sound operations in Kitsap County. Etchey Fletcher Maxim Along with her responsibilities as regional publisher, Maxim will continue as business and effective advertising models vice president of Sound Publishing. for each of Sound’s print publications and Sound Publishing President Gloria online sites serving the communities in Fletcher said, “Lori knows and underKitsap County. stands Kitsap County exceptionally well. Maxim joined Sound Publishing in 1988 She lives there and appreciates everything as the publisher of the Bainbridge Island each community in the county has to offer. Review and the North Kitsap Herald in She has the right mix of dynamic leaderPoulsbo. ship skills and passion for her new role.” As vice president of operations, she As publisher and vice president, Maxim has had oversight responsibility for daily, is in a unique position to combine her weekly and monthly news publications on knowledge of the evolving newspaper the Olympic Peninsula, Whidbey Island,
Vashon Island, the San Juan Islands and Kitsap County. Donna Etchey, publisher of the Bainbridge Island Review and North Kitsap Herald, has been promoted to Kitsap County’s regional advertising director for Sound Publishing. This new role for Etchey highlights her skills in building business development teams and advertising services across Kitsap County. As the Kitsap County regional advertising director for Sound Publishing, Etchey will draw on her many talents to offer businesses and markets across the county unique opportunities in Sound Publishing’s print products and online sites. Sean McDonald, publisher of the Bremerton Patriot, the Central Kitsap Reporter and the Port Orchard Independent, is leaving Sound Publishing following a restructuring of executive positions.
Royal Register joins WNPA; Goldendale rejoins
t the April 25 meeting of the trustees of Washington Newspaper Publishers Association the Royal Register, a weekly newspaper published by Hagadone Newspapers, was approved as a regular member of WNPA. In addition the Goldendale Sentinel, a longtime member whose membership had been deactivated, was returned to regular
membership status. The Register covers parts of Grant and Adams County with circulation of 6,031 (20 paid) distributed by mail, carrier and single copy sales. Publisher Tom Hinde is also circulation director of the Columbia Basin Herald in Moses Lake, where the Register has offices.
The Register’s inaugural issue was published Oct. 26, 2010. The Register and Sentinel bring WNPA’s regular membership to 98 newspapers. Associate members, which are nonweekly newspapers, number 13 and affiliates, 18.
fter a stellar 13-year career at the Wenatchee World and World Publishing, Rick Gavin retired effective April 17, after a party given in his honor that afternoon at the newspaper. Gavin held a variety of positions during his tenure at the World, most recently as commercial printing sales manager. Since 2005, Rick he increased Gavin the World’s commercial print operation by ten times, printing weekly newspapers and other publications for communities all over eastern Washington and in many Oregon, Idaho and Montana locations. Previously, Gavin was the owner and publisher of the Lake Chelan Mirror for 27 years. He had assumed responsibility for the Mirror in 1973, taking over from his father. He sold the weekly newspaper to Bill Forhan in 2000.
Former P-I leader, FOI advocate Bunting dies at 65
Colleagues, former staff associates offer praise of ex-editor seattlepi.com
enneth F. Bunting, a former top editor and associate publisher at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, has died. The National Freedom of Information Coalition announced his death. Bunting, who was 65, died from a heart attack on April 20 in Columbia, Mo., it said. Bunting was executive director of the coalition, which is housed at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo., from 2010 until earlier this year. “Even after he left, he continued to support NFOIC, helping
to connect people looking for FOI help and reminding us of pending deadlines and First Amendment news stories of note,” the Kenneth F. Bunting coalition said in a statement. “He was a strong voice for FOI and government transparency and a great advocate for state coalition groups trying to fight off encroachments on their open government laws.” Bunting was associate publisher of the P-I until it ceased print publication and went online only in March 2009. In his 12 years at the newspaper, he was also managing editor and executive editor.
During his tenure, the P-I won several regional and national awards, including two Pulitzer Prizes. Both were won by editorial cartoonist David Horsey. Bunting was named the P-I’s managing editor in October 1993. He came to the newspaper from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, where he had been state capital bureau chief, city editor and assistant managing editor In his long journalism career, Bunting also worked at the Los Angeles Times, Sacramento Bee, Cincinnati Post, San Antonio Express-News and Corpus Christi Caller-Times. His former coworkers at the Seattle P-I reacted with sadness at his death and offered memories of him. “A defender of Freedom of Information, a bright light and a
friend. Geez. We will truly miss him,” Eric Nalder, an investigative reporter and Pultizer Prize winner wrote on Facebook. David McCumber, a former managing editor at the Seattle P-I, wrote: “Ken was a great friend and colleague, a sweet man, a great Dad and a powerful defender of press freedoms, a huge advocate for open government.” Former P-I reporter Lewis Kamb, now with the Seattle Times, called Bunting “a perennial advocate for a strong free press.” “Ken was an unwavering supporter of quality journalism who always gave all of himself to the profession’s greater cause. During my nine-plus years at the P-I, he stood unflinchingly behind our newsroom and its most contro-
versial work (mine included, I am proud to say), and used his enormous diplomatic skills to defend and enhance press freedoms. But more than anything, Ken was simply a good man who made you feel good. Every time I saw him (or even spoke to him on the phone, in more recent years), he invariably greeted me in his gravelly baritone: ‘Lewis Kamb, great American!’ Rest In Peace, KenB. You’ll be missed.” Bunting was a proud graduate of Texas Christian University, which honored him in 2010 as the first inductee into its Schieffer (journalism) School Hall of Excellence. He is survived by a wife, Juli, and son, Maxwell.
Grossman, ex-co-publisher of Islands’ Sounder, passes at 73
Newsman also did heritage research, aided community
heodore Grossman, former editor and copublisher with his wife, Kay, of the Islands’ Sounder in Eastsound, Orcas Island, has died at age 73. He had been diagnosed with lung cancer April 22, entered hospice care the following week, and passed away at home the evening of May 3, with his wife and two children, Alex and Marcy, at his side. Since he retired from the Sounder in 2006, Grossman had pursued his interest in his family’s history, studying at the
University of Washington, conducting online research, and traveling four times to Hungary and Slovakia, where he visited his Theodore ancestors’ vil- Grossman lages and explored volumes of records in town halls. He also did research in Salt Lake City and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. In 2010, he was invited to present a paper about conducting rural research in Hungary at the 30th IAJGS (International Jewish Genealogical Societies)
International Conference on Jewish Genealogy in Los Angeles, with a cousin from Israel. That same year, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and founded a monthly Parkinson’s support group on Orcas, which Kay said gave him a sense of purpose and accomplishment. In honor of his accomplishments and contributions to Washington’s community newspaper industry, Grossman received the Miles Turnbull Master Editor/Publisher Award at the convention of Washington Newspaper Publishers Association in 2006. The Grossmans got their start in newspapers at the Waterville Empire Press, which they
published for two years, and the Nyssa Gate (Ore.) City Journal, where they stayed for five years. Their stint on Orcas began in 1985, when they bought the Islands’ Sounder. As co-publishers the Grossmans were active in the community, and Ted’s characteristic gravelly voice was heard at meetings, school gatherings, and all kinds of community-building events. They sold the paper to Sound Publishing in 1994, and Ted continued as editor until he retired in 2006. A former staff person, Lin McNulty, posted a remembrance about him on an Orcas Island website, www.orcasissues.com, where journalists Grossman
mentored during his career as well as other islanders have posted comments of gratitude and sorrow. He is survived by his wife, Kay; son, Alex and his family, including children Mila and Joe, in Brooklyn, N.Y.; and daughter, Marcy, of Seattle. There will be a potluck brunch Celebration of Life for Ted Grossman at 10 a.m. May 17 in the Madrona Room of the Orcas Center. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Kaleidoscope, PO Box 1476, Eastsound, WA 98245 or to the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation, 400 Mercer St., Suite 502, Seattle, WA 98109 (nwpf.org).
Washington News Council to close State mental health reporting contest opens A The Seattle Times
Award for best media coverage of suicide prevention
ntries are being accepted for the 2103-14 Washington Mental Health Reporting Award for outstanding coverage of suicide prevention and mental health. The award is sponsored by Forefront: Innovations in Suicide Prevention and the University of Washington Department of Communication Journalism program to honor Washington State journalism that improves the public’s understanding of suicide prevention, behavioral illnesses, treatment, recovery, public policy and related topics. Submissions will be accepted through July 1, 2014. The award-winning journalist will receive $500 and be honored at the Sept. 30 anniversary celebration of Forefront, a UWbased multi-disciplinary collaboration for big-picture changes in suicide prevention. Entries may include columns,
ON THE WEB
Forefront: Innovations in Suicide Prevention: www.intheforefront.org investigative articles, editorials, broadcast segments, news, features, series, blogs and videos. Journalists can submit their own work or be nominated by a colleague or member of the community. The submission must have been published (online or in print) or broadcast between July 1, 2013, and June 30, 2014. There is no entry fee, and multiple entries may be submitted. Judging will be by a panel of experts drawn from mental health professionals, UW Department of Communication journalism faculty, and individuals whose lives have been affected by mental illness, substance abuse or a death by suicide. For judging criteria and format details for entries, contact Sue Lockett John, at suej@ uw.edu or (206) 919-9677.
fter 15 years of holding the state’s news media accountable for accuracy, fairness and ethics, the Washington News Council will close May 31. Founded in 1998 by John Hamer, it is the only news council left in the United States
that reviews citizen complaints against media organizations and holds public hearings to review and vote on the quality of print, broadcast or online stories. “We had a great 15-year run, and we helped a lot of people who were damaged by media malpractice,” said Hamer, who serves as the council’s executive
director and board president. “But the news media have changed tectonically since we began. The eruption of online digital news and information made our mission of promoting high standards in journalism much more difficult, if not impossible. How can anyone oversee a cyber-tsunami?”
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CAREER MOVES n Katie Morgan has been promoted to National Account Manager for Sound Publishing Inc.’s National/ Regional Sales Department. She succeeds Larry Lark. Morgan served Sound in a marketing capacity for five years. Previously, she worked her way up at Home Depot over nine years, starting as a marketing artist covering nine states with $4.5 billion annual sales, later transitioning to visual merchandise manager, managing 133 grand opening and capital projects encompassing 17 states and two Canadian provinces with $14.7 billion in annual sales. As a vendor for the Canadian Division, she managed 120 more grand openings and capital projects. As a volunteer, Morgan gives her time to Habitat for Humanity. She has participated in Global Village builds in Thailand and Cambodia. n Justin Runquist, a Renton native a a graduate of Washington State University, joined The Vancovuer Columbian as a reporter covering the cities of Battle Ground, Camas, Washougal, Ridgefield, Woodland, LaCenter and Yacolt, along with their schools. Most recently he worked for the Oregonian covering the Oregon cities of Lake Oswego, West Linn and Wilsonville. n Sound Publishing has named Jim Gatens regional advertising sales manager at the Bellevue Reporter, a role that also includes overseeing the advertising staffs of the Issaquah & Sammamish Reporter and the Mercer Island Reporter. Gatens, a Washington state native and Eastside resident, has been in management, sales and customer service for more than 32 years. He started as an advertising sales representative at the Redmond Reporter four years ago. After two years, he was promoted to advertising manager. n Bellingham Herald entertainment news coordinator and writer Margaret Bikman is the recipient of a 2014 Mayor’s Arts Award. In addition to putting together content for the Herald’s Take 5 weekly entertainment section, she also writes for the daily newspaper and its niche publications, Whatcom Magazine and Prime Time. Bikman is the sixth winner of the Mayor’s award with ties to the newspaper. The first Herald recipient, arts editor Joan Connell was honored in 1983. The most recent is Carole Teshima, former Herald librarian, who received the award in 2005 for her longtime support of local history. FIND YOUR 25-HOUR DAY
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Ex-WNPA president back home from hospital
im Robinson and Ken Robinson report their dad, Jerry Robinson, is home and accepting cards and emails after spending time in the hospital and in a rehabilitation center in Des Moines. Cards can be sent to Jerry Robinson, 3774 S.W. 171st Street, Seattle, WA 99166. Or send an email to Ken, firstname.lastname@example.org, and Ken will read your message to Jerry. Jerry hurt his feet in a home accident at the end of March.
While recuperating in the rehab center, he had a stroke and was sent to the hospital for a short stay, April 7-11. Since then Jerry he has been at Robinson home, where he can see the water, boats and birds from his living room. He can hear and understand, but can’t speak
Scripps purchases Business Journal
Kitsap Sun, Bremerton
he E.W. Scripps Co., publisher of the Kitsap Sun, has acquired the Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal. Scripps bought the Business Journal from Wet Apple Media, a Port Orchard company owned by Lary and Dee Coppola. The purchase, announced March 20, includes the monthly print publication, websites and mobile application. Terms of the sale were not disclosed. Kitsap Sun Publisher Brent Morris said the Business Journal will remain a separately branded print product. The Kitsap Sun began operating the Journal on April 1. The Journal already is printed and distributed by the Kitsap Sun. Morris said the acquisition of the Business Journal was an opportunity for Scripps to extend its coverage of the West Sound business community. “The Journal is an established, respected brand in our community,” Morris said in a statement. “As the principle news provider in the county, we intend to take it into its next evolution to increase exposure for advertisers and to widen readership of the print
product and digital content.” The deal also will allow Scripps to reach new advertising clients. Morris said about 60 percent of the Business Journal’s advertisers do not work with the Sun. The Coppolas founded the Business Journal in 1988. Its circulation is 7,500. Lary Coppola said they wanted to devote more attention to their other publications, which include West Sound Home and Garden, Kitsap Peninsula Builder and Remodel Kitsap. Production and advertising for the Journal began to be handled through the Kitsap Sun offices in April. Morris said the Kitsap Sun would hire an editorial staff member to provide content for the Business Journal. Wet Apple Media has a staff of seven who work on all the company’s publications. Coppola said his staff had been notified of the sale. Scripps owns 13 daily newspapers and 19 local television stations across the United States. Its other media properties include the video news provider Newsy.
much and his left side is unresponsive. Ken hopes Jerry can regain speech through therapy. Jerry Robinson was WNPA president in 1988 and received the Miles Turnbull Master Editor/Publisher Award in 2001. Robinson Newspapers, now 60 years old, is operated by Jerry’s sons Ken, managing editor, and Tim, general manager. In August 2013, the company created the Westside Weekly, a print publication of news and photos representing communi-
ties from Des Moines to Ballard. It also publishes online newspapers for Ballard and West Seattle. Jerry’s sons Patrick and Scott are the online editor and columnist, respectively, for WestSeattleHerald.com. In years past, the company published weekly newspapers serving Ballard, Burien, Des Moines, Federal Way, Highline, West Seattle and White Center, as well as the Monroe Monitor.
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Community. The opening reception was held on April 3, just a few days before a memorial service for Frank Kitamoto, held on Bainbridge Island on April 6. Kitamoto, a long-time leader of the Nikkei community and the island, passed away in March. Along with Kitamoto, Bainbridge Island representatives have been preserving the community’s stories. Now they hope that the exhibit will raise more people’s attention to the island’s Nikkei memorial, a national park satellite site. Jacqueline Ashwell, superintendent of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, said that the museum has been promoting national park sites that are not publicly wellknown, including sites preserving Japanese American history. “[Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial]
is a part of Minidoka National Historic Site,” she said. “The incarceration story is one that is not well known enough. It is a critical civil rights story” that Americans should pay more attention to. The incarceration camp sites, including the Minidoka site, are not easy to visit but Bainbridge Island is a suburb of Seattle, where millions will visit through the vacation season, Jacqueline added. “More Americans will be exposed to this unfortunate part of the past and learn from there,” she said. “Community of Courage: Japanese-American Story” is expected to run through September. More information can be found at www.nps.gov/klse/parknews/ temporary-exhibits.htm or (206) 220-4240. Reprinted with permission.