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Remembering Publisher, Senator, Alan Thompson Page 4

Journal of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association

Registration now open for convention Deadline to register for WNPA’s 132nd annual meeting is Sept. 13 Registration is now open at for the 132nd Annual Meeting of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association. The convention will be Oct. 10-12 at Hotel RL in Olympia. Presenting the Keynote speech will be David Chavern, President and CEO of the News Media Alliance, the news industry’s largest trade organization. David is intensely focused on telling the powerful and optimistic story of the news industry and

has been called an activist for the news industry, a title he embraces proudly. Can publishers get a better deal from the big tech companies like Google and Facebook? What about an advertising share? Is Facebook’s offer to set up a news platform and pay publishers for content a good idea? Chavern will unpack the pros and cons of this quickly evolving digital landscape and how print newspapers can benefit.

See WNPA, Page 3

Suits filed claiming websites not accessible by disabled A group of weeklies in Oregon recently became the latest targets of lawsuits that allege their websites do not meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). According to press associations across the country, the suits are part of a nationwide trend. In 2018, 2,250 federal suits asserting ADA violations

based on website inaccessibility were filed. That’s triple the number from the year before. If sued, press associations recommend that newspapers push back, because in most cases, the firms filing suit are looking for quick settlements, not long, drawn out processes. How did websites get

See LAWSUITS, Page 5

Julie Bosley, owner of the Woodinville Weekly, announced this month she has sold her family-owned newspaper. She is pictured here with Eric LaFontaine, co-founder and publisher of EastSide Media Corp.

New owners for two papers Woodinville Weekly, Omak County Chronicle sold Two WNPA member newspapers got new owners in the last month: EastSide Media Corp, a locally owned startup company, acquired the Woodinville Weekly, and J. Louie Mullen and his father Tom Mullen purchased the Omak Okanogan County Chronicle from Eagle Newspapers. The Woodinville Weekly along with its two allied titles— the Northlake News and Valley View—is a well-established community news provider that has been covering all things in and around Woodinville for the past 43 years. Eric LaFontaine, co-founder and publisher of EastSide Media,

said his company embraces a digital-first engagement when it comes to news coverage. “We have a very different model of hyperlocal journalism, and being the only locally owned media source on the Eastside truly means we’re invested for the right reasons. This is a long-term play. We intend to save the region from being a ‘news desert.’ Julie Boselly, owner of the Woodinville Weekly, said the time was right to transition out of the industry. “My mother started the Woodinville Weekly and I began working at the paper in 2001. J. Louie Mullen is the new During that time, the industry has owner of the Omak OkanoSee NEW OWNERS, Page 4 gan County Chronicle.


Lynnwood Times admitted to WNPA Please welcome to the WNPA family Mario Lotmore, publisher of the Lynnwood Times. The WNPA board approved his application for membership at the July meeting. Before starting his newspaper, Lotmore worked for 18 years in the aerospace and manufacturing industries with focus in Project Management and Strategic Development. He worked for Boeing for seven years before deciding to run for the state Senate in 2018. He was unsuccessful in that race, but he said when he knocked on doors during the campaign people told him one of their key issues was that Lynnwood lacked a strong sense of community. In thinking that over, he deided what Lynnwood

Lotmore needed was a newspaper. Lotmore has an Industrial Engineering Degree from the University of Central Florida and has been active with the Washington Alliance for Better Schools. The Times is published twice each month, is mailed and has a circulation of about 7500. The first issue was published April 4, 2019.

Officers: Michael Wagar, President; Patrick Grubb, First Vice President; Sandy Stokes, Past President. Trustees: Colette Weeks, Caralyn Bess, Roger Harnack, Scott Hunter, Steve Powell, Teresa Myers and Michelle Nedved. THE WASHINGTON NEWSPAPER is the offical publication of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association. It is published monthly by WNPA, PO Box 389, Port Townsend, WA 98368. Staff Fred Obee: Executive Director: 360-344-2938 Email: Janay Collins, Member Services Director: 360-344-2938. Email: 2 The Washington Newspaper August 2019


When you give to others, you get blessings of abundance in return By Michael Wagar The recent mass shootings prompted my niece to post on Facebook about the media’s penchant to publicize such tragedy. She believed coverage of the shootings just encourages more shootings. “What Wagar if we didn’t publicize mass shootings so much, so quickly,” she wrote. “What if we all took a break from arguing, or claiming sides and focused more on just being good people and setting good examples?” She had more to say. She said the shootings are politicized, with some people using it to push their agenda of gun control, and the push back from the other side. She said that back and forth hasn’t helped in the past. But she offered a solution, one that newspapers can help push. “Maybe people should spend more time being present, building trust, communicating, setting a good example, making good decisions, being good parents, family members and friends, supporting one another, all things that can build a better community. Because you never know,

you could change someone’s life, or be someone’s saving grace. You could very well prevent another horrible incident from occurring, or change the future of our country. … I firmly believe we can change that over time if we put in a little effort.” My response: “I think blaming it on the media›s extensive coverage is misguided. I think we have always had angry, unstable people causing violence, and with 330 million people living in the United States, the chance someone will snap is high. When other nation’s have mass killings, it is also publicized to a great extent. The question, and I don’t have the answer, is why does the USA have vastly more than their share of mass killings? Blaming it on the media is just too easy. Sarah agreed. We will always have angry people, she said. We can’t prevent violence. But she said, “maybe we can at least try. Try and prevent those people from snapping. And maybe open up the idea that it’s not always just one thing causing these things to happen. That it may be more complex.” “And I don’t know why these things are happening more in America than other countries either, but my hunch is because we

haven’t been paying attention and we’ve gotten pretty lazy over the years. I personally think we’ve created a lot of monsters. And it’s going to be a lot of work to re-align and/or come back from the damage we’ve done. And it doesn’t seem like that’s the answer people want to hear. So they stick with ban this or ban that instead of taking responsibility for what might be their very own fault.” I’ve always believed that newspapers should reflect life, which is both good and bad. It is easy to report on the shootings, on crime, on a fatal crash, embezzlement and the like. But it takes effort to focus on the good, and we need to make sure that is a priority. The good newspapers of this state do a great job being watchdogs on society, making sure the rich and powerful are in check when they get out of hand. I am proud of these efforts. But it is not enough. It is important to shine light on the efforts of our community to help others. I think of such efforts in my community, for example, to collect items to give to students as they go back to school. I think the message to those less fortunate that people care about them goes a long way. This week I interviewed a woman who is collecting donations to pay for sunscreen to give to our troops

overseas. She also donates facial care items to a local retirement center for 64 residents. She agrees with one of my main tenants in life: She said, “When you give, God gives you abundance back. It is not always financial, it is in blessings in other ways.” My niece is married to a Navy Seal, trained as a medic. He has seen more than his share of the bad in society. He has held friends as they bled out. His wife, my niece, gave birth to a daughter this week, Ava. I will fly down at Thanksgiving to meet our newest gem. I can’t wait. In two months, Ava’s father will be deployed once again to the Mideast. I can see him coming back from a tough day in the field and opening up a care package from strangers such as Jan. I think it would give him a bit of hope, a bit of sunshine, a message that humanity is not lost. Sarah has it wrong in blaming the media, but she is onto something when it comes to helping others. Make sure as a newspaper owner, publisher, editor or reporter, to showcase all the efforts, large and small, to help others. Michael Wagar is the President of Lafromboise Communications and this year’s WNPA President.

Work scholarships available for WNPA annual convention WNPA will award convention registrations and hotel accommodations to two members who are willing to help set-up and take down, and run errands during the convention.

Applicants should be physically able to lift boxes weighing 25 pounds and be on their feet for extended periods. Only staff members of WNPA papers who have never attended a

convention are eligible to apply. There will be chores, but also ample time to attend workshops. To apply, send an email to and tell us why you want to attend.

WNPA: No time to waste! Reservation deadline is Sept. 13 Continued from Page 1

Also on the program is Jacqui Banaszynski, a Pulitzer Prize winner for feature writing and the former Associate Managing Editor for special projects at the Seattle Times. Banaszynski’s workshop will focus on writing profiles. “Our news reports are peppered with names and faces. But a quick bio seldom reveals the depth of a person’s life or the traits that make them compelling,” says Banaszynski. This lively session will explore ways to go beyond the resume to develop authentic, relevant characters in your community. This

We also have sessions on mining the Public Disclosure Commission’s website for candidate detail and a workshop from long-time Skagit Valley photo editor Scott Terrell on how you can take better photos and why that is important. Mix in a lively Chavern Banaszynski Slimp Reykdal discussion of the editowill include: brainstorm- tech master and will deliver a program rial page with legendary ing techniques to help workshop presenter will Saturday morning on the editors John Hughes and find undiscovered profile lead sessions on improvstate of Washington school John Brewer and you have potential, interview aping ad design and what funding and what the fua program that is enterproaches that go deeper you can do to make people ture looks like for schools taining and informative than the usual Q&A and pick up your paper. His now that the Legislature and guaranteed to provoke structures built around sessions will be of equal has improved funding for thoughts about the way focus, scene and detail. interest to designers, sales basic education. School you approach newspaper This workshop is virtupeople, circulation folks, coverage is a key part of work. ally guaranteed to step publishers and newsroom every community newsAfter all that learning, up your feature writing employees. paper. Here’s your chance we have our dinner gala game. Chris Reykdal, Washto hear directly from the and awards ceremony, Kevin Slimp, a wellington State’s Superinten- person who is managing where the winners of the known newspaper guru, dent of Public Instruction, changes. 2019 Better Newspaper

Contest are announced. Come and cheer for yourself and your coworkers. To register, go to and click on the home page convention tile. The convention registration deadline is Sept. 13. You need to make your own hotel reservations for the conference. To get our reduced rate, all hotel reservations need to be made by Sept. 19. You can reserve rooms online at wnpa. com or you can call hotel directly at 1-360-9434000. Our group code is WNPA2019.

WITH OVER 60 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE, WE KNOW JOURNALISM. From public records to protecting journalists, from defamation claims to business needs, large and small Washington publishers turn to us.

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The Washington Newspaper August 2019 3


Alan Thompson: publisher, State Senator, Clerk of the House

The following story was published in the The Daily News of Longview July 31, 2019.

night, and his nightlight was still on.” He said he is sad at his father’s passing but glad he was alert and indeAlan Thompson, pendent until the end. In longtime local legislator, recent years, he had dinner newspaper publisher and on a rotating, four-night “true gentleman,” died at shift with his sons Sam, his home in Olympia on James and Jonathan in adSunday at the age of 92. dition to Rowland. Thompson represented Thompson was born on parts of Cowlitz County May 17, 1927, in Geneva, in the Legislature for 22 Iowa. He served in the years, eventually resignNavy during World War II ing to become clerk of and was a track athlete at Alan Thompson, in the House. For many the University of Nehis legislative days. years, he was a major, braska. Photo from the TDN but understated, figure in archives. He graduated from the both the House and then University of California in the Senate, noted also Rock and Winlock during at Berkeley and became the 1970s and 1980s. for his gentility, unflapCongresswoman Julia Rowland Thompson, pable demeanor and his Butler Hansen’s adminisone of the former legislabow ties. trative assistant in 1960. tor’s four sons, said his He helped direct milHansen was a Cathlamet father had a great weekend Democrat who was one of lions of dollars in state money into the local area, attending a grandson’s the most powerful women birthday party Friday and in Congress at the time. especially to Lower Columbia College, where the a hamburger cookout on He was first elected library is named after him. Saturday evening, “and to the state House of Thompson and his late Sunday morning he was Representatives in 1964 to gone. He had a mystery on represent Cowlitz County. wife, Barbara, published local newspapers in Castle his chest. He read every And in 1976 he was elect-

ed by fellow Democrats to be House majority leader. He was seen as quietly effective, and he championed the environment and community colleges. He was later appointed to the Senate in 1982 when Sen. Don Talley of Kelso died. But he left the Senate in 1986 to become the clerk of the House. Thompson’s frequent catchphrase was “the best politics is good policy.” A Democrat, he was likely more liberal than his district, Rowland Thompson said, but he was also known for working in a bipartisan way. One of his closest friends was the late Yakima area Republican Irv Newhouse, who served in the Legislature 34 years. Thompson helped get millions of dollars for his district, and he was a major supporter of community colleges, Rowland Thompson said. He also secured state funding to

support Mount St. Helensrelated dredging work, support for the Puget Island ferry and creation of County Line Park at the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum County line. He also supported local unions, his son said. “He was very thoughtful. He wasn’t one, as we see these days, to be ranting and raving about things. He was calm and very thoughtful when he spoke,” said state Sen. Dean Takko, a Longview Democrat. “He’s just the antithesis of what we see today. There was no grandstanding.” Sandy Catt, former Longview School District spokesperson, worked for the Thompsons as managing editor of The Castle Rock Advocate from 1980 to 1984. Thompson was supportive and generous, she said, and had a “fabulous” sense of humor. “I will remember him as a highly intelligent,

highly witty public servant whom I had the honor to know and work for,” Catt said. Cheryll Borgaard, who also worked at the Castle Rock newspaper, said the Thompsons understood the Castle Rock community. “That was very important to him: to be connected to the community. And how you treated people, how you conducted your business,” Borgaard said. “They were great people to work for.” John Kauffman, who has been friends with Thompson’s family for about a decade, said he was a gentleman in “every way.” “He was well-read. He was very polite, kind and a real family man. He spent a lot of time with the family in his last days,” Kauffman said. Services are pending, and will likely take place later in the summer.

NEW OWNERS: EastSide Media, Mullen family, expand holdings

Continued from Page 1

changed, but the community has continued to grow. As digital has developed into a mainstream outlet, I knew that new ideas and expertise could spark excitement in the community again. The EastSide team is exactly the right people I hoped would come in and keep local news alive.” LaFontaine said the staff of five will be retained and that “we don’t anticipate making major changes to the publications at the outset, but will be tweaking the layout of the Woodinville Weekly in the coming weeks.” EastSide Media Corp.

distributed its first edition of the Weekly on Aug. 6. LaFontaine, along with Mike Flynn, former president and publisher of the Puget Sound Business Journal, and Patrick Scanlon, a former Board member of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and VP of USA TODAY Sports, co-founded the Bellevuebased EastSide Media Corp. in January 2019. Carol Edwards started the Woodinville Weekly in her garage in the Spring of 1976. A civic leader and vital force in the Woodinville community, Edwards published the paper through 2007. The Wood-

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inville Weekly can be found online at nwnews. com.

MULLEN BUYS OMAK Louie Mullen, 33, grew up in small communities. His first job was as a paperboy for the Sioux City Journal at age 4. “I grew up in the industry,” Mullen said. “My parents moved to Wyoming when I was 10 to run the Newcastle News Letter Journal. From that age, I’ve worked every aspect of the newspaper business. From janitorial services to publisher, I’ve filled every position available.” Mullen owns 10

other community weekly newspapers ranging from Michigan to Oregon, including the Newport Miner in Eastern Washinton.. His brother Lloyd is owner and publisher of the Port Townsend Leader and father Tom owns the Shelton Mason County Journal. “I’d like to thank Eagle Newspapers for their stewardship ensuring smalltown newspapers succeed for generations to come,” Louie Mullen said. “Small communities are a vital part of our country and a strong newspaper run by the people in and of that community is a necessity.

“We’ve really enjoyed being part of the community for the past 23 years,” Eagle Newspapers owner Denny Smith said. “We always appreciated the fact that we bought a good newspaper from a newspaper family and we are pleased that another newspaper family is going to be owning it going forward. We wish the Mullen family well.” Eagle Newspapers President Joe Petshow echoed Smith. “The strength of The Chronicle has always been its staff; I don’t expect that to change,” he said. “Even though Eagle is a corpora-

tion, each of its publications have always operated independently, relying on publishers and editors and their staffs to make appropriate decisions for their communities. “I’ve seen a lot of change in my 39 years of newspapering, but one thing that has been constant is that good communities have good newspapers,” Petshow said. “Omak is a good community and The Chronicle is a good newspaper – the two go hand in hand.” Eagle purchased the newspaper from John E. Andrist and Mary Koch in July 1996.

NNA calls for memorial to honor fallen journalists World War II correspondent Ernie Pyle died during the invasion of Okinawa in 1945. In his pocket was a draft of his last column, “On Victory in Europe.” He wrote, “... the companionship of two and a half years of death and misery is a spouse that tolerates no divorce. Such companionship finally becomes a part of one’s soul, and it cannot be obliterated.” He had returned to his home after brushes with death while covering the war in Europe. But he was haunted by the untold stories on the Japanese warfront and so back he went. He died from machine gun fire in an area that had been considered safe. No one could say he was ready to die. Indeed, he hated the fact that he had to go back. But the troops and the nation were counting on him. He knew and feared the danger, but duty propelled

him back to the fight so he could tell America about the men and women at war. That devotion to duty has been understood by journalists across America throughout our nation’s history. Like first responders, journalists run toward danger. Some lose their lives. But the greatest recent loss of journalists on American soil was not during the heat of battle. It happened on June 28, 2018, when five newspaper employees were gunned down in their offices at the CapitalGazette, in Annapolis, Maryland. The shooter was apprehended. Law enforcement officers said he held a grudge against the paper for its coverage. That announcement was chilling. It strikes at every reporter, editor and publisher who has presented unpopular information to readers and

viewers. Whether it is a story of public corruption, a drunk-driving arrest or even something as simple as a house foreclosure, someone often wants to keep that information out of the paper. That we have reached a point in our nation’s history where journalists at work are receiving training on surviving a shooter would surprise and dismay a hardened wartime correspondent like Pyle. He probably would say that is not the nation he went to war to protect and inform. We agree. That is why it is time to recognize, with sadness and heavy hearts, those who lost their lives because they were trying to tell us the stories that make us a democracy: The five Capital-Gazette employees — Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters; Jamal Khashoggi, who was

killed in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul; Mike McCormick and Philip Aaron Smeltzer, who died covering tropical storm Alberto for WYFF in North Carolina; and others deserve our thanks and our respect. That is why it is time for the Fallen Journalists Memorial in Washington, D.C. to be built entirely without taxpayer dollars. The memorial requires Congressional authorization to be placed on federal land in Washing-

ton, D.C. Legislation sponsored in the House by Reps. Tom Cole, R-OK and Grace Napolitano, D-CA; and in the Senate by Benjamin Cardin, D-MD, and Rob Portman, R-OH, will give the Fallen Journalists Memorial Foundation a green light to begin planning for the memorial. It would be a blessing if, by the time the memorial is built, there are no new names to add to it. It is time to recognize


LAWSUITS: Accessible websites

Continued from Page 1

drawn into the accessibility debate? Title III of the ADA mandates that all “places of public accommodation,” basically all business open to the public, are legally required to remove any access barriers that would hinder a disabled person’s access to that business’s goods or services. Although opinions have been mixed, some courts have ruled that websites are places of public accommodation and must comply with the ADA. Standards for web accessibility are known as WCAG for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, but they are not eas-

ily digested by a layman. Companies do exist that will check your website, but the cost can be substantial. Check with your web provider for advice about whether your website creates problems for people with disabilities and what solutions are recommended. Domino’s Pizza is one company that is pressing for a legal solution. Its managers are hoping the United States Supreme Court will take up the issue and resolve what lengths companies must do to satisfy the ADA. The issue came to a head for Domino’s after a blind man sued the company, saying neither the company’s

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website or its mobile app allowed him to get a discount or to order the pizza he wanted. Eve Hill, a Baltimore attorney who has worked on website accessibility cases for the National Federation of the Blind, told the Washington Post that courts across the country have found that websites and apps must comply with the ADA. She told the Post her client, the National Federation of the Blind, is not interested in “stickup lawsuits,” but she said they are interested in securing companies’ compliance in opening the web to people with disabilities.

the sacrifice of journalists killed in the line of duty. We call upon our Members of Congress to add their names to the legislation introduced by Cole, Napolitano, Cardin and Portman and we urge you to ask them to sign on to this worthy effort. This editorial was written and circulated by the staff of the National Newspaper Association. Newspapers are free to use it as a guest comment in their papers.



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WNPA JOB BOARD This is a sampling of jobs listed on WNPA’s job board. To see full listings, go to

achievement, growth, ethics, and quality. A Bachelor’s Degree is preferred along with diverse advertising sales and manageGENERAL MANAGER ment background. /EDITOR ​Benefits package includes The Stanwood Camano health insurance paid time News is seeking a General off and 401k with emManager/Editor to oversee ployer match. day-to-day general man​To apply, email a cover agement of the organizaletter, resume, references, tion. and references to This position will careers@soundpublishing. maintain primary respon- com and include “AK Ad sibility of daily manageDirector” in the subject ment, planning content, line. sections and supervising and coordinating employ- SPORTS REPORTER ees’ activities and sched(KIRKLAND, WA) ules. Sound Publishing, Inc. The general manager is looking for a reporter will be called on to run to cover local sports. Expoint coordination with perience as a beat writer Skagit Publishing for preferred. Column-writing printing and other depart- experience a plus. ment cooperation. Benefits include health Requirements insurance paid time off Bachelor or other and 401k with employer four-year degree in match journalism or a related To apply, email a cover field, or equivalent. Prior letter, resume, references, experience in a lead role and writing samples to in a news organization and careers@soundpublishing. management. com and include “Sports To apply, please send Reporter” in the subject resume to: hhernandez@ line. ​ EDITOR ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Want to put your journal(JUNEAU, AK) ism experience to good use The Juneau Empire, working for a family-owned Alaska’s award-winning daily newspaper in the capital daily, is looking for heart of beautiful Eastern an experienced, Advertis- Oregon? The Observer ing Director to provide is seeking an Editor who leadership and oversight believes in the value of of all traditional products, community journalism. The publications, events and Observer is located in La community branding; as Grande, Oregon, the home well as recruit, inspire, of Eastern Oregon Universitrain and motivate an ty and a short two and a half energetic and committed hours from Boise, Idaho. staff of sales and support The Observer is published personnel. Monday/Wednesday/Friday ​This Position Rein Northeastern Oregon and quires: Sales management is part of EO Media Group, experience and the ability an award-winning and into direct, mentor, coach, novative news organization train and motivate staff with an active family of as well as establish and owners. nurture a sales culture of Leadership, budgeting, 6 The Washington Newspaper August 2019

multi-media and mentoring experience are a plus. This is a hands-on position that edits and writes stories; takes photos; posts daily to our web site; and uses social media to engage readers. Along with The Observer’s Publisher, you will need to be involved in the community. Competitive pay plus

paid time off, 401(k) /401(k) Roth retirement plan and insurances. Candidates with an education in journalism or a related field, plus leadership experience should send resume and letter of interest to REPORTER The Blue Mountain

Eagle, a family-owned weekly newspaper in a stunningly beautiful Oregon community, seeks an energetic, dedicated reporter. The Eagle is located in John Day, just three hours from Bend and Pendleton. Serving the community for 146 years, the Eagle is the oldest weekly newspa-

per in Oregon and is part of EO Media Group. Journalism education or experience is required for this full-time position offering insurances, a 401(k)/401(k) Roth retirement plan and paid time off (PTO). Send resume, letter of interest and up to five clips to

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The Washington Newspaper, August 2019  

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