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I wasn’t a standout student in high school. Being painfully shy, I was happy to blend into the sea of boisterous classmates, decorated lockers and school spirit posters. When I played, I didn’t excel at football or wrestling. When I graduated, I was mostly relieved to have that part of my life behind me. It was during high school, however, that I figured out how to apply my talent for writing to something that I believe in and love.
I had a good conversation with a local political figure the other day. We touched on a lot of topics, but didn’t venture much into politics. Politics have never been my favorite subject. Though I’ve voted since turning 18, I rarely enter into political discussions with anyone outside my immediate family.
Voting for Best of Whidbey 2016 is under way. The annual contest is a fun and engaging way for readers of the South Whidbey Record to pick their favorite businesses, foods, drinks,people and more. Last year, nearly 3,000 people cast more than 69,750 votes online. Additional votes were submitted via the print editions of the South Whidbey Record, Whidbey News-Times and The Whidbey Examiner.
For those of us who work at the newspaper, it’s easy to forget that it isn’t always obvious to readers how things get into the paper, and who decides where things go. First, the key thing to remember is editorial and advertising are separate departments for key, ethical reasons. An easy way to remember the difference is that anything involving money is handled by advertising, and anything that doesn’t is handled by editorial.
The Trump train has been chugging along for months, spewing idiotic and, sometimes, vitriolic remarks that leave one scratching their head. At first, it seemed his campaign was destined to land in the garbage heap as he inserted his foot in his mouth time and again.
The Whidbey News Group’s annual Best of Whidbey Readers Choice Awards is off to a strong start. For the next several weeks, we will be accepting votes online. We also published a paper ballot this past week for those who don’t have access to the Internet. The paper ballots turned in by the deadline will be combined with the online vote tallies.
As the South Whidbey Record reflects on 91 years of continuously serving this community, we’re taking time to reflect on what that means, and our role as your local newspaper. Self-promotion is not a strong suit for community newspapers. We are great at tooting others’ horns, but very rarely our own.
Funny thing about opinions — we don’t always have to agree with them. Such is the case with letters to the editor and editorial cartoons. I received a letter last week from a newer Whidbey News-Times reader who didn’t like recent letters critical of President Obama. He said the writers’ comments were “tired” and “cliché.”
Reporters and editors often half-jokingly remark amongst themselves that they don’t become journalists for the money. That’s drummed into journalism students starting in college. A professor told a group of us first-year Journalism 101 students to consider another major if money was the driving factor in our career choice.
Not only are we adding new online-only subscribers, we’re seeing growth in our print subscriptions as well.
Whether the rusty, barnacle-encrusted anchor gingerly raised from the swift waters off of Whidbey Island is truly a relic of Captain George Vancouver’s expedition remains to be seen. Nonetheless, the anchor’s recovery is a story of dedication, determination, mystery and adventure. In summary, it contains all of the elements of an engaging story.
Did you hear the starting pistol? The annual Best of Whidbey is underway. A true reader’s choice awards, winners proudly display their certificates won over the years in their respective businesses. You also see the official Best of Whidbey logo in advertising.
I was raised not to use the world “hate.” My mother used to say, if you “dislike” something, don’t say “hate.” Most of the time I’m conscientious of that little rule. Most of the time.
For 90 years, the South Whidbey Record has provided loyal readers with coverage they can count on. The industry has been transformed countless times during that century, changing from hot-lead presses to giant floppy disks to all-desktop. Now, approaching our second century, newspapers are finding a place on the Internet.
Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve certainly has a right to voice an opinion. The group has the right to file a federal lawsuit if members believe they’ve been wronged, and they did just that. However, COER can’t expect that everyone will agree with their position, or that others might not hold an opposing viewpoint.
Politics is a blood sport on Whidbey Island. Within weeks of my arrival here nearly nine months ago, I managed to upset the local Tea Party supporters and quickly landed on their long list of “enemies.”
Following a brief experiment with consolidation with its sister newspapers in Coupeville, The Record found its way back to South Whidbey last year. In Langley Village, we discovered a great location, signed a one-year lease and found ourselves welcomed back into the community fold.
I believe watchdogs have their place in government. Too many people are apathetic about their government, local or otherwise, and that’s a sad condition of our society.
As you read through this edition of the South Whidbey Record, learning what’s happening in your local community, please take a moment to consider what it takes to get that newspaper into your hands. Normally, we wouldn’t even expect readers to think about all of that. However, the week of Oct. 6-12 marks National Newspaper Week, and Saturday, Oct. 12 is International Newspaper Carrier Day.
For a number of years, the newspaper industry has struggled with how to navigate the online world and continue to succeed and thrive as a business. Yes, a business.
The filing of a lawsuit last week in Federal Court by the Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve for a Healthy, Safe and Peaceful Environment was akin tossing a firecracker into a hornet’s nest.
As the publisher of all three Whidbey Island newspapers, one of the challenging parts of the job is also one of the most enjoyable.