Welcome to the future home of Cascadia Daily News

Cascadia Daily News is a new, locally owned newspaper set to debut online January 24. Our state-of-the-art news website is nearing completion, and we have reporters and photographers on the street working on stories. A weekly printed edition you can hold in your hands will roll out in March.

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(Hailey Hoffman/Cascadia Daily News)

our newsroom is open

It’s a new year... in a new newsroom! Staff reporter Ralph Schwartz is working hard at his desk (with a view).

OUR COMMITMENT TO OUR COMMUNITY

Click to read our News Mission Statement and ethics guidelines

We at the Cascadia Daily News know that trust is earned.


As a new publication, we enter a field that has changed more rapidly in the past 25 years than in all of journalism’s previous history. At a time when anyone can be a publisher of “news,” what distinguishes professional communicators from amateurs are the values and ethics that guide their work.


That’s why we’re making public our News Mission Statement and ethics guidelines. Our complete guidelines, issued to all newspaper staff, are available upon request. They include specific recommendations on how staff members should be transparent in their work and avoid actual, or appearances of, conflicts of interest.


But guidelines are only as effective as the journalists who live by them. And what’s important to you, our community, is the work we produce.


We know you’re making a commitment to us by subscribing, reading and viewing our work. So, in turn, we’re making a commitment to you.


We promise the following:


We will remember that we are members of the community we cover.


The Cascadia Daily News is locally owned, edited and managed. Decisions are made not by hedge fund managers, but by our owner and staff in downtown Bellingham, Washington. Our home is on State Street, not Wall Street.


We treat our readers, users, sources and the people we cover with respect. In every story we produce we ask these questions: Why does this matter to our audience? What is the impact on ordinary people?


Everything we publish will be based in reality.


Unfortunately, misinformation, disinformation, lies and organized propaganda have become commonplace in U.S. politics and media. Intentional deception has no place in the Cascadia Daily News. It’s our job to keep such material from entering the public information stream, no matter its source. When misinformation is presented as fact by newsmakers so prominent that its dissemination is unavoidable, our reporting will make this distinction clear.


As Julie Pace, the executive editor of The Associated Press, observed: “Being a fact-based news organization does not mean that everybody on every side of an issue gets equal hearing, gets equal voice. In certain cases, the facts are just really clear, and we want to make sure that we are amplifying the facts and not muddying the facts.”


We are committed to reporting the truth.


In a highly charged political environment, “truth” increasingly is in the eyes of the beholder. Cascadia Daily News is keenly aware of the challenges this presents to journalists. We pledge to employ all our journalistic, investigative and fact-checking skills to produce transparent, contextual news coverage that is fair to competing interests.


However, we reject the idea that truth is always found somewhere in the middle, between two competing positions. Our reporting will assess clashing claims of truth and report the findings to readers. As the late media writer Steve Buttry observed, reporting that presents lies equally with truth is hardly different from lying.


We are unapologetically pro-democracy.


As The Washington Post’s motto says, “democracy dies in darkness.” Conversely, a free press dies when democracy dies. The Cascadia Daily News follows the proud, historic mission of an unfettered U.S. press in exposing those who would subjugate Constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties for their own political purposes.



We make editorial decisions independently and

will be transparent in explaining our policies and decisions.


All editorial decisions are made by the executive editor and staff with no interference by our ownership and with no special treatment for our advertisers, donors or other special interests.


And just as we are making these ethics guidelines public, so, too, will we regularly explain our thinking behind editorial decisions. Transparency, we believe, is critical to trust.


Readers who feel we have failed to live up to these commitments are encouraged to contact Executive Editor Ron Judd at ronjudd@cascadiadaily.com.

Get early access to Prep sports coverage


Cascadia Daily News isn’t even in print or online yet – we’re working hard at that between now and January. But we’ve been fortunate enough to sign up the current go-to beat reporter for Whatcom County prep sports news well ahead of our January launch. Here's how to get early access to our fall prep sports coverage:


  • Follow Sports Editor Hailey Palmer on Twitter @_haileypalmer_ for real-time play-by-play, analysis, and photos of the Game of the Week.

  • Follow our sports Twitter @CDN_sports for news, scores, analysis and updates about Whatcom County high school and college sports.

  • Get our weekly prep sports roundup sent directly to your email box once a week by filling out the sports roundup signup form.

RECENT EVENTS

BELLINGHAM CITY CLUB

Did you miss the Bellingham City Club’s presentation on Whatcom County news outlets? We got you covered! Watch the video online to learn how Executive Editor Ron Judd plans to fill the local news void, what stories CDN will cover and more.

Watch us grow

January 11, 2022: Have an opinion? Lay it on us.

Interested in writing a letter to the editor or a guest column for Cascadia Daily News? Visit our jobs page for details.

December 27, 2021: Contributors wanted

Interested in being a stringer for Cascadia Daily News? Visit our jobs page for details about contributor work.

December 13, 2021: Take our reader survey

When we first posted it this summer, a Cascadia Daily News survey about what people want to see in our newspaper made one thing clear: There’s no shortage of interest in expanded local news coverage, nor opinions about what’s most important.

We’ve received hundreds of replies to that survey, each of them useful as we decide how to structure our newsroom and focus its coverage. As a startup with a newsroom of a dozen people or so, we obviously can’t do everything. But that makes opinions from you, the reader, about what’s most important even more valuable.

If you haven’t already done so, please take a few minutes to let us know what’s most important to you, as a future reader. If you have additional thoughts on coverage or specific story ideas, email newstips@cascadiadaily.com.

We take every response into account as we prepare our launch. As your local paper, we don’t just want to hear from you. To do our jobs well, we need to.

December 1, 2021: Winter quarter news interns wanted

Looking for a paid journalism internship in Bellingham? We have extended our application deadline for winter quarter news interns to Friday, Dec. 10. Visit our jobs page for application details.

November 15, 2021: Here's a chance to write for the home paper

Attention, Bellingham and NW Washington residents: Are you an expert in a field you’d like to write about — or just a serious devotee? Your new local newspaper, the Cascadia Daily News, would like to hear from you.

We’re open to ideas, but expect our immediate needs to be stories and columns related to: business and labor; health and wellness; local food topics and restaurant reviews; senior life; outdoor recreation, adventure sports and regional travel; local music, theater, film and the visual arts; history; microbreweries and micro-distilleries and the business thereof. We’re also seeking visual artists and experienced stringers who can regularly report news and feature stories from Skagit County and the San Juan Islands.

We’ll pay you for your time, and you’ll get a chance to help shape a new publication filled with truly local voices.

Interested? Send an email with a one-page proposal for your content idea — or better yet, a sample column — and some examples of previous clips, stories or other portfolio work to Executive Editor Ron Judd at newstips@cascadiadaily.com. We’ll go through these after Nov. 26 (first test: That’s a deadline!) See more details on our jobs page.

November 4, 2021: We're opening doors to journalism's next generation

Pop-culture references at staff meetings for the Cascadia Daily News sometimes take some explaining. That’s because as a group, we’re a mix of both seasoned news veterans and young reporters and designers, some working in their first full-time jobs. Our newsroom staff includes Bellinghamsters ranging from their early 20s to late 50s.


We see that as a feature, not a bug.


The Daily News hopes to blend experience with innovation to produce a newspaper that represents a fresh start from old approaches – some of which have proven successful for good reason; others clearly well beyond their “best by” dates.


We hope you’ll like the results when we hit the ground running in January.


Our commitment to journalism’s generation next is not simply to serve our own interests. The leadership team at Cascadia Daily News is committed to providing first-work opportunities to talented young journalists who demonstrate the admirable fortitude to commit to a valuable public service, even in troubled times for the news industry. We won’t hesitate to assign key tasks to young journos with demonstrable abilities to move the profession forward, filling a traditional role in smarter, more creative ways.


As Ron Judd, our executive editor, said in a recent interview: “We’re looking to hire journalists who in a few years can produce news in ways we can’t even imagine yet.”


In keeping with that, we are proud to offer an ongoing internship program for students or recent graduates seeking their first professional experience. Daily News interns will work for 10-12 weeks as part-time (up to 20 hours per week) staffers alongside our permanent newsroom employees, in jobs tailored to take advantage of their skills. Our interns are paid a stipend of $2,000 upon completion of a successful internship.


The Cascadia Daily News is excited to play a small role in nurturing a critical new generation of skilled journalists. Intern candidates who’d like to join us are encouraged to apply on our jobs page.

Newsroom interns Kayla Heidenreich (left) and Payton Gift get down to business in the State Street office. (Hailey Hoffman/Cascadia Daily News)

October 12, 2021: Cascadia Daily journos already at work

By the time the meeting ended, the wall of furniture boxes looming behind the table hosting the forerunners on the Cascadia Daily News staff started to feel kind of homey.


At the table next to Box Mountain earlier this week were three full-time CDN staff members – myself (Ron Judd, executive editor), visual journalist Hailey Hoffman, sports reporter Hailey Palmer – and three interns, Kayla Heidenreich, Payton Gift and Sarah McCauley. Six journos swapping story ideas and strategies and sharing gratitude to be working on a locally owned, independent news organization built from scratch.


For a news veteran like myself, it was refreshing to feel a new newsroom spring to life. And it was exciting to turn a corner: After months of infrastructure setup (ongoing), it’s finally time to do some journalism.

The point: While we won’t start publishing until January 2022, the Cascadia Daily News staff is already at work, and growing. We have reporters and photographers in the field, covering prep sports, hard news and features, reaching out to sources and compiling stories and images for publication after our launch. More staff will be joining us in coming weeks as we build up to launching a live daily website and weekly print newspaper.

We’re working off a growing story list, but we want your ideas, too. Send story tips our way anytime to newstips@cascadiadaily.com. And sign up for project updates and our prep sports coverage HERE.

We’re anxious to hear from you, and excited to start putting our work on in your hands and in front of your eyeballs come January. Thanks again for your interest in the Cascadia Daily News.

-- Ron Judd, executive editor

September 23, 2021: Fall prep sports coverage begins October 10

You can get early access to the Cascadia Daily’s prep sports coverage! Just go here to sign up.


Here at the Cascadia Daily News, we couldn’t wait to introduce readers to our ace sports editor/reporter, Hailey Palmer.


Literally, we couldn’t wait.


Bellingham’s new local, privately owned newspaper isn’t even in print or online yet – we’re working hard at that between now and January. But we’ve been fortunate enough to sign up the current go-to beat reporter for Whatcom County prep sports news well ahead of our January launch.


Hailey Palmer, who grew up in Puyallup and graduated from Western Washington University in 2018, already has a loyal following from previous comprehensive prep sports coverage in Lynden. We expect it to grow from her new Bellingham base, in the State Street newsroom of the Cascadia Daily News.


To keep her sports endorphins flowing – and give you a taste of what’s to come – we’ve assigned Hailey to cover a high-profile prep sports event of her choosing every week during the fall sports season. She’ll provide real-time play-by-play, analysis, and even some photos of the event via her Twitter feed, @_haileypalmer_.


In addition, as a special bonus to Daily News supporters and potential subscribers, Hailey will provide a weekly prep sports roundup sent directly to your email box once a week — or whenever major prep sports news warrants extra coverage. Simply sign up to the mailing list.


We think you’ll like what she does, and that you’ll want to read her full sports coverage in the online and print pages of the Cascadia Daily News moving forward. Meanwhile, enjoy an early taste of what’s to come as your new hometown newspaper brings lively coverage of prep sports, WWU sports, and recreational sports back to Whatcom County.


Let us know what you think by contacting Hailey at haileypalmer@cascadiadaily.com, or executive editor Ron Judd at ronjudd@cascadiadaily.com.

Sports editor Hailey Palmer live-tweets from the sidelines at Sehome High School (Hailey Hoffman/Cascadia Daily News)

September 1, 2021: Get ready for some Cascadia Daily News

That’s the name of Bellingham’s new daily online/weekly print newspaper, set to debut in January.


We think the name — a traditional newspaper moniker produced in a nontraditional way from the heart of the region broadly known as Cascadia – reflects both who we are and what we’ll do. Growing from the heritage of local newspaper ownership established by Cascadia Weekly, Cascadia Daily News will elevate the mission of producing news for locals, by locals to a new level.


The new, locally owned and controlled newspaper, produced by a team of full-time, professional journalists, won’t be just a fleeting web page. It will be a hands-on newspaper created in a brick-and-mortar newsroom on Bellingham’s State Street by local reporters, columnists, editors and visual journalists, posting stories live online and weekly in print.


The Cascadia Daily News team will be composed of news pros with a shared goal of boosting the level of local watchdog news while maintaining and expanding on lifestyle/arts coverage that has been provided by Cascadia Weekly for more than 15 years.

The Cascadia Daily News staff is currently being assembled by longtime Bellingham resident and WWU graduate Ron Judd, a Seattle Times veteran. (See current job postings here.)


We have our own ideas about coverage needs in Bellingham, Whatcom County and the region, and in the coming months we’ll be asking for yours, as well. Stay tuned here for more details, including the look and shape of our new publication!

August 5, 2021: Locally owned daily news publication coming to Bellingham

In an era of increased focus on government and the role of quality journalism in everyday life, a new daily news publication is being launched in Bellingham by Cascadia Newspaper Company.


Ron C. Judd, an award-winning journalist with more than three decades of experience at The Seattle Times, has been hired to serve as executive editor.


“I see this as a rare opportunity to bring meaningful change through watchdog journalism and commentary in a town where it’s long been absent,” said Judd, 58, who holds a master’s degree in history and has conducted extensive archival research about media and politics in Bellingham. “Doing that work through a wholly locally owned news outlet was an opportunity too rare to pass up.”


The publication — delivered online daily and weekly in print — is the brainchild of David Syre, a fourth-generation Whatcom County resident who has contributed to and invested in the community for decades.


“Across the country, we have been seeing a surge of community journalism at a time of renewed interest in local government,” Syre said. “Community journalism — the kind that reports on the lives of our people while also serving as an important check on local government — is sorely needed here. I have a fondness for Bellingham and Whatcom County, and it has been my goal to return locally owned and independently operated daily journalism to the people here.”


The new local media outlet Syre is funding plans to begin publishing in early January. With it, he and Judd are determined to provide Whatcom County residents with a news outlet they can trust, packed with local stories about what matters to citizens and the community.


“Launching a local news publication like this — and getting a quality journalist like Ron Judd, with his reputation, experience and acumen, to lead it — is a dream,” Syre said. “Helping to lead change and increase the level of local reporting in Bellingham is something I will forever be proud of.


Why Whatcom County?

“I have always wanted residents who love and value Whatcom County to be able to prosper here,” Syre added. “I believe it vital to this goal that the region have its own identity distinct from that of Seattle or Vancouver, British Columbia. Launching a full-scale, Bellingham-based news organization — the only daily newspaper in town that is locally owned — will help secure Bellingham’s unique identity.”


Coverage will include Bellingham and Whatcom County news, politics, business, arts, entertainment and more. In addition to leading the newsroom, Judd plans to write a lively weekly column and contribute original material to the daily digital edition. Subscriptions and advertising packages will be available prior to launch.


Judd, who officially takes the helm of the yet-to-be-named media outlet Sept. 1, is working alongside a launch team to hire for and develop the new publication. Newsroom staff will operate from offices on the third floor of the Puget Sound Energy building at 1329 N. State St. in downtown Bellingham.


“Producing a printed newspaper will be a critical part of the new publication,” Judd said. “We want to maintain the newspaper experience — with a weekly print edition people can hold in their hands — while breaking news daily on the digital side.”


The local media landscape

The launch of a locally owned news publication in Bellingham aligns with a recent trend throughout the country that has seen chain-owned publications transitioning to local ownership. A July report from the Local News Initiative at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism notes a recent increase in interest in locally owned community journalism.


“All things being equal, local ownership is always best for the community where the newspaper is located,” said Penny Abernathy, a visiting professor at Medill and researcher into the “news desert” phenomenon created by the closures of local newspapers, in the Local News Initiative report. “That’s because a local owner is going to know that market and know the residents.”


Whatcom County currently is served by the McClatchy-owned Bellingham Herald, a daily newspaper that has, over time, outsourced much of its production to sources outside the area and laid off large portions of the newsroom. Several locally owned weekly newspapers, including in Lynden, Ferndale and Blaine, also serve the region.


Syre, the sole owner of Cascadia Newspaper Company, is the owner and publisher of Cascadia Weekly, which will continue publishing weekly until the new publication begins.


Under the direction of Tim Johnson and his team, Cascadia Weekly has served a specific and valuable role in Whatcom County for more than 15 years — sharing advice and entertainment news across the region. The new publication will continue to cover arts and entertainment, music, dining and other popular Cascadia Weekly features.


About Ron Judd

Ron Judd, a Washington native, is a 1985 graduate of Western Washington University and a 20-year resident of Bellingham. A popular reporter and columnist at The Seattle Times since 1988, Judd has covered a variety of news beats. He has written several longstanding, popular columns and most recently has worked as a staff writer for Pacific NW, the Seattle Times Sunday magazine. Judd has reported from a half-dozen Olympics and is the author of several nonfiction books. He also is a veteran teacher of journalism and history at Western Washington University.


Earlier in his 35-year news career, Judd also worked as a journalist at the Bremerton (now Kitsap) Sun and the Anacortes American.


About David Syre

In addition to being a renowned artist, David Syre has a long history of setting goals, investing in the community and effecting change that positively impacts Whatcom County. This desire led Syre and his company, Trillium Corporation, to create a plan that led to his development of Bellis Fair Mall, the Semiahmoo Resort and surrounding residential community, and the Cordata business district.


Over the years, Syre has donated millions to promote arts and education in Whatcom County, including leadership grants to Mount Baker Theatre, Whatcom Museum, Western Washington University, Pickford Film Center and the Bellingham Bay Foundation. Syre also has made significant gifts of land and funds for the growth of Whatcom Community College, which named the Syre Student Center and Syre Auditorium in his honor.

Executive Editor Ron Judd (left) and Cascadia Newspaper Company owner David Syre in the future offices of the new publication.