When will the new paper launch?
The plan is for Cascadia Daily News to debut online and publish its first issue in January 2022.
How can I learn more about the launch of the new newspaper?
This is the Cascadia Daily News interim web page. Announcements and project news will be shared here until the new publication’s website is up and running. You can sign up for email updates here.
What will happen to the Cascadia Weekly?
The Cascadia Weekly will continue to publish each week, as usual, until Cascadia Daily News is launched in early January. Then, all local news coverage will transition to the new publication. Cascadia Weekly staff, including its editor, Tim Johnson, have expressed support for the transition and may choose to apply for positions at the new publication.
How will the new publication be different from Cascadia Weekly?
Under the direction of Tim Johnson and his team, Cascadia Weekly served a specific and valuable role in Whatcom County for more than 15 years — sharing advice and entertainment news across the region.
The Cascadia Daily News will continue to cover arts and entertainment, music, dining and other popular features that had been delivered weekly.
On the whole, however, the Cascadia Daily News will be more akin to a traditional newspaper, with robust, enterprising coverage of local news, civic life and politics, supplemented by diverse opinion columns, feature stories, and other original material. Ron Judd, the executive editor, also plans to write a weekly column and contribute original material to the daily digital edition.
How will you ensure the “truth” in your journalism isn’t slanted toward a particular political view?
All people, including journalists, have their own political views (the executive editor, for example, describes himself as “rabidly pro-democracy.”) In a highly charged political environment, “truth” increasingly is in the eyes of the beholder, viewed through readers’ own political lenses. Cascadia Daily News staff is keenly aware of this, and we pledge to employ all our journalistic, investigative and fact-checking skills to produce transparent, contextual news coverage that is fair to competing interests in any given issue.
Will the new publication be in the same format/delivery system as Cascadia Weekly?
Subscription plans for Cascadia Daily News will be available. All other distribution systems are being evaluated.
Where will the offices of Cascadia Daily News be located?
The newsroom, currently under construction, will be located in the Puget Sound Energy building at 1329 N. State St. in downtown Bellingham, on the third floor.
How large will the newspaper’s staff be?
Coverage needs and staffing are being assessed, but the publication hopes to launch with a news staff of up to 10 fulltime journalists.
Who will set the editorial direction and make news judgments for Cascadia Daily News?
All content will be determined by the executive editor and his staff.
How can I apply for a job at Cascadia Daily News?
For now, jobs are being posted on our interim web page as they become available.
Will Cascadia Daily News use staff or freelance photographers?
Some photo needs will be met by staff, but the publication will need to meet additional needs with contracted work. An announcement will be made when we’re ready to accept portfolios from freelance photographers.
Will there be opportunities for contributing writers?
At this point, most work will be produced by staff reporters, but Cascadia Daily News also plans to publish work by prior arrangement with some freelancer writers. When the newspaper is ready to accept portfolios from freelance writers, an announcement will be made.
Will Cascadia Daily News have an editorial page and present letters to the editor and commentaries from people with a broad range of political viewpoints?
Yes. It will contain opinion pieces by the editorial staff, as well as guest commentaries and letters that meet standards related to civility, libel and other considerations. We will decline to publish letters or commentaries containing information or assertions that are demonstrably false.
Will Cascadia Daily News be a free paper? Will it be printed or online only?
The newspaper will be published daily online and printed weekly. Distribution and sales plans are being evaluated and will be announced at a later date.
Why does Whatcom County need a new newspaper?
The publication’s owners, editors and staff believe robust local news coverage that serves as a watchdog over civic institutions and provides a common basis of fact and opinion for the community is critical to the maintenance of democracy.
The Bellingham Herald, which is one of 30 newspapers around the country owned by hedge-fund chain McClatchy, has significantly reduced staffing and outsourced much of its operation — leaving a large gap in local news coverage in Whatcom County. Much of what once appeared in pages of The Bellingham Herald — robust business news, government and policy reporting, local sports — is no longer being covered.
Several local news blogs and nonprofit digital sites have produced admirable citizen journalism to help compensate, but they lack the resources and paid staff to provide the broader coverage of a traditional news operation produced by fulltime professionals.
The purpose of Cascadia Daily News will be to provide in-depth coverage of local news written and reported by the people who live here, thus helping to prevent a news desert in Whatcom County.
Moreover, all decisions about the paper will be made by people who live in, work in and understand Whatcom County.
What is a news desert?
A news desert, according to the Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media at the University of North Carolina, is “a community, either rural or urban, with limited access to the sort of credible and comprehensive news and information that feeds democracy at the grassroots level.” The definition recognizes that many newspapers have become “ghosts of their former selves,” increasing the risk that news will be lost through diminished coverage and access.
Cascadia Daily News — launching in early 2022 — is intended to help prevent Whatcom County from becoming a news desert.
Who is behind the new publication? Are the owner(s) local?
The Cascadia Newspaper Company, which owns both the Cascadia Weekly and Cascadia Daily News, is solely owned by David Syre, a fourth-generation Whatcom County resident who has contributed to and invested in the community for decades.
Who is David Syre?
David Syre has a long history of investing in Whatcom County. Through his company, Trillium Corporation, he developed 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.
David is also a renowned artist who creates large-scale paintings, drawings and sculptures. You can see his work at here.
Who will be the executive editor of the new publication?
Ron C. Judd has been hired to serve as executive editor of the Cascadia Daily News. He began working for the publication Sept. 1.
Judd is an award-winning journalist with more than three decades of experience at The Seattle Times. He is a Washington native, a 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 reported from a half-dozen Olympics and is the author of several nonfiction books. He has a master’s degree in history, also is a veteran teacher of journalism and history at Western Washington University.
Earlier in his career, he worked as a journalist at the Bremerton (now Kitsap) Sun and the Anacortes American.