It’s tough to imagine two more encouraging words for Cascadia Daily News as we head into our second full year of operation. Here’s a synopsis of what’s coming your way in 2023.
More print pages
If you’re reading this on paper, note the additional heft of your newspaper. Starting today, we’re growing our print product to 32 pages, from a previous average of 26. The pages will also be proportioned differently: Our content is now in two print sections rather than three. This provides some printing-press economy, reducing cost and allowing us to bring you more printed news every Wednesday than before.
As before, the first section will contain News, Business and Opinion — the last section including this weekly column — The Hammer, letters to the editor, and national columns. The second section will contain expanded versions of our existing Sports and Living sections. We’ll have the ability to customize which of the two occupies the section front on a weekly basis.
Content changes: More Living, more faces
Aside from ample expanded space for News, Business and Opinion in the A section, you’ll notice some other content changes. Veteran local arts and entertainment journalist Margaret Bikman will shift her focus, writing more profiles and in-depth articles for our Living section. Some of her former Best Bets material will live on in a different place — A&E Editor Amy Kepferle’s “A-List” column, which will grow in size and scope, projecting farther into the future to help with event planning. Bikman’s trademark profiles of people and places in the local arts community will appear throughout the Living section.
Living also will gain additional staff-generated content: A new “Faces in the Crowd” feature, debuting Jan. 4, will allow readers to meet and greet interesting people from CDN’s coverage area, identified by our staff reporters. While reporters already are generating their own ideas for Faces subjects, we’d like to hear yours, as well. Please send suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line “Faces in the Crowd.”
CDN's sports team will continue its professional-level coverage of local prep and college sports, with as much live game coverage and award-winning photography as usual.
A holiday break next week
To help retool and put all this in motion — and grant our news staff a well-deserved holiday break — CDN will not produce a print edition next Wednesday, Dec. 28. But we’ll continue to bring you all the important news and other content on our website, Cascadiadaily.com, throughout the holiday week. We’ll be back to full production on Jan. 4.
What’s the easiest way to ensure you get all our content? Subscribe. A $12 monthly subscription to CDN gets you full access to our website, the option of a print copy mailed weekly to your home address, and access to our print replica e-edition. It also supports living-wage jobs for a dozen CDN journalists who live and work in Bellingham and do the important job of keeping you up to date on civic affairs, people, issues, sports and entertainment. To get signed up, just click the “subscribe” button on our website, cascadiadaily.com.
New staff, new expectations
CDN’s first year in operation has been both challenging and rewarding. The task of building what amounts to a broad-based daily news product in a short period of time often proved difficult, from a technical standpoint. But we’ve got the CDN machine running smoothly now in terms of regular news flow.
From that solid base, we’re looking to branch out in 2023, directing our reporters to work on more enterprise stories and deeper-dive reporting of local institutions. Several of those are already in the works; you’ll see the results in the new year. And we're always open to your tips and suggestions.
Aiding in this effort is our recent hire of a managing editor. Bellingham resident Staci Baird brings a wide range of journalism and digital storytelling experience to the CDN newsroom. The recent journalism instructor and newspaper advisor at Whatcom Community College, and news director for local FM radio station KMRE, Baird has a diverse background in digital media, news startups, web development and other fields.
We’re tremendously excited to have her on our team and believe an additional guiding hand in the newsroom will allow us to bring new approaches and more and better storytelling to our pages, whether in print, online or other forms.
Editor reassigns self
The new hand in the newsroom also allows me to pull back, at least a little, from our daily news operation (thank God, says the staff) to spend more time doing community outreach, meeting with local leaders and readers to keep a hand on the pulse of our region. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you’d like to be part of that process. I’m happy to talk with individuals or groups about the growing national cause of preserving independent local journalism, and our approach at CDN. Just shoot me an email at the address below.
Happy New Year, and thanks as always for supporting your hometown news team.
Ron Judd's column appears on Wednesdays; email@example.com; @roncjudd.