Bellingham Herald to end Saturday publication

• Topics: Bellingham, News Media,

Dianne Foster guest writes this article. She is a local resident, a retired Aadvanced Registered Nurse Practitioner and a former Democratic Precinct Committee Officer.

I was disturbed to see the continued shrinking of our only daily print newspaper, as the Bellingham Herald once again limits itself, this time to Sunday-Friday, in an era of right-wing populism that demands expansion, not contraction. I feel strongly about the loss of these daily publications around the country because democracy depends on a comprehensive media and engaged public. We have been subscribers since our move here in ‘93, and to other newspapers in other locations we’ve lived. There are very few letters to editor or local interest news stories these days as the shrinkage progresses. (Side note: the Herald has always had a covert policy against live coverage by photographers or reporters of local protests - unless it was the Tea Party. Not perfect by any means).

I remember the glory days of great journalists like John Stark, Margaret Bikman, Ralph Schwartz, political blogger Sam Taylor, who interviewed me about the Wall St takedown of our economy in 2009, and the appreciation I have for editor Julie Shirley, who allowed me and other activists from Occupy Bellingham, environmental and immigrant rights groups and labor unions to pen op-eds. “We the people” formed coalitions left, right, and mainstream (Trade Justice Alliance) against the Trans-Pacific Partnership rigged corporate trade deal. We needed a common media to communicate, and though mainstream media and our corporate shill elected officials portrayed us as “anti-trade,” somehow that meme did not fool the majority of people. This was about trade agreements made among global corporations with no national loyalty, not about trade itself.

Though Trump took credit for it, it was progressives that defeated the neoliberal agreement that would have enabled big Pharma, fossil fuel companies, tobacco giants, big banks and Monsanto/Bayer to have monopolies over our food supply. Per WFTC (Washington Fair Trade Coalition,) it would not have passed that last lame duck session of Congress, regardless of election outcome. Now Trump has copied and pasted this into his new version of Nafta 2.0, which we will also defeat with media cooperation.

Though the Weekly represents the best of weekly journalism, and N.W. Citizen and the Whatcom Watch represent investigative journalism, all these forms are complementary. I do hope McClatchy News Service will do the right thing to save the paper, and that everyone who can afford to will subscribe. McClatchy demonstrated leadership in their series on the banking disaster of 2009, and I would hope they can find a way out now.

I and many others are not cell users, so I need and want a kitchen table paper, regardless if this is the current “business model.” I don’t believe any democracy can survive without a vibrant press.

About Guest Writer

Citizen Journalist • Member since Jun 15, 2008

The name "Guest Writer" is used on over 100 articles by individuals who are not regular contributors. Their name and a brief bio can be found at the top or bottom [...]

Comments by Readers

Konrad Lau

Jul 06, 2019

When I was a younger, uninitiated soul, trying to interpret the ways of the world, I always thought a business was in the business of expanding its presence in a market-place and making money. As time progressed, I came to see that in Leftist owned organizations making money and maintaining a presence was NOT the primary mission. In fact, Hollywood is a fine example of this thesis. They continue to produce films counter to the common values of every-day Americans and throw their money away in vain attempts at activism. They see the huge profits to be made from family-oriented entertainment but seem unable to produce even commercials without the addition of some form of alternative lifestyle while painting it to be “normal”.

Our local paper has been following the same course for decades. The editors insult the folks who would otherwise be purchasing the paper. They detest the businesses who would otherwise be purchasing advertising space within the paper.

At one time they decried the death of unions and then farmed out the very printing of the paper to another shop not even in Whatcom County!

Through everything, they have held the course of self-destruction in favor of broadcasting their leftist ideology.

It’s a little like those promoting abortion while winnowing away the voting base and wondering why elections aren’t who more often.

One fine day the Bellingham Herald will be a blog, written by someone sitting in a basement wearing their underwear and being read by his three friends.

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