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WA Daily Newspapers

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Washington state's daily newspapers (ca '95)
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U.S. Media / Washington Media
They don't control what you think. They control what you think about.
Check out the newly formed Washington State Newspaper Council q

Outsiders own most WA daily newspapers

The days when you could meet your local daily newspaper owner at a town meeting are mostly gone. Washington hosts 23 daily newspaper in its larger towns. Most owners live hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away from editorial offices. Many sit around boardroom tables chatting about banks, world politics, and bottom lines.

If you get the feeling your daily is somehow parroting big government / big corporate views by what it writes and what it omits, you might be factually right, though politically incorrect.

Your local publisher today likely is a carpet-bagging employee of a distant newspaper chain. What goes into--and remains out of--the local daily is often determined by blunt or implied directives to him/her that emerge from board meetings a long way from home. Your home.

The Yakima Valley News dug a little bit, listed Washington's daily rags, then snooped around to identify out-of-state boys and girls who help make policies concerning the stuff we read and don't read.

If some of this info is dated, we'll update. If YOU are in the know, or have comments, email q YVN.

Content of corporate newspapers, the local bureaus of which are listed at right, are described by John Swinton, New York Times chief of staff, the "dean" of his profession, in a toast before the prestigious New York Press Club in 1953:

"There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job.

"If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone. The business of the journalist is to destroy the truth; to lie outright; to pervert; to vilify; to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell the country for his daily bread. You know it and I know it and what folly is this toasting an independent press. We are the tools and vassals of the rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes."

Dear John: Things are no better in 2000--perhaps worse--except for the Internet!

q Gannett Chain

q Washington Post

q McClatchy Chain

q Donrey Chain

q Hearst Chain

q Blethen/Knight Ridder

q Hagadone Investments

q Peter Horovitz

q LaFromboise, Inc.

q Lee Enterprises

q Leighton Wood

q Wilfred Woods

q Scott Campbell Co.

q Eagle Publishing Co.

q Scripps-Howard

q Cowles

q Email
Rowland Thompson,
WA Allied Daily Newspapers


The press' only relationship with government should be adversarial.