Hillary Clinton made history Tuesday evening when she became the first woman nominated for the presidency by a major party. Our headline and story in Wednesday’s print editions made it clear what had happened, but the lack of any photo of her made some readers unhappy. Reader Deborah Chan articulated thoughts that I’m sure are shared by many others:
We’re launching a redesign of our website this week in an effort to make the site more appealing to you in the way it is organized and how it looks. It’s the first major design change since 2008. The website is a critical tool in a newspaper’s daily effort to provide readers with the latest news and information and we are confident that readers will quickly notice stories are easier to find and that photographs are displayed in more visually appealing formats. The number of readers who visit our website or follow us on a mobile device is increasing dramatically each year, so we took great care in developing the new design that preserves the very best of what we do.
Five months have passed since the last known suicides by students in the Spokane Public School district, but the conversation in some parts of the community quietly continues. Five students, including three in a one-month span, took their lives in the 2014-15 school year, the highest number in the history of the school district.
News and information are essential parts of a community’s makeup and play critical roles in the daily practice of democracy and public life. The Spokesman-Review and its predecessors have played a vital role in this community for more than 130 years. The Spokesman-Review and newspapers across the country have weathered unprecedented financial challenges in recent years, and the industry’s tectonic shifts show no sign of settling anytime soon. Advertising revenue and subscription sales are the two main sources of a newspaper’s revenue, and both streams have shrunk considerably, starting with the recession of 2007-08.
Perusing the variety of lists of favorite books this time of year is a great way to whet your appetite for reading. I asked my newsroom colleagues to list a favorite book or two that they read in 2014. Not all of their choices were published this year, another testament to the enduring life of good works and the written word. The books are listed here in no particular order. • Gary Graham, editor, who has far too many unread books on his shelves : “Gone Girl,” by Gillian Flynn, was my favorite novel of the year. The movie, however, seemed lame by comparison. “Sons of Wichita,” by Daniel Schulman, was my favorite nonfiction read for 2014. It’s the story of the Koch empire and drew me in because I worked at the newspaper in Wichita for 13 years.
Journalists working in the Middle East and other areas of conflict are increasingly in harm’s way. Two American reporters, James Foley and Steven Sotloff, have been beheaded by the militant group Islamic State in recent weeks. The barbarity is unfathomable. The gruesome nature of the two killings obviously was intended by the perpetrators to prompt shock, intimidate and publicize a cause.
The Spokesman-Review’s policy on providing readers the opportunity to comment on stories, blogs, columns and other content on our website will change, effective Monday. That’s the news. But first, some context.