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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Staff > Administration > Gary Graham > Stories
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Most Recent Stories

July 30, 2016, midnight
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:

News >  Spokane
Jan. 11, 2016, 5:37 p.m.
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.

News >  Features
Sept. 15, 2015, midnight
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.

Aug. 9, 2015, midnight
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.

News >  Features
Jan. 2, 2015, midnight
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.

Sept. 7, 2014, midnight
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.

Aug. 17, 2014, midnight
This past week has not been an easy one for journalists. Consider:

News >  Spokane
Aug. 3, 2014, midnight
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.

June 12, 2014, midnight
Losing a family member, especially a child, is never easy. Just ask Ron and Karen Haeger, whose son Justin, 21, died of a methadone overdose on Easter Sunday of 2006.

June 6, 2014, midnight
Soon after I moved into an apartment in the Avenida building in early 2013, a friendly neighbor warned that I would surely wish I had left on vacation during Elkfest. Though I had never attended Elkfest, which I soon learned takes place within earshot of my apartment, I was not concerned. If nothing else, I figured, I could always turn off my hearing aids. (Reader hint No. 1: I’m 64.)

News >  Spokane
March 30, 2014, midnight
A nationally recognized expert on sex trafficking and modern slavery will share his view Tuesday of what life is like for the victims of a grim and growing business around the world. Siddharth Kara, a well-traveled author and academic who has focused on the issue for 14 years, will speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the McCarthey Athletic Center as part of the Gonzaga University Presidential Speaker Series.

Jan. 5, 2014, midnight
The holiday season ban on commenting on The Spokesman-Review’s website ended peacefully on Thursday. Democracy as we know it remains unharmed by our 10-day experiment. We asked print readers and online commenters to share their thoughts on our temporary ban, and we heard from many of you. While my initial column on the topic appeared online during the ban, we lifted the ban slightly to allow comments and we received 172 of them. In addition, the column was “liked” 294 times on Facebook and a link to it was retweeted 35 times. I also received 33 emails. But let me be clear: There is no consensus among those who responded as to whether our ban was worthwhile or harmful.

Dec. 27, 2013, 6 a.m.
The Spokesman-Review closed all commenting on our website from Dec. 23 through Jan. 1. Read Gary Graham's column discussing the decision.

News >  Spokane
Aug. 25, 2013, midnight
The tragic death of 88-year-old Delbert Belton this week is yet another reminder of how violent living in America can be these days. Unfortunately, the fatal beating suffered by Belton also brings out the worst in human nature. Belton was white. The two juveniles accused of assaulting him are black. The knee-jerk reaction by some in our midst to immediately assume the dual mantle of judge and jury is not uncommon in this day of saturation coverage by the media, nor is the no-holds-barred nature of discourse found in comments posted on public websites.

June 9, 2013, midnight
The Chicago Sun-Times, once a pretty good tabloid newspaper, made some much-criticized news in the newspaper industry last month when it announced it was laying off its staff photographers. The Sun-Times photo staff of nearly 30 included one person who won a Pulitzer Prize, considered by most to be journalism’s highest award. The Sun-Times plans to hire freelancers, who will not be members of the staff, to take pictures for the daily newspaper. The move is one of utter desperation by an organization that has fallen on hard times. Yes, practically all U.S. newspapers have cut costs and staffs in the last several years, The Spokesman-Review included. The downsizing accomplished through layoffs and early-retirement offers was the result of a sour economy and changing habits by consumers of news and advertisers.

News >  Spokane
Oct. 16, 2012, 10:34 a.m.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist George Will is not a fan of presidential debates but says they are practically constitutional.

News >  Spokane
Aug. 23, 2012, midnight
ST. JOHN, Wash. – Take a drive through the Palouse these days and you’ll see a time-honored routine playing out in the rolling wheat fields of Whitman County. It’s harvest time, and farm crews dot the landscape in their combines and grain-hauling trucks. The Todd and Becky Dickerson family approach to farming is pretty typical in Whitman County, where more wheat is grown than in any other county in the United States. Todd Dickerson and his second cousin, Jim Kile, harvest about 3,000 acres together, sharing the cost of a combine rental as well as sharing trucks and drivers. Becky Dickerson and Kile’s wife, Barb, share lunch duty, depending on whose ground the crews are working.

July 29, 2012, midnight
The Spokesman-Review has engaged in some important and costly legal challenges in recent months that produced mixed results, but our watchdog efforts remain an integral component of the newsroom’s commitment to our audience and the community. In one case, we lost in the effort to protect an anonymous commenter on one of our most popular online blogs, while in another case we succeeded in persuading a federal judge to unseal transcripts of the secretive query of jurors who convicted former Spokane police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. in connection with his deadly confrontation with Otto Zehm. Meanwhile, our legal counsel is helping us push for release of disciplinary records involving a few public school teachers in the region.

April 22, 2012, midnight
Staying informed and getting connected to the online world are not as easy to accomplish as those of us in the newspaper industry might sometimes think. The challenge of obtaining timely and reliable news and information was brought home in some interesting ways at a daylong symposium on rural information needs earlier this month at Washington State University’s Edward R. Murrow College of Communication. The symposium, as Murrow’s Dean Lawrence Pintak explained, was part of a larger initiative by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Knight Foundation on the FCC Information Needs of Communities project, involving 12 of the nation’s leading journalism programs.

Feb. 12, 2012, midnight
Working at a job is a fundamental of modern American life. In today’s economy, having a job is often simply a sign of success or survival, a validation of our talent and skills. For many, being gainfully employed provides a feeling of self-worth. Having a job is essential to providing for ourselves and our families.

July 9, 2011, midnight
We’re introducing some content improvements over the next several days that warrant an explanation. The most significant changes involve our front page, the Sunday business report and the local news page for the Monday edition.

March 5, 2011, midnight
Wednesday was a good day at the U.S. Supreme Court for the First Amendment, but it was a horrible day for common decency. The court upheld the odious Westboro Baptist Church’s right to display hate-filled signs at the funerals for members of the military. Members of Westboro Church, the bully pulpit for the Fred Phelps family of Topeka, Kan., have picketed nearly 600 funerals in the past 20 years, spewing a vile message of hatred and bigotry. The congregation believes that God hates and punishes the United States for its tolerance of homosexuality, especially in the military.

Jan. 9, 2011, midnight
The new year has brought noticeable changes to The Spokesman-Review, so it is important to bring our readers up to date on the changes and explain our strategy. All of the changes were driven by the hard reality of tough economic times in the newspaper business. We considered a variety of cost-cutting measures with the goal of preserving the most critical functions of a newspaper: covering local news while providing a good menu of features, sports and national and international news. In order to avoid a new round of layoffs in the newsroom, we have had to eliminate two positions for 2011 by way of attrition and we’ve had to reduce our dependence on freelance columns purchased from various correspondents.

Nov. 17, 2010, midnight
We published an unusual photo on the front page of Saturday’s newspaper. The photo showed the body of a man who had fired shotgun rounds and who was killed by Spokane police officers. We’ve heard from a number of readers who found the photo objectionable and not fit for publication.

Jan. 10, 2010, midnight
In an era when the newspaper industry faces challenging economic conditions, it is nice to be able to report something positive about The Spokesman-Review. The newsroom staff significantly reduced the number of errors published in 2009, no small feat in these days of diminished resources. Accuracy is a cornerstone of what newspaper journalists do every day. Accuracy goes to the heart of our credibility as a provider of information and chronicler of important news, sports and entertainment in Eastern Washington and North Idaho. We want our readers to trust us to get the basic facts right, which means spelling names correctly and printing precise details on dates, locations and times, among other essential items.