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This is a reminder that The Spokesman-Review has temporarily suspended online commenting on news articles during the holiday season.
The Spokesman-Review took top honors in long feature writing, commentary and sports photography among the region’s largest newspapers in the 2012 Northwest Excellence in Journalism contest presented by the Society of Professional Journalists. The Spokesman-Review also placed second in general excellence for large daily newspapers. The Oregonian placed first and the Seattle Times was third.
By the end of the summer, if people are honest, an exhaustion sets in. So much light and heat, so much pressure to pursue evening and weekend fun. September’s routine offers a return to “ordinary time” to borrow a term from church liturgical calendars. People are back in the saddle, nose to the grindstone. You get the drill.
The American women who swam in this summer’s Olympics wore suits that look ultra modest in our string-bikini world. Black and sleek, the suits are built for function, not to show off form. Yet 100 years ago, the Olympians would have been arrested had they ventured into lake, river or pool in their modest Speedos.
A judge has ordered this newspaper to turn over information about a person who made a potentially libelous comment under an assumed name on the website. This, of course, will have a chilling effect on free speech. A chilling effect is what we in the free-speech business always warn about. We do not want to chill speech; we want it hot and loose.
The Spokesman-Review must provide information that could identify an anonymous reader who typed a disparaging online comment about the chairwoman of the Kootenai County Republican Party in February, an Idaho judge ruled Tuesday. The attorney for the chairwoman, Tina Jacobson, subpoenaed the identities of three Huckleberries Online readers who commented under assumed names below a photograph featuring Jacobson.
In our newsroom, we call it the Spokane Vortex. It occurs when someone from the Inland Northwest is involved with a national or international news event. Or someone is related to someone in Spokane in coincidences beyond explanation. Recently, I discovered some Spokane Vortex in history.
You run her photo in the newspaper and ask if anyone recognizes the woman, an intelligent-looking nurse from Spokane. The photo, found in the King Collection archives of The Spokesman-Review, has no name, no date. And the day the photo appears, the phone calls begin. Her name is Alice Hope, the callers say. These callers are nurses, mostly now retired, proud graduates of Deaconess Hospital’s nursing school. They looked in their school’s history book, which contains photos of all the classes, and they discovered the mystery woman.
Forcing The Spokesman-Review to reveal the identities of three anonymous commenters on its Huckleberries Online blog would quell free speech by raising fears that people posting critical remarks would be outed and sued, the newspaper’s attorney argued Friday in court.
On the first day of hot weather at the end of April, young women throughout the Inland Northwest dressed for the heat and walked through the region’s parks in short-shorts, swirly skirts, sleeveless tops and open-toed sandals. It’s a sartorial rite of spring. When the warm days arrive, so do the light clothes. Ahhh.