Cascadia Newspaper Company

This is an interim webpage for Cascadia Daily News. This page is being used to share upcoming announcements and business news. For media inquiries, please contact Patti Goethals Rowlson from Bellingham PR & Communications at 360-305-3720 or patti@bellinghampr.com.

For updates on this project, sign up below. | For a list of current job openings, visit this page.

Frequently asked questions

What will the new paper be called?

The newspaper will be called Cascadia Daily News.

When will the new paper launch?

The plan is for Cascadia Daily News to debut online and publish its first issue in January 2022.

How can I learn more about the launch of the new newspaper?

The Cascadia Daily News has an interim webpage. https://bellinghampr.com/cascadia-newspaper-company/. Announcements and project news will be shared there until the new publication’s website is up and running. On that webpage, interested parties also can sign up to receive email announcements leading up to launch.

What will happen to the Cascadia Weekly?

The Cascadia Weekly will continue to publish each week, as usual, until Cascadia Daily News is launched in early January. Then, all local news coverage will transition to the new publication.

Cascadia Weekly staff, including its editor, Tim Johnson, have expressed support for the transition and may choose to apply for positions at the new publication.

How will the new publication be different from Cascadia Weekly?

Under the direction of Tim Johnson and his team, Cascadia Weekly served a specific and valuable role in Whatcom County for more than 15 years — sharing advice and entertainment news across the region.

The Cascadia Daily News will continue to cover arts and entertainment, music, dining and other popular features that had been delivered weekly.

On the whole, however, the Cascadia Daily News will be more akin to a traditional newspaper, with robust, enterprising coverage of local news, civic life and politics, supplemented by diverse opinion columns, feature stories, and other original material. Ron Judd, the executive editor, also plans to write a weekly column and contribute original material to the daily digital edition.

How will you ensure the “truth” in your journalism isn’t slanted toward a particular political view?

All people, including journalists, have their own political views (the executive editor, for example, describes himself as “rabidly pro-democracy.”) In a highly charged political environment, “truth” increasingly is in the eyes of the beholder, viewed through readers’ own political lenses. Cascadia Daily News staff is keenly aware of this, and we pledge to employ all our journalistic, investigative and fact-checking skills to produce transparent, contextual news coverage that is fair to competing interests in any given issue.

Will the new publication be in the same format/delivery system as Cascadia Weekly?

Subscription plans for Cascadia Daily News will be available. All other distribution systems are being evaluated.

Where will the offices of Cascadia Daily News be located?

The newsroom, currently under construction, will be located in the Puget Sound Energy building at 1329 N. State St. in downtown Bellingham, on the third floor.

How large will the newspaper’s staff be?

Coverage needs and staffing are being assessed, but the publication hopes to launch with a news staff of up to 10 fulltime journalists.

Who will set the editorial direction and make news judgments for Cascadia Daily News?

All content will be determined by the executive editor and his staff.

How can I apply for a job at Cascadia Daily News?

For now, jobs are being posted on our interim web page as they become available. You can watch this page for new opportunities. https://bellinghampr.com/cnc-recruitment/

Will Cascadia Daily News use staff or freelance photographers?

Some photo needs will be met by staff, but the publication will need to meet additional needs with contracted work. An announcement will be made when we’re ready to accept portfolios from freelance photographers. You can opt in to receive email updates on the project here: https://bellinghampr.com/cascadia-newspaper-company/

Will there be opportunities for contributing writers?

At this point, most work will be produced by staff reporters, but Cascadia Daily News also plans to publish work by prior arrangement with some freelancer writers. When the newspaper is ready to accept portfolios from freelance writers, an announcement will be made. You can opt in to receive email updates on the project here: https://bellinghampr.com/cascadia-newspaper-company/

Will Cascadia Daily News have an editorial page and present letters to the editor and commentaries from people with a broad range of political viewpoints?

Yes. It will contain opinion pieces by the editorial staff, as well as guest commentaries and letters that meet standards related to civility, libel and other considerations. We will decline to publish letters or commentaries containing information or assertions that are demonstrably false.

Will Cascadia Daily News be a free paper? Will it be printed or online only?

The newspaper will be published daily online and printed weekly. Distribution and sales plans are being evaluated and will be announced at a later date.

Why does Whatcom County need a new newspaper?

The publication’s owners, editors and staff believe robust local news coverage that serves as a watchdog over civic institutions and provides a common basis of fact and opinion for the community is critical to the maintenance of democracy.

The Bellingham Herald, which is one of 30 newspapers around the country owned by hedge-fund chain McClatchy, has significantly reduced staffing and outsourced much of its operation — leaving a large gap in local news coverage in Whatcom County. Much of what once appeared in pages of The Bellingham Herald — robust business news, government and policy reporting, local sports — is no longer being covered.

Several local news blogs and nonprofit digital sites have produced admirable citizen journalism to help compensate, but they lack the resources and paid staff to provide the broader coverage of a traditional news operation produced by fulltime professionals.

The purpose of Cascadia Daily News will be to provide in-depth coverage of local news written and reported by the people who live here, thus helping to prevent a news desert in Whatcom County.

Moreover, all decisions about the paper will be made by people who live in, work in and understand Whatcom County.

What is a news desert?

A news desert, according to the Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media at the University of North Carolina, is “a community, either rural or urban, with limited access to the sort of credible and comprehensive news and information that feeds democracy at the grassroots level.” The definition recognizes that many newspapers have become “ghosts of their former selves,” increasing the risk that news will be lost through diminished coverage and access.

Cascadia Daily News — launching in early 2022 — is intended to help prevent Whatcom County from becoming a news desert.

Who is behind the new publication? Are the owner(s) local?

The Cascadia Newspaper Company, which owns both the Cascadia Weekly and Cascadia Daily News, is solely owned by David Syre, a fourth-generation Whatcom County resident who has contributed to and invested in the community for decades.

Who is David Syre?

David Syre has a long history of investing in Whatcom County. Through his company, Trillium Corporation, he developed Bellis Fair Mall, the Semiahmoo Resort and surrounding residential community, and the Cordata business district.

Over the years, Syre has donated millions to promote arts and education in Whatcom County, including leadership grants to Mount Baker Theatre, Whatcom Museum, Western Washington University, Pickford Film Center and the Bellingham Bay Foundation. Syre also has made significant gifts of land and funds for the growth of Whatcom Community College, which named the Syre Student Center and Syre Auditorium in his honor.

David is also a renowned artist who creates large-scale paintings, drawings and sculptures. https://www.davidsyreart.com/

Who will be the executive editor of the new publication?

Ron C. Judd has been hired to serve as executive editor of the Cascadia Daily News. He began working for the publication Sept. 1.

Judd is an award-winning journalist with more than three decades of experience at The Seattle Times. He is a Washington native, a graduate of Western Washington University and a 20-year resident of Bellingham. A popular reporter and columnist at The Seattle Times since 1988, Judd has covered a variety of news beats. He has reported from a half-dozen Olympics and is the author of several nonfiction books. He has a master’s degree in history, also is a veteran teacher of journalism and history at Western Washington University.

Earlier in his career, he worked as a journalist at the Bremerton (now Kitsap) Sun and the Anacortes American.

Latest news

Sept. 1, 2021

Get ready for some Cascadia Daily News.

That’s the name of Bellingham’s new daily online/weekly print newspaper, set to debut in January.

We think the name – a traditional newspaper moniker produced in a nontraditional way from the heart of the region broadly known as Cascadia – reflects both who we are and what we’ll do. Growing from the heritage of local newspaper ownership established by Cascadia Weekly, Cascadia Daily News will elevate the mission of producing news for locals, by locals to a new level.

The new, locally owned and controlled newspaper, produced by a team of full-time, professional journalists, won’t be just a fleeting web page. It will be a hands-on newspaper created in a brick-and-mortar newsroom on Bellingham’s State Street by local reporters, columnists, editors and visual journalists, posting stories live online and weekly in print.

The Cascadia Daily News team will be composed of news pros with a shared goal of boosting the level of local watchdog news while maintaining and expanding on lifestyle/arts coverage that has been provided by Cascadia Weekly for more than 15 years.

The Cascadia Daily News staff is currently being assembled by longtime Bellingham resident and WWU graduate Ron Judd, a Seattle Times veteran. (See current job postings here).

We have our own ideas about coverage needs in Bellingham, Whatcom County and the region, and in the coming months we’ll be asking for yours, as well. Stay tuned here for more details, including the look and shape of our new publication!

Aug. 5, 2021

Media contact: Patti Goethals Rowlson, Bellingham PR & Communications — 360-305-3720, ext. 1, or patti@bellinghampr.com

Locally owned daily news publication coming to Bellingham

BELLINGHAM—In an era of increased focus on government and the role of quality journalism in everyday life, a new daily news publication is being launched in Bellingham by Cascadia Newspaper Company.

Ron C. Judd, an award-winning journalist with more than three decades of experience at The Seattle Times, has been hired to serve as executive editor.

“I see this as a rare opportunity to bring meaningful change through watchdog journalism and commentary in a town where it’s long been absent,” said Judd, 58, who holds a master’s degree in history and has conducted extensive archival research about media and politics in Bellingham. “Doing that work through a wholly locally owned news outlet was an opportunity too rare to pass up.”

The publication — delivered online daily and weekly in print — is the brainchild of David Syre, a fourth-generation Whatcom County resident who has contributed to and invested in the community for decades.

“Across the country, we have been seeing a surge of community journalism at a time of renewed interest in local government,” Syre said. “Community journalism — the kind that reports on the lives of our people while also serving as an important check on local government — is sorely needed here. I have a fondness for Bellingham and Whatcom County, and it has been my goal to return locally owned and independently operated daily journalism to the people here.”

The new local media outlet Syre is funding plans to begin publishing in early January. With it, he and Judd are determined to provide Whatcom County residents with a news outlet they can trust, packed with local stories about what matters to citizens and the community.

“Launching a local news publication like this — and getting a quality journalist like Ron Judd, with his reputation, experience and acumen, to lead it — is a dream,” Syre said. “Helping to lead change and increase the level of local reporting in Bellingham is something I will forever be proud of.

Why Whatcom County?

“I have always wanted residents who love and value Whatcom County to be able to prosper here,” Syre added. “I believe it vital to this goal that the region have its own identity distinct from that of Seattle or Vancouver, British Columbia. Launching a full-scale, Bellingham-based news organization — the only daily newspaper in town that is locally owned — will help secure Bellingham’s unique identity.”

Coverage will include Bellingham and Whatcom County news, politics, business, arts, entertainment and more. In addition to leading the newsroom, Judd plans to write a lively weekly column and contribute original material to the daily digital edition. Subscriptions and advertising packages will be available prior to launch.

Judd, who officially takes the helm of the yet-to-be-named media outlet Sept. 1, is working alongside a launch team to hire for and develop the new publication. Newsroom staff will operate from offices on the third floor of the Puget Sound Energy building at 1329 N. State St. in downtown Bellingham.

“Producing a printed newspaper will be a critical part of the new publication,” Judd said. “We want to maintain the newspaper experience — with a weekly print edition people can hold in their hands — while breaking news daily on the digital side.”

The local media landscape

The launch of a locally owned news publication in Bellingham aligns with a recent trend throughout the country that has seen chain-owned publications transitioning to local ownership. A July report from the Local News Initiative at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism notes a recent increase in interest in locally owned community journalism.

“All things being equal, local ownership is always best for the community where the newspaper is located,” said Penny Abernathy, a visiting professor at Medill and researcher into the “news desert” phenomenon created by the closures of local newspapers, in the Local News Initiative report. “That’s because a local owner is going to know that market and know the residents.”

Whatcom County currently is served by the McClatchy-owned Bellingham Herald, a daily newspaper that has, over time, outsourced much of its production to sources outside the area and laid off large portions of the newsroom. Several locally owned weekly newspapers, including in Lynden, Ferndale and Blaine, also serve the region.

Syre, the sole owner of Cascadia Newspaper Company, is the owner and publisher of Cascadia Weekly, which will continue publishing weekly until the new publication begins.

Under the direction of Tim Johnson and his team, Cascadia Weekly has served a specific and valuable role in Whatcom County for more than 15 years — sharing advice and entertainment news across the region. The new publication will continue to cover arts and entertainment, music, dining and other popular Cascadia Weekly features.

About Ron Judd

Ron Judd, a Washington native, is a 1985 graduate of Western Washington University and a 20-year resident of Bellingham. A popular reporter and columnist at The Seattle Times since 1988, Judd has covered a variety of news beats. He has written several longstanding, popular columns and most recently has worked as a staff writer for Pacific NW, the Seattle Times Sunday magazine. Judd has reported from a half-dozen Olympics and is the author of several nonfiction books. He also is a veteran teacher of journalism and history at Western Washington University.

Earlier in his 35-year news career, Judd also worked as a journalist at the Bremerton (now Kitsap) Sun and the Anacortes American.

About David Syre

In addition to being a renowned artist, David Syre has a long history of setting goals, investing in the community and effecting change that positively impacts Whatcom County. This desire led Syre and his company, Trillium Corporation, to create a plan that led to his development of Bellis Fair Mall, the Semiahmoo Resort and surrounding residential community, and the Cordata business district.

Over the years, Syre has donated millions to promote arts and education in Whatcom County, including leadership grants to Mount Baker Theatre, Whatcom Museum, Western Washington University, Pickford Film Center and the Bellingham Bay Foundation. Syre also has made significant gifts of land and funds for the growth of Whatcom Community College, which named the Syre Student Center and Syre Auditorium in his honor.

For more information, please contact Cascadia Newspaper Company’s media representative Patti Goethals Rowlson of Bellingham PR & Communications at 360-305-3720 or patti@bellinghampr.com.

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Ron Judd, left, and David Syre

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About the Cascadia Newspaper Company

The Cascadia Newspaper Company, which owns the Cascadia Weekly, is solely owned by David Syre, a fourth-generation Whatcom County resident.

David has a long history of investing in Whatcom County. Through his company, Trillium Corporation, he developed Bellis Fair Mall, the Semiahmoo Resort and surrounding residential community, and the Cordata business district.

Over the years, Syre has donated millions to promote arts and education in Whatcom County, including leadership grants to Mount Baker Theatre, Whatcom Museum, Western Washington University, Pickford Film Center and the Bellingham Bay Foundation. He also has made significant gifts of land and funds for the growth of Whatcom Community College, which has named the Syre Student Center and Syre Auditorium in his honor.

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