Looking to Connect with Your Community?
The Daily Herald is your local source for stories that can inform and change us.
By Brenda Mann Harrison for The Daily Herald
If you’re interested in understanding what’s going on in Snohomish County, your best go-to local news source is The Daily Herald.
How this photo came to be: Annie Barker was on her way to a fishing assignment at the Edmonds Pier when she came across a man creating giant bubbles for a smattering of kids running across the grass. “I knew I had to stop and watch,” Barker says. “With moments like these, one can’t help but get lost in the joy of life and making images.”
At the Herald, we seek to tell a broad range of stories – from places to go, things to see, and people to meet. But there are also the harder stories we tell, those that can truly make a difference in the lives of our readers and our community. Stories that connect us, shine a light on wrongdoing, uplift the voiceless, and hold the powerful to account. These stories often focus needed attention on what matters most and prompt necessary change.
Telling our community’s stories is what most readers and subscribers view as the essential role of the Herald in Snohomish County, according to the nearly 1,400 individuals who responded to our annual survey in 2023.
“A local paper such as the Herald is essential for COMMUNITY, to keep us connected to what’s happening locally,” says Michael D., a long-time reader, subscriber and supporter. “It’s a reflection of who we are as a community.”
When the Herald told the story about a son’s struggle to get his mom into assisted living, one reader wrote: “You’ve described the nightmarish, complicated, and confusing journey of Mr. Stejer very well…. Mr. Stejer’s experience and your article will no doubt help many people he will never meet.”
The potential impact of the stories we tell is why we take our role as Snohomish County’s news source so seriously. The Herald’s reporting covers the county’s 18 cities and 833,500 residents. And as the region’s leading journalistic voice, we reach more than 100,000 digital and print readers daily.
That’s about 3 million readers per month, or one out of three households in Snohomish County.
The Herald publishes news throughout each day online at heraldnet.com. We also offer a printed newspaper five days a week that’s delivered via the United States Postal Service and an online version of the newspaper six days a week, which you can easily access via the Herald app. In addition we publish a quarterly magazine and special supplements, host events that connect our community, and serve as the media sponsor for causes and programs throughout the county.
The Herald’s reporters are a part of our community and their reporting reflects that.
One individual who participated in our 2023 readership survey left this comment, “You make me feel that you care about us all.” Another wrote, “IMO coverage of local issues is key to your success.”
Another key to success for newspapers that provide local journalism is philanthropic support. News organizations across the country – from the Seattle Times to the Sacramento Bee to the New Orleans Times-Picayune – are asking their communities to support the journalism that benefits the community.
Without financial support that extends beyond subscriptions and advertising, many local news outlets would disappear. More than one-fourth of newspapers across the country have already closed their doors in the past 20 years.
How this photo came to be: Ryan Berry was on the hunt for some photos on day 1 of the Fisherman’s Village Music Fest in 2023 and ended up at Lucky Dime where local act Narrow Tarot was performing for a packed house. After getting shots of the band, he turned his lens to the crowd, where a woman and child were dancing and spinning. “I got this photo and knew it was exactly what I wanted,” Berry says. “Through some excellent reporting by our very own Maya Tizon, I came to find that the baby in the photo is the son of lead singer Tessa Tasakos. What a perfect moment to capture — it doesn’t get much better than that.”
The League of Women Voters of Washington recently documented the condition of local journalism in the state and called the decline of local media a problem for democracy. Communities with less local news experience increased polarization and government corruption and a decline in public engagement and rates of voting. (Check out the league’s report at lwvwa.org.)
And what do government officials do when no one from a local newspaper is watching? “Often, they enrich themselves or their allies at the taxpayers’ expense,” says Steven Waldman, president of Rebuild Local News and a co-founder of Report for America.
In an article that appeared in The Atlantic, Waldman gave an example of what happened in a low-income, overwhelmingly Latino community that lost its local newspaper. The pay for the city manager increased to $787,637 and the police chief rose to $457,000 – costing taxpayers at least $5.5 million through the inflated salaries.
“These salaries were approved at municipal meetings,” Waldman wrote, “which is to say that if even one reporter (say, with a salary of $60,000) had been in attendance, the city might have saved millions of dollars.”
He advocates, “If more public or philanthropic money were directed toward sustaining local news, it would most likely produce financial benefits many times greater than the cost.”
How this photo came to be: During a brief snowstorm in February 2023, Olivia Vanni was sent out to get feature photos of the weather and stopped at Forest Park to grab some photos of kids sledding. On her way out of the park, she saw a small window through some trees framing an open snow-covered field below. “A few short seconds after stepping out of my car,” Vanni says, “I saw a person trekking across the field, perfectly framed by the trees and snapped this photo. Sometimes the last photo you take on an assignment can end up being your lead image.”
If you value the local news The Daily Herald provides, you have a chance to direct your gifts of support to four journalism funds that enable us to do more reporting we would not otherwise be able to do. Each journalism fund is established in partnership with a nonprofit, 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor and helps us meet the community’s need for more local stories that can engage, inform or change us.
To learn how you can make a difference, check out heraldnet.com/ local-news-impact, where you will also find the Herald’s latest Community Impact Report. Or contact Brenda Mann Harrison, Herald Journalism Development Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-339- 3452.