Newspaper tries to keep publishing in fire-pounded region

The Wenatchee World | Methow Valley News (Facebook)

While Washington state's Methow Valley is being ravaged by wildfires, the Methow Valley News is trying to keep publishing. That's complicated, because its working from a region where few have electricity.

Publisher Don Nelson obtained a generator after his partner, Poynter Editing Fellow Jacqui Banaszynski, put out a call on Facebook and Twitter. Two former coworkers arranged to get him one, Banaszynski writes in an email.

Now, "Reporters have been out gathering stories with pen and paper and bringing or phoning them in so office staff can type them in on a cell phone with Internet service to get stories on the paper’s Facebook page," Rick Steigmeyer reports in The Wenatchee World.

Nelson "said the paper is relying on community members to send in their personal stories while reporters focus on sorting out rumors and anecdotal stories and provide accurate information about emergency services and canceled or postponed events," Steigmeyer writes.

"We are going to do everything in our power (literally and figuratively, since we have no electricity in the Methow Valley unless we make it ourselves) to publish a print newspaper this week," Nelson wrote in a Facebook post Sunday. "We have a generator and we’ll improvise from there."

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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