The Newsroom at the Center of a Pandemic

“That’s what local papers are meant to do”: The journalists at The Seattle Times have been aggressively covering the coronavirus as it affects their neighbors and friends.

Comments: 40

  1. Thank you, Seattle Times for caring. Sad to learn the staff is only half as big as it was in the past, due to budget cuts. Hang in there. You are helping a whole community, if not the nation.

  2. Bless the Fourth Estate during such times and the reporters in Seattle, NYC and elsewhere scrambling to get it all covered. After spending many years working at small town papers, I respect their efforts. And that messy newsroom looks very familiar, like home. I hope everyone will support the dedicated journalists trying to cut through the fog of misinformation to keep the truth in focus. Good information can calm chaos.

  3. It is good to know that Seattle still has local newspaper interested in local news. But with their limited resources, can Seattle Times report on how did the first Coronavirus patient or the next few seniors in assisted living got his/her/theirs virus? This seems to be a mystery that no one seems to be interested. Without knowing the way of virus spreading, how could the government prevent virus spreading?

  4. @Usok there has been some tracking of the DNA characteristics of the virus. The first deaths, and those connected to the nursing home (with a history of infection control lapses) all seemed to be from the same strain.

  5. So, so proud of our Seattle Times team. And thank you to NY Times for covering this. Kind of ironic -- this is one story about or local paper that we wouldn't know without the coverage of the NY Times. You all stay safe out there. Your work is always important, and we don't often thank our news reporters enough.

  6. @Dave V Real journalists (at least, the print kind) don't always like to toot their own horns. Plus those folks are pretty busy right now as it is. Best wishes to all on the West Coast as you ride this thing out.

  7. @StuAtl Very good points. Thanks for your kind words. Likewise to you all in Atlanta.

  8. So good to hear about an active, thriving local newpaper. I live in a California town that has what I call a zombie paper; that paper is owned by USA Today and mostly prints articles out of that publication. There is very limited local news. There seems to be no capacity for any sort of local investigative journalism. Often meetings about local issues are reported only on the day that they take place (too short of notice for most folks). In these times of corona virus, the paper does not offer cost free updates of public health importance. I already subscribe to three major newspapers, but I yearn for a good local newspaper. I would be willing to pay for that, but not for the pathetic excuse for local journalism dished out by our USA Today-partnered rag.

  9. Thank you for this story. After doctors, nurses, and other health care workers, reporters and photographers are the front line for keeping people everywhere well informed, safe and free. Especially under the current administration's hostility toward the free press and accuracy, we are indebted to these courageous men and women who are on call 24/7. Especially in rainy, cold Seattle, who among us would want to work long hours interviewing the homeless or those who have lost loved ones, and carefully double and triple checking the facts with harried nursing home administrators and public health officials? It is fortunate that reporters can work remotely. Still, it is demanding work mentally, physically, and emotionally. My father was a reporter and editor, and I know very well how seldom these journalists see their families. Even when reporters work from home, their first focus must be on accurate and thorough coverage -- and making deadline. I would also appreciate a story of what the New York Times is doing to keep its staff safe. To the millions of us who still read print journalism, these people are our heroes, and I am sure I am not the only one who is concerned for their safety. The future of our democracy depends on our free press.

  10. Bless the Seattle Times. My father wanted me to cancel my subscription when I moved away for college (to study journalism), but the paper has kept me grounded and knowing what's going on in my hometown is a constant source of comfort--despite the grim news cycle. To journalists everywhere: stay safe and healthy. Keep doing the important work.

  11. Democracy at its best is the free flow of information by people who have the courage and determination to deliver it. Thank you.

  12. Thank you, Seattle Times. We appreciate having you in our community.

  13. Thank you, Seattle Times. Thank you also for my first job, delivering papers when girls weren’t supposed to do that.

  14. Thank you Seattle Times staff, we just renewed our print and online subscription. Your work in our community is invaluable, at any time, but especially in times like these.

  15. The Blethen family has always hewed the conservative line, acting as the mouthpiece for the Republican Party, the Chamber of Commerce and the Boeing Co. Seattle lost its soul when the Post Intelligencer folded leaving the Times dominant. However, to their credit, since the advent of the younger generation, the News Section has moderated that partisanship. However, editorially, The Times continues to endorse the candidates and policies of the right.

  16. Stop. Yes, Blethens. Not the time. They are not Fox News.

  17. Reality- so, that’s called freedom of the press. Still allows discussion points if you disagree with their position.

  18. @Reality This article wasn't about the Blethens' politics. It was about its coverage of this crisis and said coverage has been excellent. Newspapers generally have always had a political slant. I am sure the Blethens are more than aware of their responsibility to keep a separation between the news room and the editorial side.

  19. Thank you all for your service!

  20. We love you, Seattle Times. Keep up the excellent work.

  21. Thank you reporters and staff at The Seattle Times. Our community's health depends on your hard work to verify and report accurate information. The future of our democracy depends on your accurate reporting too. Keep going!

  22. @Cathy Tuttle "The future of our democracy depends on your accurate reporting." Absolutely.

  23. Seattle Times: you do our community a tremendous service and it's great to see you getting a shout-out from the New York Times.

  24. We subscribe to the NYT and the Seattle Times, and we are proud of both companies. They both provide us with a daily transfusion of essential knowledge, even during this chaotic period of American history. The Seattle Times has done an absolutely outstanding job in staying abreast of the coronavirus situation, and I increasingly hear from friends here on Whidbey Island that it is the first news source that they dial up each morning.

  25. This is why true journalism matters. I know I can go to the Seattle Times for the latest FACTS, but also gain insight and understanding as to how those facts are affecting my community. I urge everyone to support the Seattle Times and all our local newspapers -- I don't wish any crisis on any community, but you want to be able to turn to trusted voices if and when it happens.

  26. My thanks and compliments to all journalists at this time. Having served in a newsroom during times of crisis, I know the stress, sacrifice, and sense of responsibility you face.

  27. I delivered newspapers in my hometown in 1959. I think some of the ink that rubbed off still runs through my veins, just like the love of journalism. This reinforces it. Now we desperately need it. Thank you!

  28. Proud of my hometown paper. The reporters and editors covering the pandemic are taking risks and know it, like the reporters and photographers who covered frontline battles in wartime and sometimes didn't come back. They, like the doctors, nurses, orderlies etc. are behaving selflessly and heroically, and history will honor them.

  29. @Peter Crane I'm retired now, but was a local print journalist over 25 years. God bless you.

  30. Seattle-Anchorage are closely connected. When Alaskans go anywhere "outside," besides Hawaii, they usually go to Seattle first. And Spring Break is among the busiest travel times. Yet, Alaska has but one known Corona case so far. And that was reported almost a week ago. It's kind of eerie here. We are in foxholes waiting silently for the mortar blast we heard to explode among us. Could it be a dud?

  31. Love the Seattle Times and other local-area journalists/news outlets (Crosscut, The Stranger, KUOW etc). Thanks for the important work you do in disseminating reliable information, keeping our leaders accountable, and lifting the voices of the marginalized.

  32. The Times has always been a great newspaper for readers in the Northwest. Readers are right to be proud of the job they are doing keeping the public informed.

  33. Subscribe to your local newspaper today and keep it alive and healthy. One day you’re likely to depend on it.

  34. All journalism is local and hits home for many. One question I have for the national media: why haven't you gone to pool reporters? Why does every outlet need to have someone covering a White House or CDC or any other news conference? This is a State of Emergency. Act accordingly, please. We need you.

  35. Thank you for this story. We need local journalism. I am a Seattle native and I'm so impressed with the local coverage and how my hometown is dealing with this tragedy.

  36. Instead of bailing out hugely successful airlines, might our elected leaders consider supporting local newspapers at a time when it's needed the most?

  37. Let's look at this in contrast to the Fox news machine. This pandemic lies bare the seething sickness in our right-wing media, in direct contrast to the honorable press as this article, and by way the New York Times, manifests. Of all of the vile entities in the United States, Fox is the most cynical and destructive. As we now clearly see. The moronic zealots who watch it started with birther theory and ended up with us having the entirely inept Donald Trump in a position of power he is overwhelmed by. All aided and abetted by Fox. People will die because of this months-long set of lies, and the President's egoistic denial of what this disease is. We have as of this date only 4000 tests, cumulatively, having been performed by the CDC. Germany has produced over 4 million, as they started in January. South Korea has tested over 350,000 people. This is gross negligence and incompetence, horrible leadership combined with inept execution. This time Fox is not just manifesting as annoyingly detached-from-reality propaganda, but leading the direct denial of facts now inexorably leading to a lot of people dying who needn't have.

  38. Family owned. Speaks volumes.

  39. So would Trump call this fake news? Probably. This newspaper and its reporters are the front line against the spread of Covid-19 both in their immediate area and across the country as the nation watches for the first sign of diminishing occurrence in their area. They are American heroes for doing their jobs day by day with such determination and commitment. Well done all!

  40. Best sentence in a very good story: Subscriptions are up. Inspiring piece.