Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

By Roger Harnack

A word from the new owner


You’ve read that your hometown newspaper has been sold. You’ve been told that newspapers are failing. You may have even heard “print is dead.”

Now, you are concerned local news and sports coverage will be disappear. You’re worried that that you’ll have to look to the Internet to see what’s happening in your neighborhood.

B way of an introduction, let us assuage your concerns.

We are Free Press Publishing, Eastern Washington’s largest community newspaper group. Our publications are found in mostly rural communities across four counties. A majority of our employees either grew up in Eastern Washington or have been here a very, very long time.

Because of our longtime roots in the region, local coverage is very important to us.

Local people, places and events make us who we are here east of the Cascades (and west of Idaho). Locally owned and operated media share our stories. And local newspapers give us a voice that would not otherwise exist.

The Gazette is a great fit for our company, for some very obvious reasons. Wheat connects most of our communities. High school sports teams are in the same leagues as teams from towns our family of newspapers cover. And we share a lot of the same lawmakers in Olympia and the other Washington (D.C.).

The Gazette is a great for some not-so-obvious reasons, too. Being part of a larger family of newspapers means economy of scale. It means being able to share important stories and photographs. And it means local advertisers will have an opportunity, through the Gazette sales team, to reach customers beyond the county line.

Our pledge to you is simple. We promise to continue the great news tradition here at the Gazette and Daily Bulletin. Your kids will still be featured in the paper. Our staff will continue to report on local people, places and events. And Whitman County will continue to have a voice.

As with all business, there will be changes. Hopefully, you’ll find them beneficial.

You’ll notice a couple changes beginning with this issue. The newspaper is a little longer. It is two sections. And we have four pages available for color photography and advertising. The changes are necessary to accommodate our press.

Looking ahead, our company is working on a variety of new digital products, too. Give us a couple weeks and The Gazette will be broadcasting on Amazon’s “Alexa.” Our newspapers in Ritzville, Cheney and Odessa are already broadcasting. And that’s just the beginning. We’re already working on increased video and audio broadcasts for our small communities, looking at new webpage widgets and preparing for changes that are yet to come in our industry.

What does all that mean? It means your newspaper continues to operate here for years to come. It means we will be able to maintain jobs in the county. It means that we’re invested in the community – past, present and future.

The Gazette may have joined our family, but it remains your newspaper. We hope you’ll continue to invite our publication into your home and business.

Roger Harnack


Author Bio

Roger Harnack, Publisher

Roger Harnack is the co-owner/publisher of Free Press Publishing. Having grown up Benton City, Roger is an award-winning journalist, photographer, editor and publisher. He's one of only two editorial/commentary writers to ever receive the international Golden Quill. Roger is dedicated to the preservation of local media, and the voice it retains for Eastern Washington.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 5092356184
Twitter: @RogerHarnack


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