Seattle Times reporters protest campaign ads

SEATTLE — About 100 reporters, photographers, designers and other staffers have signed a letter protesting The Seattle Times Co.’s decision to support the campaigns of Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna and a gay marriage referendum.

The staffers sent the letter Thursday — one day after the state’s largest newspaper ran a full-page ad backing McKenna. More ads supporting McKenna and gay marriage are expected to run in what company officials say is a push to demonstrate the effectiveness of newspaper political advertising.

In the letter, the staffers say the ad campaign threatens to compromise the newsroom’s integrity, pointing out the newspaper company has now become a top contributor to McKenna’s campaign by running the ad. The letter says: “We shine a light on the process from the outside. We are not part of the process.”

A Seattle Times. Co. spokesperson did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

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