Weekly Herald focuses on local communities

Some readers of the Daily Herald may not know its family secret: The newspaper has a sister publication called the Weekly Herald.

Like the daily paper, The Weekly Herald carries community and lifestyle news, it covers high school and recreational sports, and it’s a good place to find local photos and advertising.

Unlike the daily, The Weekly Herald doesn’t try to cover all of Snohomish County. Instead, it focuses on the south Snohomish County cities of Lynnwood, Edmonds and Mountlake Terrace, generally the area included in the Edmonds School District.

The Herald Co. has long operated newspapers just north of the King-Snohomish county line. And one year ago, the current publication was renamed — from The Enterprise to The Weekly Herald — and reformatted as a tabloid.

Jorge Rivera, publisher of The Weekly Herald, said the changes made in 2011 were intended to increase newspaper’s lifestyle and family content.

“The Enterprise set most of its editorial focus in the civic side of community news,” Rivera said. “We felt that, although these were important issues … we also needed more information and news for younger families, who need to know about entertainment options, places to go, and resources available to help in the tough job of raising a family.”

A staff of eight journalists, some full-time and some part-time, make sure the complete, colorful package is ready for delivery each Wednesday. About 50,000 copies are delivered free to homes or offered at business locations throughout the coverage area.

Jocelyn Robinson, the weekly’s news editor, says the new format has required the staff to adopt a variety of approaches to their jobs.

“The writers have had to learn how to transition between writing about a city council meeting to writing about different styles of cheesecake for our Dining Out page,” she said. “It’s not always easy to do, but they’ve risen to the challenge.”

To mark its one-year anniversary, The Weekly Herald is offering special opportunities to both readers and advertisers.

Until May 23, readers can take part in a weekly headline poll by voting for the story they liked best. This will qualify them for a drawing that gives away an Apple iPad3, gift certificates to Anthony’s Restaurants, and gift cards to Starbucks. They also can qualify for the drawing by “liking” a story on Facebook.

During this same period, Rivera said, advertisers are being offered rates discounted as much as 50 percent, with additional free color.

The Weekly Herald’s new name was chosen to reflect the increasing connection between the two news and advertising staffs. And the relationship between the daily and the weekly has benefited readers of both newspapers, said Neal Pattison, executive editor.

“Our staff from The Weekly Herald offers the daily paper some really good community news, features and sports. These often are things the daily paper may never have spotted as it focused on more countywide coverage.”

Likewise, when the larger staff at The Daily Herald reports news that affects the south county, Pattison said, “We see no reason not to share it with The Weekly Herald’s readers.”

Even with this overlap, staffers at The Weekly Herald see a distinct mission for their newspaper.

“Sandwiched between two larger cities, it’s easy for the communities we cover to get overlooked,” said Robinson. “We try to fill that gap by providing a good mix of things.”

And Rivera said the paper’s community focus is a win-win: “Many of our advertisers are now seeing better results in their businesses, not only because we reach more homes close to their locations, but also because we have earned respect from our readers by doing committed community journalism.”

Each week, Here at The Herald provides an inside peek at the newspaper – its people and the work they do. Is there something you would like to know? Send your idea to Executive Editor Neal Pattison, npattison@heraldnet.com.

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