Brenda Mann Harrison

Brenda Mann Harrison

Taking care of local news is best done together

The Herald’s journalism development director offers parting thoughts.

I could only smile when I met two new people at an event this week who were as excited about The Daily Herald as I am. One proudly admitted to cutting articles out of the paper and sharing the news with others — and she was at least two generations younger than me.

The conversation all started because I was asked, “What do you do for The Herald?” I explained that my role as the journalism development director is to increase awareness of the value of local news and to encourage community support.

I’ve been doing that now for nearly three years. Although my official retirement date is at the end of this month, I plan on continuing to tell people how lucky Snohomish County is to have The Herald as a local newspaper that supports our community and democracy, and how it’s up to all of us to keep it going.

Yes, you read that right. We all play a part in the success of local journalism. And I’m retiring — a goal I have been working toward since the fall of last year.

Giving up a job I’m passionate about is not easy. I care deeply about the work done by everyone at The Herald — from the customer service team to the creative artists to the web folks to the reporters and editors and everyone else who makes it possible for you to get the local news that keeps you informed and connected.

As I transition out of my full-time role at The Herald, you still might get an email message or phone call from me, and you might see me representing The Herald at an event, because there’s a lot to do and a lot to look forward to.

For example, we’ll showcase some of the reporting that made a big difference to you in our Community Impact Report for 2023, which will print as a special supplement in the next weekend edition of The Herald. And soon, we’ll announce our next in-person Herald Forum, which will bring together a panel of community members for a conversation about homelessness and all its challenges.

The biggest thing I am eager to see unfold is how all of you will continue to support local journalism so The Herald can continue to support our community. If you’ve been a regular reader of my Local News Impact column, you probably can list several ways to do that: Help a young student discern factual sources for information, give a Herald gift subscription to someone you care about, share what you read in The Herald with others, advocate for legislation that supports local journalism, and, of course, donate to The Herald’s journalism funds that pay for the news resources to meet our community’s need for more reporting.

This is my last column, at least for now, so I’m passing on the baton of increasing awareness of the value of local journalism to you. I believe The Herald’s local news is essential for a thriving Snohomish County and we need everyone to do their part to ensure it continues serving the public good. I look forward to hearing what you are doing when I see you next in our community.

Brenda Mann Harrison is the journalism development director for The Daily Herald. To learn more about the impact of local news and how you can join others in supporting community journalism, go to heraldnet.com/local-news-impact, send an email to brenda.harrison@heraldnet.com or call 425-339-3452. The Daily Herald maintains editorial control over content produced through community-funded initiatives.

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