From the Editor / Salish Current looks to the future as two-month fundraising challenge begins

A startup local news nonprofit organized to provide more local journalism in Whatcom, San Juan and Skagit counties is participating in a national giving campaign that runs through December. The Salish Current‘s mission is to provide information residents need in order to make informed choices about civic life and to strengthen democracy. (Amy Nelson photo © 2020)

Special from the Editor

— Salish Current, since its launch in late February, has been dedicated to reporting news for the civic good in Whatcom, San Juan and Skagit counties. This week the startup online local news platform announced our participation in the national NewsMatch giving campaign.

“Donations made to Salish Current in November and December will be doubled by NewsMatch and applied directly to paying freelancers writing news,” said volunteer publisher Amy Nelson. “We’ve already received strong support this year from the Whatcom Community Foundation and from generous local donors. This is an excellent opportunity to widen community support for journalism in our region.”

Salish Current has published approximately 40 original news stories reported by professional news freelancers, emailed weekly newsletters of curated local news items to subscribers and hosted community members to share their thoughts in essays, opinion pieces and analyses.

Local news is a vital element for healthy communities. In fact,
“Economists call public service journalism a ‘public good’
because the information conveyed through news stories
helps guide decision-making in our society,” noted Penelope Muse
Abernathy in recent report on the “news desert” phenomenon.
(Syd Stibbard illustration ©)

“Our goal is to report local news in a way that provides nonpartisan, factual information our communities can use to discuss issues,” Nelson said. “Controversies abound, but Salish Current hopes to add to the light, not the heat, of discussion and decisions.”

Salish Current is a member of the Institute for Nonprofit News and is among hundreds of local nonprofit news services that have risen up nationally after many legacy newspapers shrank or disappeared from local communities.

“We’re not here to compete with but to complement existing news, event and entertainment publications in the region,” Nelson said. “Our focus is news — government, health, education, business, environment, culture — the kind of news that is vital to the well-being of a healthy community.”

Donations to Salish Current via the NewsMatch campaign can be made online. Donations may be eligible for tax deduction.

More information about Salish Current’s goals, principles, board of directors, advisors, donors and freelancers is the website under About Salish Current.

Mike Sato serves as volunteer managing editor for the Salish Current. He also compiles environmental news items for Salish Sea News and Weather and periodically blogs for Salish Sea Communications. He is the author of The Price of Taming a River: The Decline of Puget Sound’s Duwamish/Green Waterway. He resides in Bellingham and on Lopez Island.