Many long-time Sammamish residents remember how excited they were to get the Sammamish Review in the mail every two weeks. In print from 1992 to 2017, the Review was a great platform for our community. We debated the direction of our city, found out what was happening in the schools, and learned about each other from reading the Review. It also demonstrated the power and importance of local journalism to keep a community informed and connected.
Then, we realized what we lost when the Review went out of print. Today, credible information about Sammamish is sporadic and hard to come by. Regional newspapers hardly pay attention to our city. Our local social media groups often veer toward strong opinions, accusations and outrage, and are more likely to divide our community than to unify it.
The essential services that a community newspaper provides – credible facts, curated and diverse opinion, and a forum for ads and event postings – are now absent. COVID-19 has heightened the need for these essential services, especially as many of us remain physically disconnected from each other. We have become even more hungry for information from outside our homes. Our businesses also need a platform to help them rebuild and recover.
So a group of us decided to start the Sammamish Independent, a new digital paper, because we want to provide this essential, public good for the city we love. And we are committed to doing things a little differently.
First, we are running this paper as a nonprofit organization, and relying mostly on volunteers because we are passionate about keeping our neighbors informed.
Second, we are using our platform to train the next generation of journalists, podcasters and storytellers, especially from the schools within our city.
Finally, we are committed to using the Sammamish Independent as a forum for respectful discussion, and to constantly find ways to lift each other as one city.
It is our hope that the Sammamish Independent becomes this community’s paper, and we will always welcome tips, feedback and diverse opinions from all corners of Sammamish. At the end of the day, we all chose to live here not because we want to be isolated, but because we want to engage and learn from each other.
We look forward to engaging with everyone in Sammamish, and using factual reporting and storytelling to bring our community closer together.
– The Indy Editorial Board