How you can support youth-led journalism in Sammamish
The Sammamish Independent is marking its second anniversary. Since our first set of articles published in June 2020, we have been working hard to provide comprehensive, fact-based news coverage for our community.
This year, we made the transition to youth leadership of our newspaper. Our first ever student editor in chief, Kelly Lin, began her term in March, and is leading a majority-student editorial board and reporting team.
Some of our top highlights include stories about people who have uplifted our community, especially during the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic. There was the mother-son duo who built a Harry Potter-themed haunted garage to raise money for charity, the family who serves delicious north Indian cuisine for takeout from their home kitchen, the fencer who won a bronze medal at the world championships, and a local woman who installs 60,000 holiday lights each year in memory of her husband.
As an independent newspaper, our goal is to cover issues that matter to our readers. We saw rifts in our community happen most visibly last year when conservatives campaigned against teachings in our public schools, with a spotlight focused on Eastlake High School. We pieced together the events that led to Eastlake’s Patriot Day incident in September that garnered national attention. We also produced a podcast episode that featured two guests with dueling viewpoints — a conservative media personality and an Eastlake teacher — on how issues of racial equity should be taught in schools.
We made sure that our community was informed during the 2021 Sammamish City Council elections, and aimed to keep our coverage objective, respectful, and forward-looking. Our team of student reporters reached out to every candidate and offered to write a profile, and five candidates participated. We covered several major issues leading up to the election, including housing affordability, crime, lawsuits against city hall, youth issues, and the lack of council diversity. We reported on who was funding the candidates, updated election results daily, and analyzed why one block of candidates won three of the four open seats.
This is just small sample of the stories we have published in the last two years.
Part of our mission is to comprehensively tell the story of Sammamish, and showcase the people, organizations, and values that make our community unique. None of this is possible without the incredible dedication of our student and adult volunteers, who tirelessly write and edit the stories that go on our website.
Across our world today, independent journalism is under attack. But we are lucky to live in a community where it still thrives. The Sammamish Independent is a now community asset, made possible by the support of Sammamish residents.
To our readers, a big thank you for reading our work, sharing it with others, and giving us feedback.
If you like what you read, we would love to have your support. We rely on donations from the community to fund our operations and grant scholarships to the youth who write for us.
To make a donation, please go here.