Spokane Journal of Business

Sharing in the maturing of community we cover

Musings of a latecomer …

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Publisher’s Note: This is one of a collection of stories authored by business and civic leaders in Spokane in commemoration of the Journal’s 30th Anniversary in February 2016. Please click here or on the “Anniversary Issue” tag at the bottom of this story to read the others.

I will have been at the Journal of Business for 27 years as of this spring, yet sometimes I still feel like a latecomer, having missed its first three years of existence.

Those were the truly formative years, when founders Norm Thorpe and Scott Crytzer, along with current publisher Paul Read, developed the sturdy organizational and professional framework that supports the niche newspaper to this day.

Rick Ripley, who preceded me as editor, starting the year after the Journal was founded, also played a key role in helping to build its reputation and hone its mission, which was—and is—to be the trusted go-to source for business news in Spokane and Kootenai counties.

Looking back now, I’m struck by how quickly the years have flown by, and by how the Journal has grown and matured over that time, riding the same ebbs and flows of the economy here as the thousands of businesses we’ve reported on.

The biggest change internally came 21 years ago when Cowles Co., the Spokane-based owner of The Spokesman-Review, purchased the Journal from founders Crytser and Thorpe. I was concerned initially about how that might affect local print media competition, and whether it would weaken the Journal’s independent image, but those fears thankfully turned out to be unfounded. In truth, the relationship has had a stabilizing influence.

Overall, the Journal has been more successful than any of us could have hoped. I feel fortunate to have played a small part in its maturation. Also, through the dedicated efforts of many current and former staffers, operating as a team, it has developed a strong community presence, with a paid circulation that surpasses many of its larger peers nationally.

Reflecting on the Journal’s 30th anniversary, what I feel most is a sense of gratitude—for the commitment of the journalists and other colleagues I’ve had the pleasure to work with here, and for the unwavering support we’ve received from loyal readers and advertisers.

Here’s a big thank you, also, to all of the business owners and executives over the years who have allowed members of our news team to come into their shops, factories and offices to gather information and report on what they do. We look forward to continuing to build on those relationships.

Kim Crompton is editor of the Journal of Business.

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