Opinion

Beyond print you’ll find news in newsletters, push notifications, apps and speakers

As we’ve become a digital news company, the print newspaper is just one of The Bellingham Herald’s offerings. We’ve continued to grow to meet the needs of current and future audiences across a multitude of platforms.

Today you can find stories a number of ways:

On the website, where your experience will differ depending on if you’re looking at it on your phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer. Also, browsers and pop-up blockers impact your experience.

On the digital eEdition, which replicates the printed paper, where all the varied experiences above apply. (We’ve just updated the eEdition and an old app that’s just for the eEdtion no longer works. Just go to the website or the Herald app and touch the icon that looks like a newspaper to go to the new eEdition.)

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In print, delivered to your doorstep, or purchased from a merchant.

On your smart speaker, where you can ask Alexa to “open Bellingham Herald” or tell your Google Home device to “talk to Bellingham Herald.”

In a variety of newsletters delivered to your email inbox with breaking news along with morning and afternoon updates. We’re also offering newsletters now that are more topical, such as a list of the business and restaurant openings and closings or a selection of stories that are uplifting.

On apps you’ll find in the App Store for Apple or in the Google Play store for Android devices.

The Apple app offers push notifications on your phone alerting you where there’s big breaking news. We just started the same service on desktop computers. Most browsers drop down a request asking if you’ll allow notifications from us. Click allow and when you open either type of notification you’ll go right to the story.

You’ll also see our stories shared on Apple News, Flipboard, Smartnews, Facebook and Twitter.

And, lots of readers also come to stories thought search engines such as Google.

The many paths to our reporting bring all kinds of readers. People who want to know about just one thing, people who love to know everything that’s going on. People who have time to sit and read, people who get their news on the run. People who live here, or used to, or hope to in the future.

Each kind of reader requires a different approach. Sometimes it’s an in-depth look at scooters in the city’s future, sometimes it’s how to get rid of fruit flies.

Digital disruption in media in the last 10 years has changed the kinds of stories Whatcom County’s largest reporting staff writes. And it means we rely more on subscriber support.

That’s why it’s encouraging to see more people who understand the value of local journalism are supporting us by subscribing.

For the next four weeks, I’ll continue to write about our new digital world and how that’s changed your Bellingham Herald. I hope you’ll join other community members in supporting local journalism by subscribing to The Bellingham Herald. And I hope you’ll give our push notifications or smart speakers a try!

I invite your questions at julie.shirley@bellinghamherald.com.

Before I go, because it’s important you know the local people who produce your news, I’ve asked the staff to help me introduce themselves.

Kie profile.jpg
Bellingham Herald reporter Kie Relyea relaxes with a beer, likely from a local brewery. Gunnar Birkeland Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald


INTRODUCING: KIE RELYEA

What do you do at the Herald: Reporter covering social issues, schools, housing and a hodgepodge of other stories about how people thrive, or don’t, in Whatcom County.

Bio: I live in Puget with my partner. We don’t have pets, not even a goldfish, though a neighborhood cat likes to come visit in the evenings.

What do you do when you’re not at work? Read, hike, cook, relax, work out, drink beer at our local breweries, did I mention drink beer?

What are you reading/watching? Reading: “Winter Garden,” by Kristin Hannah; “Searching for Sylvie Lee,” by Jean Kwok; “Dead Girl Running,” by Christina Dodd; Watching: “The Good Place,” “The Americans,” “Street Food.”

Where’s your happy place? Hiking in the mountains with friends, working out, reading inside when it’s raining outside.

First job? Pantry girl at Mexicali West in Bakersfield, Calif. I was 13 years old. Unless we’re counting babysitting my two brothers. Then, that was my first job. I like to tell them that’s why I didn’t have children.

Why’d you become a journalist? I like knowing about things and I like learning about people.

What’s a really good day for you professionally? When I can get all the information that I need and convey that clearly to readers.

What’s a particularly frustrating day at work? Writer’s block coupled with a looming deadline for a complicated story.

And finally, if you were a Ben and Jerry’s flavor, what would you be? Salty and Sweet. Depending on the day, more Salty than Sweet.

What did I miss about the essential you? People often amaze me. Sometimes, I come into their lives at difficult times and they more often than not are willing to share their struggles and to do so graciously. But what I really like is writing about the small triumphs of everyday life and all the funny/interesting/intriguing things people get up to in Whatcom County.

Julie Shirley directs news coverage for The Bellingham Herald and has been the executive editor since 2003. She’s been an editor in Florida, California and Washington since 1979.
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