| A 90th birthday or anniversary is something that ought to be
recognized, whether it is for a person or a business.
That's why we've produced this special section in celebration and
to reflect on The Chronicle's 90-year history.
While former publishers and employees of The Chronicle write about
the past, I'd like to share some commitments to the future.
An editorial I wrote the first week I was here (Sept. 25, 1996)
read: "As my name is added to the list of those who have served as
publishers of this newspaper, I want you to know that . . . The
Chronicle will continue to exercise its clear, strong and independent
voice. You may not always agree with what we say, but if we are doing
our jobs well, this will encourage further thinking and debates and will
ultimately lead to solving the problems and issues that affect us all.
| The first
issue of The Chronicle greeted Omak residents May 20, 1910.
Topics then weren't so different from those that interest
our readers throughout Okanogan County today: Orcharding, social
notes, timber products, sports (the Omak-Okanogan rivalry was
already going strong 90 years ago), irrigation, court news, land
use, roads and downtown improvements.
But type was set one letter at a time, layout was restricted
to a one-column-at-a-time format and photographs had to be sent
out of the area for engraving.
These pages contain more about the newspaper's history.
"We also will continue to be the mirror that reflects the
important personal happening of our community, and there is no greater
reward for us than to have our work be part of someone's scrapbook or
taped to a refrigerator door."
Shortly after I took over the publisher's role, I also outlined
some goals and visions for the staff to help direct our efforts. The
following is part of that philosophy:
• We will continue the strong commitments that The Chronicle has
stood for since its beginning in 1910, while being diligent in seeking
new opportunities for growth and to meet the changing needs of the
market and readers.
• The Chronicle will continue to be the primary source of
information for Okanogan County.
• We will continually evaluate and improve our products to insure
growing support from readers and advertisers.
• We will make our product accurate, timely, relevant, interesting
and entertaining. It must provide readers with information they need, as
well as the kind of information they want.
• We'd rather get it right than just get it in.
• Accuracy is more than just getting the facts right . . . it's
about getting the right facts with adequate background and proper
• We will provide the most effective and cost-efficient advertising
vehicle for our business community and partner creatively with
businesses to obtain the results they need in return for their
• We will provide a forum for diverse viewpoints and foster debate
about important issues.
• We will provide the leadership and resources to help make
positive things happen in the communities we serve.
• We will seek ways to use the latest technology and opportunities
to add new features, information sources, and products for our readers
I am especially proud of our staff of dedicated professionals who
work very, very hard to fulfill those commitments. They put in long
hours and often take lots of flak because of the very nature of their
Each has a tough job, but to their credit, they keep coming back
day after day because they are firmly committed to the belief that a
good, strong, independent newspaper is absolutely vital to having a
good, strong, vibrant community.
These people are not unknown, as often is the case in "big city
media." These are your friends and neighbors who care deeply about the
people and communities in which they live.
They know they will see you week after week in the countless ways
they, too, are involved in community activities.
During this special occasion it is important to let you, our
readers and advertisers, know how much we appreciate and depend on your
Frankly, it takes a huge amount of money to publish the type of
newspaper we are committed to each week. Those dollars come from the
businesses who place their advertising with us and from our thousands of
That directly affects how much we are able to do in meeting our
goals to you.
Thank you for that confidence and support.
Judy Z. Smith