Speakin’ of Spokane  | American Journalism Review
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From AJR,   July/August 2002

Speakin’ of Spokane   

Editor Steven A. Smith departs Salem, Oregon’s Statesman Journal to become editor of Spokane, Washington’s Spokesman-Review.

By Kathryn S. Wenner
Kathryn S. Wenner, a former AJR associate editor, is a copy editor at the Washington Post.     

Spokane, Washington's Spokesman-Review gets its first new editor in nearly 20 years as Steven A. Smith, editor of Salem, Oregon's Statesman Journal, fills the slot vacated by Chris Peck last December amid difficult staff cuts (see Bylines, December). "It's really a nifty opportunity for me," says Smith, 52, an Oregon native who is happy to be able "to stay in the region, to stay close to family and friends and still take on a new challenge." He and Peck share similar values, Smith says. "Chris and I are both part of the civic journalism conversation, and we both believe strongly in a strong, community-connected journalism that reflects the complexity of our communities every day. The diversity issues in Spokane are a little different than they are in a lot of places. They're less related to ethnicity than they are to economic demographics. They've got a terrific poverty problem in western Washington and eastern Idaho."