FROM THE EDITOR: Our team can grow with your help, delivering more Salem news

Every day, you are on our minds.

After all, what we do in bringing you the journalism of Salem Reporter is intended to benefit you.

And we don’t just type stories and drop them onto the website.

We think hard about your needs.

With each story, we try to make sense of the world we’re reporting on. That means asking ourselves a couple of key questions as we prepare a story.

First, what does it mean? What does a new city policy really do? How can a new homeless program be effective?

Second, more fundamentally, we consider: Why should you, the reader, care?

The news team at Salem Reporter well recognizes you face a blizzard of information each day. You don’t have a lot of time. Life is as busy as ever these days. We get that.

As we roll into 2023, those of us at Salem Reporter will continue to keep our focus on you.

That means carefully selecting what we report on.

We want to be revelatory. That’s why our team takes it watchdog role seriously.

We want to be uplifting. That’s why our team tells you about people who make Salem sing.

We want to be explanatory. That’s why our team strives to translate bureaucracy into plain language.

We will continue to adhere to the ideals behind our journalism. Accuracy ­– always.

–Editor Les Zaitz

As I consider our performance in 2022, I have to say I’m proud.

Managing Editor Rachel Alexander and reporters Ardeshir Tabrizian and Abbey McDonald helped put you closer to your community.

They didn’t shy from tough stories ­– or standing up to government officials who would prefer secrecy to candor.

They took you to surprising places, to organizations and to civic leaders you otherwise might never hear about.

That work was amplified by the remarkable photography of Ron Cooper, a Salem legend, and Laura Tesler, who brings a discerning eye to local events.

And columnists added dimension to our coverage, from Jim Sellers’ work untangling Medicare matters, the view on the local economy from Pamela Ferrara of the Willamette Workforce Partnership, and Harry Fuller’s delightful writing about birds. Salem history gets its due with contributions from Kimberli Fitzgerald, the city’s historic preservation officer.

On another dimension, our friends as Capital Community Media give you a chance to hear our journalists discuss their stories on “Behind the Story,” aired weekday mornings.

Take a look at the compilations below from the staff, capturing highlights of our 2022 year of journalism.

We feel our duty to you even more keenly as the Statesman Journal diminishes its staff and its coverage.

And that’s where you come in.

At Salem Reporter, we don’t have a printing press. We don’t have delivery teams. We don’t have ad representatives.

We have journalists. And we could use more.

In 2023, our ambition is to expand our news staff, adding one more reporter. That will take new subscriptions, donations and advertising.

That will be possible if we continue our growth in subscribers and in community support. Our business model is simple: Salem Reporter is fueled by subscriptions and donations.

The more we have, the more we invest in Salem. It’s that simple. We’re not shipping money out of town to corporate owners. We’re not paying stock dividends. We’re spending every dime we have to cover Salem.

If you are a subscriber, we thank you. If you have given a little extra, you get an extra big thank you.

How can you help us serve the community with more local news coverage?

  1. If you subscribe, be our marketing arm. Encourage others.
  2. For those not already on our team: Subscribe today.
  3. Provide a little extra – donate to help pay for that new reporter.
  4. Use us. If you are business owner, advertise with us. Put your brand in front of Salem.

And in the year ahead, we will continue to adhere to the ideals behind our journalism. Accuracy ­– always. Fairness and honesty. Independence from any outside pressure.

We perform that way not for us, but for you.

Les Zaitz is CEO and editor of Salem Reporter. Email: [email protected].


TOP STORIES: From a kitten crisis to new Ukrainian neighbors

TOP STORIES: Police policy ignored, an unusual city departure and mobile crisis teams

TOP STORIES: Crabs on cocaine, Salem’s Potato Lady and Salem history

TOP PHOTOS: Ron Cooper’s picks, from Ironman to a birthday surprise

TOP PHOTOS: Laura Tesler’s picks, from Pride to punk

Les Zaitz is editor and CEO of Salem Reporter. He co-founded the news organization in 2018. He has been a journalist in Oregon for nearly 50 years in both daily and community newspapers and digital news services. He is nationally recognized for his commitment to local journalism. He also is editor and publisher of the Malheur Enterprise in Vale, Oregon.