Sunday, September 20, 2020
Sept. 20, 2020

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From the Newsroom: Stocks page returns, sort of

By , Columbian Editor
Published:

Because this is my first pandemic, I hope you will for give me for greatly underestimating when it would all be over.

Back in March, I was thinking more along the line of President Donald Trump’s proclamations that the coronavirus would mostly be a bad memory in six months. I thought by now kids would be back to school, the bars would be full and the economy well on the way to recovery.

And I thought we’d once again be printing the Money and Markets pages and the Weekend section.

As you can read in the newspaper you hold in your hand, the world is still on a coronavirus footing. We are in the newsroom, too. But I am still hearing from readers who follow stocks and miss that Markets page.

I still don’t know when we can return it to print, because we will need more recovery in our advertising revenue before we can spend the money. Because of our press, we would have to add a minimum of four pages to the paper. That’s a lot of newsprint, ink, press plates and labor to fill the other three pages.

But we can add digital pages, one at a time, at almost no extra cost. So as of this week, we have returned Money and Markets to the e-edition of The Columbian. In case you haven’t checked it out, at epaper.columbian.com, the e-edition is a digital replica of our print newspaper. Access is included in the price of your home delivery subscription. You can find the Markets page added to the very back of the paper. On Thursday, for example, it was Page B11.

We’re also planning to return the two pages of weekly mutual fund listings to our Sunday e-edition, beginning this weekend. Again, look for them behind the last page of the regular paper.

If you haven’t activated your digital account, this would be a great time to do so. In addition to gaining access to the e-edition, you are entitled to access stories using our mobile app and read an unlimited number of articles on our website, www.columbian.com. Visit www.columbian.com/digital for access to our website, app and digital edition. If you have trouble registering for any of these products, call us at 360-694-2312 or email circulation@columbian.com.

Meanwhile, our Weekend section must remain on indefinite hiatus, at least until community events return. But Rachel Pinsky’s food and dining reports can be found in our Life section, often on Fridays, along with the restaurant health inspection scores, which are very popular with our readers. And in a bonus for all of us, our Weekend section coordinator, Monika Spykerman, has been entertaining us with simple recipes and witty banter in the Wednesday food section during the pandemic.

What’s in a name?

If you’ve been reading The Columbian as long as I have, you’ve noticed some changes to the bylines on stories over the years. Back in the 1980s when I first subscribed, the style was to top local stories with the reporter’s name, followed by “The Columbian.”

After some discussion among the editors, we’ve gone back to that style of attribution. You may have noticed the new old style in the last day or so, as News Editor Merridee Hanson gradually changes the story templates and updates the style sheets.

Why? Like everything else, it’s spun out of the pandemic. We needed less help in Sports, and more help covering spot news and posting wire stories about the pandemic on Sundays. Micah Rice volunteered to take on the job. He was the perfect candidate, having served as the news editor before moving to sports editor a few years ago.

But “By Micah Rice, Columbian sports editor” looked like a strange, perhaps even mistaken, byline on coronavirus and mayhem stories. We could have changed his byline to “Columbian staff writer,” but that isn’t an accurate description of Micah’s main job.

As Metro Editor Mark Bowder points out, the change also creates a consistent style with bylines from other newspapers and The Associated Press. So, it’s going to be “The Columbian” for everyone on staff.

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