Frank A. Blethen Publisher, The Seattle Times The future of democracy depends on the free press. The unprecedented challenges to our country’s once-robust free press system have put our democracy at risk. The Seattle Times and the Blethen family see preservation and restoration of America’s free press system as a moral imperative, equal to our stewardship obligation to preserve and enhance The Seattle Times from generation to generation. Local newspapers make a difference Studies show that when local papers are diminished, voting goes down, the cost of government goes up, corruption increases and civic engagement decreases. Daily newspapers and their digital products remain the principal source of legitimate, vetted news essential for functional self-government. Five decades of Wall Street and hedge-fund consolidation have wiped out the localism that is our free press’ foundation. Fewer than a dozen top-50 metro newspapers remain privately owned, with local stewardship. Your Seattle Times is one of the few. The Seattle Times’ stewardship model Through the years, the Blethen family has turned down lucrative buyout offers and fought off hostile suitors — all to sustain journalism, public service and private, local, family stewardship. We have emerged as a sustainable model for public-service journalism and innovation. Our audience of 1.9 million is a record. We have a robust print audience and a fast-growing digital audience, with 43,000 digital subscriptions increasing at an annual rate of 29.4%. Advertising revenue is flat (-.04%), far better than the industry average. Our digital agency advertising revenue is growing 10.5% year-over-year, driven by its broad array of new digital advertising products and options. Community support is essential The Seattle Times is a national leader in developing community funding for high-impact public-service journalism. We began with The Greater Good Campaign in 2011 to stop the defunding of Washington’s higher education system. With the support of our community, we have since pioneered Education Lab (2013), Traffic Lab (2017) and Project Homeless (2018), major solutions journalism projects that have empowered significant change in public policy. Our Investigative Journalism Fund launched this year, collaborating with individual donors and free press champions to ensure the future of local investigative journalism. The Blethen family is all-in, but we would be unable to produce this level of journalism and have this impact without community support. The future of our free press system To preserve our democracy, we must urgently address media consolidation and re-establish media localism. The future of the free press starts here — with us, and with you. Thank you for more than 12 decades of support. BUILDING THE FUTURE OF THE FREE PRESS IN WASHINGTON AND BEYOND FROM THE PUBLISHER This section was produced by The Seattle Times Marketing Department. Contact us at email@example.com .