Congrats to Kathy Best for the job of something between dog shooter’s lackey and important protector of the First Amendment (Seattle Times link).
Kathy Best, a longtime Seattle journalist and a Seattle Times editor for six years, has been named the newspaper’s editor, Seattle Times Publisher Frank Blethen announced Monday.
Best, who most recently has been one of The Times’ two managing editors, begins the new job immediately, Blethen said. She replaces David Boardman, who resigned after 30 years at The Times in August to become dean of Temple University’s School of Media and Communication in Philadelphia.
Before joining The Seattle Times, Best was the assistant managing editor for Sunday and national news at The Baltimore Sun. She had also been assistant managing editor/metro at the St. Louis Post–Dispatch and at the Seattle Post–Intelligencer.
So a few things. 1) It’s possibly inevitable that the news reads like a press release, but it’s still somewhat disappointing. I mean a fair number of Seattle Times pieces about things The Seattle Times likes read like press releases for those things. So, sure. I don’t think The Seattle Times would do a hard hitting thing on their new editor even if there was dirt to be had. (If you have dirt, I’m willing to listen, but I don’t generally care about people’s personal life.)
2) Later in the piece we get this, “Best told the paper’s news staff that with the uncertain future facing the industry, ‘all of us in this room need to stay laser-focused on our mission: producing useful, meaningful, kick-ass journalism that readers can’t get anywhere else.’” I’m not sure that has been their focus but yay for swearing at The Seattle Times, both in the news section and from their new editor. Here’s hoping for more. I assume there will be more “fucks” here on a given week than in the paper in her entire time at the helm, but I’m glad for the swearing.
3) I don’t know enough about her to know if this is a good hire or not, but I’m glad they hired a woman. I don’t know if this will change stories that get covered or how they cover them, but I hope it broadens the lens a bit.