Table Topic questions are meant to stimulate family and classroom discussion.
Use the questions below after reading,"On common ground."
- The Seattle Times has spent 1996 celebrating a century of Blethen family ownership. What does local and family ownership of a newspaper mean to its community? How does it affect coverage of local news, sports, business and other significant parts of the paper like advertising and want ads, editorials, letters to the editor? Has The Times' perspective changed as the region has grown? Is the Puget Sound metropolitan region becoming too large for truly local coverage? What should the focus be?
- Think of other longtime local or family businesses, like Nordstrom, Bartell's, Gai's Bakery, REI, etc. Do they conduct business any differently than corporate chains headquartered elsewhere? What businesses have a history in your neighborhood and what's the key to their special character and success?
- The Times and Seattle have grown up together and share a common heritage. A regional newspaper documents local history, provides a public forum for issues and offers a "snapshot" of the cultural milieu of the times. How do you use the newspaper to connect to your community? To keep up with local issues, schools, business, politics, entertainment, sports? To respond to a charity? To celebrate or mourn a powerful community event? Have you ever written a letter (or email) to the editor? A guest editorial? Cut out a recipe or a review? Laughed with a certain columnist or gotten angry with another? Do you feel emotionally connected to the newspaper as a voice for your community? Why or why not?
- For most of the last century, newspapers were strictly a print product. Now The Seattle Times has an electronic site on the World Wide Web, with ever-growing areas of content (check it out at http://www.seattletimes.com). What do you predict for the future of newspapers? Will people get as comfortable with online news as they are reading print from an easy chair? Will Web exposure increase the readership and influence of The Seattle Times and other regional newspapers?
Copyright © 1996 The Seattle Times Company