Editorial: The Renton Reporter is finally back in print

Your local community newspaper is back in print!

We are proud to relaunch the Renton Reporter’s print edition following a hiatus of nearly two and a half years. The newspaper was originally founded in 1995 by Denis Law, a longtime Renton public figure (and mayor) who eventually sold the publication, to what is now Sound Publishing, in 2008.

The paper was published weekly until March 20, 2020, when the COVID pandemic turned life upside down for the business community. The Reporter’s advertising revenue dried up nearly overnight.

Sound Publishing temporarily suspended the print editions for several weekly news outlets in King County, including the Renton Reporter.

Now we are back with a team that’s ready to dig into the Renton community. On the pages of this week’s rebooted newspaper, you’ll find news about the Renton School District’s upcoming bond measure, the arrest of a man accused of throwing rocks at vehicles on the freeway, and a recap of a recent King County prosecutor candidates forum hosted by the Renton Reporter and Renton Chamber of Commerce. You’ll also get a glimpse at some local restaurants and new businesses in the downtown area.

From a journalistic point of view, Renton is an exciting city to cover. With a diverse population of about 106,000 people, Renton is the state’s 8th-largest municipality as of the 2020 Census.

There’s the fascinating intersection of blue collar and white collar industries with Boeing and tech companies co-existing with a growing small business community.

Longtime residents, some of whom represent several generations of Rentonites, give the city that deep sense of community that is missing from so many King County suburbs.

On a side note, it was a treat to look back at the Renton Reporter’s coverage 10 years ago in October 2012. At the state level, voters were asked to pick between Jay Inslee and Rob McKenna for governor as well as address the legalization of recreational cannabis and the protection of same-sex marriage.

One of the top local issues in 2012 included the annexation of the unincorporated West Hill, a culturally and socio-economically diverse neighborhood with about 33,000 people at the time. Readers wrote several letters about both sides of the issue. Supporters touted the benefits of being part of Renton while some opponents cited worst case financial scenarios for taxpayers.

The newspaper’s editor at the time, Dean Radford, opined that residents of West Hill would be better off with Renton because of lackluster public services the area had been receiving from the county. Voters ultimately rejected the annexation — and the rest, as they say, is history.

The Renton Reporter is proud to chronicle the news and people that shape the city’s present and future. Thank you for reading and for joining us on this journey.

Local opinions

The Renton Reporter is looking for guest columnists to write about local issues for these pages. The Reporter also welcomes letters to the editor. Email editor@rentonreporter.com to learn more.

— By Andy Hobbs, editor, and Olivia Sullivan, assistant editor