History Tales takes a look at history of Peninsula’s media
In this day of shrinking newspapers and accusations against the media for reporting “fake news,” it’s refreshing to take a look back at how the North Olympic Peninsula’s media ― primarily newspapers and broadcasting ― handled the news.
The North Olympic History Center’s History Tales at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 1, will feature an informative afternoon with three individuals involved in the new book Strait Press: A History of News Media on the North Olympic Peninsula: author Bill Lindstrom, long-time Peninsula newspaper owner and broadcaster Brown Maloney, who commissioned Lindstrom to write the book, and John Brewer, president of the History Center and retired publisher of the Peninsula Daily News.
Following introductory comments from Maloney, Lindstrom and Brewer will join in for a question and answer period on the book that has enjoyed resounding success in the 14 months since it was launched on Jan. 4, 2019. The event is at the First United Methodist Church, 110 E. 7th St., Port Angeles.
Strait Press, penned by Bill Lindstrom, a veteran journalist for more than a half-century (including a two-year stint at the PDN), encompasses nearly 100 media sources on the North Olympic Peninsula, including 82 newspapers, dating to 1860.
Family ownership plays a significant role on the peninsula’s major newspapers as each publication wrestles with controversial issues such as a three-decade struggle to establish Olympic National Park; the proposed Northern Tier Pipeline; the promise of a railroad; the sinking of the western portion of the Hood Canal bridge and numerous elections, resulting in the corpses of newspapers strewn across the peninsula.
The reader will learn the role mastodons and vampires played in peninsula newspapers.
Strait Press not only is about newspapers, but radio and even television. The reader will learn about the significance that 25 water heaters played in establishing the peninsula’s first radio station, which broadcaster was still on the air on his 90th birthday and another still broadcasting in 2020 in his 85th year.
Brewer called Strait Press, “A fascinating excavation of underappreciated events and individuals … Historian-sleuth Bill Lindstrom and his painstaking research and his yield of captivating, rescued-from-obscurity stories takes us on an educational, thoroughly enjoyable journey.”
Among the nuggets uncovered include two writers nominated for a Pulitzer prize; one receives the award, one does not; one newspaper owner is part of a quad-marriage ceremony; one building has been home to the same paper for 102 years; two writers were known, respectively as “The Rare-bitter” and “Wandering Scribe” and what soon-to-be well-known author spent a night in peninsula jail.
Books will be available for sale and a book-signing will held at the event.
About the author: Bill Lindstrom, 77, has been a journalist for more than 55 years, before retiring in 2008. Among others, he has worked for the Daily Olympian in Olympia, Wash., Peninsula Daily News in Port Angeles and the Daily World at Aberdeen. In 2015, he was commissioned by Brown M. Maloney to write Strait Press. In 2014, he authored his first book: John Tornow: Villain or Victim? a non-fiction account of a man alleged to have killed his two nephews in 1911.
Strait Press: A History of News Media on the North Olympic Peninsula, is self-published by iUniverse, Bloomington, Ind. It is available in hardcover and softcover through the publisher and at retail outlets. It also is available in e-book format through Kindle and Nook.