Parts of this article (those related to the Notable contributing writers section, as well as other information that has changed due to layoff of staff and suspension of print edition) need to be updated. (May 2020)
|Owner(s)||Index Newspapers, LLC|
|Founded||September 23, 1991|
|Headquarters||1535 11th Ave., Third Floor|
Seattle, Washington 98122
The Stranger is an alternative biweekly newspaper in Seattle, Washington, U.S. It also runs a blog known as Slog. The paper's principal competitor is The Seattle Weekly , owned by Sound Publishing, Inc.
The Stranger was founded in July 1991 by Tim Keck, who had previously co-founded the satirical newspaper The Onion , and cartoonist James Sturm. Its first issue was produced out of a home in Wallingford and was released on September 23, 1991. 's main rival, the Seattle Weekly . The paper regularly covers Seattle City Council politics.The newspaper moved its offices to a building on Capitol Hill in 1993, where they would remain until 2020. It calls itself "Seattle's Only Newspaper," an expression of its disdain for Seattle's two dailies (the Seattle Times and the now-defunct print edition of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer ) and The Stranger
In its early days, The Stranger had a print run of 20,000, and was focused in Seattle's University District.The paper was a single sheet wrapped around a wad of coupons for local businesses.
On April 16, 2012, The Stranger won its first Pulitzer Prize. Eli Sanders won in the Feature Writing category for "The Bravest Woman In Seattle,"which the citation describes as "a haunting story of a woman who survived a brutal attack that took the life of her partner, using the woman’s brave courtroom testimony and the details of the crime to construct a moving narrative." The feature appeared in the June 15, 2011 edition.
The Stranger made the transition to a biweekly magazine-style format with their September 27, 2017 issue.The paper is distributed to local businesses, newsstands, and newspaper boxes free of charge every other Wednesday. The offices of The Stranger are planned to be moved from Capitol Hill to Chinatown–International District in July 2020. After publishing Volume 29, Number 15 (March 11–24, 2020 Edition) The Stranger ceased publishing a print edition and subsequently removed their newspaper boxes from the streets of Seattle.
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In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Stranger announced on 13 March 2020 that, due to a dramatic decrease in income from loss of advertising revenue, they would be suspending their print edition; laying off 18 employees, including the majority of staff writers; and creating an online fundraiser to keep The Stranger afloat.
Dan Savage was the Stranger's editor-in-chief from 4 April 2001 to September 2007. Savage, an associate editor since the paper's founding, made his name writing the paper's sarcastic and sometimes inflammatory sex advice column, titled "Savage Love", which has since appeared in every issue of The Stranger.
In September 2007, Savage became the paper's editorial director and was replaced as editor-in-chief by then-27-year-old Christopher Frizzelle, formerly the Books Editor (in 2003) and Arts Editor (from 2004 to 2007).In July 2016, Frizzelle was replaced by Tricia Romano, a former staff reporter at the Seattle Times and eight-year-long columnist at The Village Voice in New York.
Romano left the paper in June 2017. The paper does not currently have an editor-in-chief, as Frizzelle now acts as the print editor.
Chase Burns is the digital editor. The newspaper's current managing editor is Leilani Polk, who replaced Kathleen Richards. The previous managing editor was Bethany Jean Clement, who was formerly the managing editor of Seattle Weekly. Clement's essays in the restaurant section of the newspaper have been anthologized in Best Food Writing 2008 and 2009.[ citation needed ]
The Stranger's "Police Beat", a weekly column authored by Associate Editor Charles Mudede, has been adapted to an indie film of the same title. Mudede also co-wrote the controversial documentary film, Zoo (2007), about the life and death of Kenneth Pinyan who died in a bestiality incident in Enumclaw, Washington in July 2005.[ citation needed ]
The Arts and Music editor is the lead singer of Seattle band Harvey Danger, Sean Nelson—formerly a staff writer and TheStranger's Film Editor—who has profiled the Portland, Oregon band the Decemberists and the pre-teen Seattle band Smoosh when they landed a record deal.
The paper does not currently have a news editor. Previously, the position was held by Steven Hsieh, Eli Sanders, and Dominic Holden. Prior to the latter was Erica C. Barnett, who, in 2007, was named reporter of the year by Seattle's venerable Municipal League.Barnett left the paper in 2009 to work for news website Publicola.net, founded by former Stranger news editor Josh Feit.
As of 2020, staff writers include Lester Black, Nathalie Graham, Katie Herzog, Jasmyne Kiemig, and Dave Segal.
Previous staffers have included:
Writers closely associated with the newspaper include Sherman Alexie, Charles D'Ambrosio, Sarah Vowell, Dave Eggers, Jonathan Raban, Heather McHugh, Rebecca Brown, Edmund White, Gary Shteyngart, Miranda July, Tao Lin, Travis Jeppesen, Andrew Sullivan, Stacey Levine, and JT LeRoy.[ citation needed ]
Writers for the paper in the early 1990s include Inga Muscio, Catholic Activist Thomas E. Byers and Clark Humphrey. TheStranger won its first ever journalism award in 1995 when contributing writer Lewis Kamb, under News Editor George Howland Jr., exposed the financial shenanigans of Seattle’s chapter of Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA).
New York Times Best Seller and 2012 National Book Award Finalist Domingo Martinez, author of The Boy Kings of Texas, worked on staff in the production department from 1993 through 1996 as a production designer, but never wrote for the publication.
The Stranger ombudsman, A. Birch Steen, wrote acerbic criticism of the paper within every issue, usually assailing the contents for their extreme liberal bias. He was billed as a former member of the OSHA Board of Governors, but was likely a fictional character. The name is an anagram of Steinbacher, after Bradley Steinbacher, the paper's Managing Editor from 2003 until 2008.Steen's harsh critiques originally appeared on the inside of the back page, and later above the table of contents ("The Stranger: A Critical Overview"). He would also be the apparent author of the paper's Twitter feed. Steen died on Monday, April 16, 2012, after suffering a stroke.
The Stranger has published original comics, illustrations, and graphic art by such notable cartoonists as Tony Millionaire, Peter Bagge, Ellen Forney, Megan Kelso, Al Columbia, Chris Ware, R. Crumb, Jim Woodring, and K. Thor Jensen. In addition, it was the only major Seattle paper to run any of the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons: four of them were used to illustrate an article by Bruce Bawer about the controversy.
Since 2003, in association with the cigarette company Lucky Strike, and later the antismoking arts organization Art Patch, the newspaper has awarded the annual Stranger Genius Awards to four Seattle-area individuals and one Seattle-area arts organization. Besides the recognition, each winner receives a $5000 cash award and a cake.Winners of the award include the filmmaker James Longley, the filmmaker Lynn Shelton, the writer Sherman Alexie, the poet Heather McHugh, the actress Sarah Rudinoff, the experimental-theater collective Implied Violence, Strawberry Theatre Workshop, the artist Jeffry Mitchell, and the artist Wynne Greenwood. A party and rock show for the winners is held every fall; past Stranger Genius Award parties have been held at the downtown public library, Seattle Art Museum, and the Moore Theater.
On the Halloween prior to the 2008 elections the Stranger published a parody in its Topography of Terror series, which included the addresses of homes displaying Republican yard signs. [ citation needed ]The Stranger later blacked out the addresses on the online version of its story, after charges of voter intimidation.The controversy was then mentioned in a Saturday Night Live sketch about internet conspiracy theories about Democratic intimidation of elderly Republican voters.
Daniel Keenan Savage is an American author, media pundit, journalist, and LGBT community activist. He writes Savage Love, an internationally syndicated relationship and sex advice column. In 2010, Savage and his husband, Terry Miller, began the It Gets Better Project to help prevent suicide among LGBT youth. He has also worked as a theater director, sometimes credited as Keenan Hollahan.
The Seattle Weekly is an alternative biweekly distributed newspaper in Seattle, Washington, United States. It was founded by Darrell Oldham and David Brewster as The Weekly. Its first issue was published on March 31, 1976. The newspaper published its final print edition on February 27, 2019 and transitioned to web-only content on March 1, 2019.
Real Change is a weekly progressive street newspaper based in Seattle, Washington, USA written by professional staff and sold by self-employed vendors, many of whom are homeless. The paper provides them with an alternative to panhandling and covers a variety of social justice issues, including homelessness and poverty. It became weekly in 2005, making it the second American street newspaper ever to be published weekly. Real Change is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with an annual budget of 950,000 dollars.
The Chicago Reader, or Reader, is an American alternative weekly newspaper in Chicago, Illinois, noted for its literary style of journalism and coverage of the arts, particularly film and theater. It was founded by a group of friends from Carleton College.
The Detroit Metro Times is an progressive alternative weekly located in Detroit, Michigan. It is the largest circulating weekly newspaper in the metro Detroit area.
The Infernal Noise Brigade was a Seattle, Washington-based musical group, who originally formed to participate in the protests at the WTO Meeting of 1999. Over its seven-year history, the group performed as part of several large-scale protest actions, such as those at the 2000 IMF/World Bank Meeting in Prague, the 2003 WTO Ministerial in Cancún, Mexico, the 2004 United States Republican Party National Convention in New York City, as well as at numerous events in their homebase of Seattle. In July 2005, they participated in the protests against the 31st G8 summit in Scotland as part of a European tour that also brought them to England, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Austria.
Portland Mercury is an alternative bi-weekly newspaper and media company founded in 2000 in Portland, Oregon. The newspaper's revenue is almost entirely dependent on advertisements and sales of tickets for events and concerts with nearly 95% of its revenue coming from advertisements.
The Rocket was a free biweekly newspaper serving the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, published from 1979–2000. The newspaper's chief purpose was to document local music. This focus distinguished it from other area weeklies such as the Seattle Weekly and the Willamette Week, which reported more on local news and politics. Originally solely a Seattle-based newspaper, a Portland, Oregon edition was introduced in 1991. In general, the two editions contained the same content, with some slight variations although occasionally they ran different cover stories.
The Enumclaw horse sex case was a series of incidents in 2005 involving Kenneth Pinyan, an engineer who worked for Boeing and resided in Gig Harbor, Washington; James Michael Tait, a truck driver; and other unidentified men. Pinyan and Tait filmed and distributed zoophilic pornography of Pinyan receiving anal sex from a stallion under the alias "Mr. Hands". After engaging in this activity on multiple occasions over an unknown span of time, Pinyan received fatal internal injuries in one such incident.
The UCSD Guardian is a student-operated newspaper at the University of California San Diego. Originally named the Triton Times, it is published once a week during the regular academic year, usually Mondays. Although The Guardian is officially a university department, it is funded solely by advertising. Unlike many college newspapers, The Guardian has no faculty advisor and is not formally tied to any academic program.
Charles Tonderai Mudede is a Zimbabwean writer, filmmaker, and leftwing cultural critic. Though born in Kwekwe, he spent much of his childhood in the United States, and returned to Zimbabwe shortly after independence. Between 1982 and 1988, his mother, Tracy Mudede, was a lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe, and his father, Ebenezer Mudede, was an economist for the Zimbabwe government. Between 1990 and 2001, his father worked as an economist for the Botswana government and his mother lectured at the University of Botswana. In 1989, he moved to the US to study literature, art history, and political philosophy. His parents moved to the US from Botswana in 2002 for medical reasons. The Mudedes are Manicas and were once close to Bishop Abel Tendekayi Muzorewa, the prime minister of the short-lived coalition government called Zimbabwe Rhodesia (1979–1980).
John Olson is an American poet and novelist. Olson has lived for many years in Seattle, Washington. He has published nine collections of poetry and three novels, including Souls of Wind, nominated for the 2008 Believer Book Award. In 2004, Seattle’s weekly newspaper, The Stranger, for whom he has written occasional essays, gave Olson one of its annual "genius awards." His writing notebooks have been exhibited at the University of Washington. Olson's prose poetry has been reviewed in print and online poetry magazines. The poet Philip Lamantia said that Olson was "extraordinary...the greatest prose poetry [i've] ever read." and Clayton Eshleman said "he is writing the most outlandish, strange, and inventive prose poetry ever in the history of the prose poem."
Rebecca Brown is an Australian writer.
American author Dan Savage has written six books, op-ed pieces in The New York Times, and an advice column on sexual issues in The Stranger. A graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, Savage began contributing a column, Savage Love, to The Stranger from its inception in 1991. By 1998 his column had a readership of four million. He was Associate Editor at the newspaper from 1991 to 2001, when he became its editor-in-chief, later becoming its editorial director in 2007.
Lindy West is an American writer, comedian and activist. She is the author of the essay collection Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman and a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. The topics she writes about include feminism, popular culture, and the fat acceptance movement.
Tides of Flame was an insurrectionist-anarchist newspaper published in Seattle, WA. Tides of Flame regularly re-printed communiques claiming responsibility for property destruction taking place in the Puget Sound region. This had the effect of attracting attention from reviewers at The Stranger, a Seattle-based alternative newsweekly. Tides of Flame announced the ceasing of publication on December 17, 2012, recapping many of the themes and events covered by the publication.
Megan Griffiths is a film and television director who resides in Seattle, Washington, USA and a board member of Northwest Film Forum.
Robert W. "Bob" Nelson is an American film director and screenwriter, best known for writing Nebraska (2013) directed by Alexander Payne and released in 2013, for which Nelson was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay at the 86th Academy Awards. The screenplay was also nominated for a Golden Globe.
Cherdonna Shinatra is the stage name of Jody Kuehner, a Seattle-based, American dancer, drag queen and performance artist. Kuehner won the Stranger Genius Award in Performance in 2015. Kuehner has been called a "female impersonator impersonator" and describes her own performance as Cherdonna as "a female-bodied person, presenting as a male-bodied person, presenting as a female". She has been mistaken for a man by some audience members who don't expect to see the "exaggerat[ed] femininity" displayed by a drag persona to be a biological woman. After a performance in Seattle she had her breasts grabbed by a person who expected to find a prosthetic, and she performed onstage several times with a male partner before he realized she was not also male.
Dominic Holden is an American journalist. He was National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association's 2016 Journalist of the Year Award awardee, and one of The Advocate's 50 most influential LGBTs in America in 2017. He was director of Seattle Hempfest and an editor at Seattle's The Stranger alternative newspaper for six years, until 2014. As of 2015, he was a writer for Buzzfeed News. Holden appeared in the 2013 documentary Evergreen: The Road to Legalization. In 2019, The New York Times reported that he was one of the leaders of an effort to unionize employees at Buzzfeed.
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