In an historic and unprecedented collaboration, the Mercer Island Reporter announced that it is outsourcing its local news coverage of Mercer Island to the Mercer Island Distorter. The partnership, which takes effect today, covers all original Mercer Island news content in the Reporter’s print and online editions.
“We’ve been searching for an Island-based content provider ever since we successfully completed the offshoring of our Mercer Island news operation,” said Faye Knuus, publisher of the Mercer Island Reporter. “With the closure of the I-90 express lanes, it is no longer practical for our staff to drive to Mercer Island to do news gathering. It’s also a matter of personal safety: Our reporter Katie Metzger has been set upon by bands of red t-shirt-wearing ‘concerned citizens’ one too many times.”
“We are proud to be Mercer Island’s only locally owned and operated original news source,” said Mercer Island Distorter Publisher-in-Chief Letitia Snugbottom. “The entire fiftieth-of-a-century history of our publication has been based on the premise that Islanders wish to communicate only with other Islanders.”
Insiders say that the Distorter was not the only local source the Reporter considered as the replacement for its Island reportage. A plan for the Reporter to generate local news content from Mercer Island’s Nextdoor.com site was scuttled when even seasoned journalists with experience reporting from international war zones were unable to endure sustained reading of the posts. And negotiations between Sound Publishing and the MIHS Islander broke down when Islander staff insisted on being paid in cases of beer from the South End QFC.
Local residents are responding positively to this content sharing arrangement. “If this is what it takes to keep the Reporter publishing local news, then I’m all for it,” said one Islander. “The last thing I want to do on Wednesday evenings is thumb through ten pages of real estate ads to find articles about Bellevue and Issaquah.”