To love what you do and feel that it matters—how could anything be more fun?

—Katharine Graham

Project Blog:
Northwest Navy News
This participatory site will serve the 140,000 active-duty Navy and Coast Guard members, reservists, base employees and retirees in the Puget Sound area with database-driven, interactive guides to housing, schools, military discounts, and a social network for military spouses and children coping with deployment and family relocation. Project leader Elaine Helm Norton, new media editor at The Daily Herald in Everett, Wash., and a former military beat reporter, envisions a medium for military families in the region to connect with one another and also for journalists like me to connect with them. Nobody in journalism or the military has done much online to engage military families. Follow her progress here.

Predeployment jitters

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

When friends ask how work is going, my standard reply is “busy.” Anyone who knows me well understands I’m not happy unless I’m stretching myself. That’s why I’m excited to tackle the challenge of founding Northwest Navy News, a news and community site for Navy families, veterans and retirees in the Pacific Northwest.

Some of the most rewarding stories I wrote as a reporter touched the daily lives of military families. Deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan matter, but so do childcare, schools, housing and other fundamental issues people encounter everywhere. Journalists, in general, don’t pay enough attention to the perspectives of spouses, children, parents and others with loved ones serving in the military when it comes to these issues.

I’m not naive enough to think I know everything about what matters to military families. I hope to empower people in the community to connect with each other and fill in the gaps. Call it a collaborative effort.

I also have a lot to learn about starting up a Web site. I’m a journalist, not a techie. The learning curve is steep, so I’ll need to tap my own social network of experienced online journalists for their expertise. The prospect is thrilling and just a little bit terrifying. But I did say I like a challenge, didn’t I?

   • Posted by Elaine Helm Norton on 07/15 at 01:24 PM
   (2) Comments


Congratulations, Elaine! This sounds like a great project. I hope it really takes off!

   • Posted by Kimberly Rubenstein on 07/16 at 05:16 PM

Hello Elaine,

My name is Yumi Wong.
I’m an aspiring grant writer and an educator in Tucson Arizona’s inner-city school.

I feel very privileged to learn about you and your site.  I look forward to reading your blogs; “learning more about you and the perspectives of spouses, children, parents and others with loved ones serving in the military.”

I look forward to passing on your stories to my coworkers and friends (and directing them to your site)!

Yumi smile

   • Posted by Yumi Wong on 07/25 at 01:22 PM

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Who's Blogging

Elaine Helm Norton

ELAINE HELM NORTON Elaine Helm Norton is the new media editor for The Herald newspaper in Everett, Wash., where she oversees news and multimedia content for HeraldNet.com. She started her career in journalism as military affairs reporter at the Kitsap Sun in Bremerton, Wash.

Click for full bio.