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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 She started her career in journalism as military affairs reporter at the Kitsap Sun in Bremerton, Wash.

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Visit NWNavyNews

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. Visit their website.

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