Brier Dudley named Free Press Editor for The Seattle Times

For Immediate Release — Jan. 19, 2021
Lindsay Taylor, Consumer Marketing Manager

SEATTLE — The Seattle Times today announced the appointment of Brier Dudley as Free Press Editor effective January 17, 2020.

As Free Press Editor, Dudley will cover the current local and national crisis in journalism, along with the efforts to preserve the independence and sustainability of the nation’s local free press system. He will focus his coverage on four key areas:

• The consolidation of and disinvestment in local newspapers under absentee owners
• The negative impacts of Big Tech on newspapers’ ability to monetize their content or compete for advertising against their monopolistic practices
• Legislative efforts to stem the losses of local newspaper and media journalism jobs
• The emergence of “ghost newspapers” and “news deserts” with their devastating impact on the health and vibrancy of our local communities

Dudley will serve as one of the primary voices for The Seattle Times Save the Free Press initiative. The initiative was launched in late 2019 with the goal of reforming and reinvigorating the national free press system. This program will rejuvenate the civic value of local news organizations as the trusted and reliable guardians of democracy and public accountability.

“I’ll miss keeping the heat on politicians and their cronies,” says Dudley. “But this is a great opportunity to help advance our incredibly important effort to save the free and independent press, not just in Seattle but across the country.”

Dudley has been with The Seattle Times since 1998 and was a member of the editorial board for last five years. He spent 14 years covering Microsoft and the technology industry, including nine years writing a tech column for the Business and Technology sections. A third-generation Seattleite, Dudley received a B.A. in English from Whitman College and studied film production in Italy before starting a career in newspapers. He has won numerous regional and national journalism awards.

“We are very excited that Brier will be our Free Press Editor,” says Seattle Times Publisher Frank Blethen. “Our Save the Free Press initiative is unique in American journalism today. It is both a business story and a free press story, and a story about the future of our self-government. Brier will report on how disinvestment and avarice has caused the loss of thousands of newspaper jobs in the last decade, putting our democracy at risk. And more importantly, he will write about the ideas, initiatives and emerging leaders necessary to save and rejuvenate our local free press and in turn, rejuvenate our democracy.”

The Seattle Times serves the Northwest with independent, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism, as the region’s most trusted news media company, dedicated to public service. The Seattle Times is the second largest newspaper on the West Coast and the most-visited digital information source in the state. Founded in 1896 by Alden J. Blethen, The Seattle Times is now led by the Blethen family’s fourth and fifth generations. It also owns the Yakima Herald-Republic and The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin.