Kamiah’s weekly newspaper has a new owner, and the commitment to community journalism will continue to be the focus.

This week we’re officially announcing the purchase of the Clearwater Progress in Kamiah by Idaho County Free Press publisher Sarah Klement. Our thanks to former owner John Bennett for his commitment to maintaining a local paper for the Clearwater Valley, as well to its managing editor, Ben Jorgensen, who has put two decades of dedication and long days and nights into covering the region’s community news and happenings.

With any such change there’s bound to be some unsettledness as to how this may affect local coverage.

To address this, first off, this is the Clearwater Valley’s newspaper; not an annex of the Free Press. Reporters are and will be in place to focus on Kamiah, and from there throughout the valley. Local news, columns, submissions to the opinion page and photos provided by readers – those will continue to be this publication’s top priority.

Keeping it local is Klement’s guiding principle, one that she brought to the Free Press in its purchase last December from Oregon-based Eagle Newspapers, and one she will continue in bringing the Progress into the fold.

Speaking from the news production side, this will be a benefit to both properties in sharing coverage resources and cooperating to better cover the North Central Idaho region for readers who share much in common.

During this transition, we’re asking readers for both the Progress and the Free Press to bear with us as we get the pieces put in place on this. Suggestions are welcome, and this writer is your point person to address them: a call, letter or e-mail.  

Our goal is to provide our communities with a place for their news, as well as a forum to voice their concerns. We’re looking to continue the Progress’ work, started with its first issue in 1905, and build on this to give you a product that informs you and challenges you.

From both newspapers, a personal thank you to our readers and advertisers who make this possible. We are excited to continue to serve you into the future.

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