Building a stronger, more just & transparent democracy

About Washington State Journal

The Washington State Journal covers the Legislature when it is in session. In addition, it also features news stories from weekly and small daily newspapers from around the state.

The Washington State Journal is funded by donations made by readers and with support provided by the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association Foundation. The WNPA Foundation was established in 1986 by publishers active in Washington Newspaper Publishers Association. A separate organization from WNPA, the Foundation is 501(c)(3) nonprofit and raises money to fund its programs through an auction during WNPA's annual convention, through direct donations, contributions from partners and a through generous endowments from people who support our mission.

A primary goal of the Foundation is to offer journalism internships to students from Washington State colleges and universities. Some students who are awarded internship stipends work for their hometown paper during the summer and some cover the state Legislature and state government from the Washington State Journal's news bureau in Olympia. Stories produced by the bureau are posted on this website and distributed to weekly and small daily newspapers around the state.

Endowments that help fund these programs include:

• The Bruce and Betty Helberg Internship Scholarship, which was established in 1988. The Helbergs met when Betty was taking a journalism class at Mount Vernon High School and Bruce was night editor at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and a journalism professor at the University of Washington. Bruce worked at the P-I until 1947, when the couple went into partnership in the Kent News Journal and the Renton Chronicle. Bruce served as editor in Renton until 1954, and then went into partnership with Clarence Lafromboise on the Bellevue American, then a weekly. The American was publishing five days a week when the partners sold it in 1982. Betty created the scholarship in memory of her late husband to help journalism students.

• The Verizon Internship Scholarship was created in 1990 when Howard Voland was Foundation president. Publisher of the Monroe Monitor, Volland served as Foundation president from 1989 through 1999.

• The Jim and Kay Flaherty Internship Scholarship was established in 1993. Jim’s mother, Rhoda Flaherty, founded the Beacon Hill News in 1924. Jim graduated from the UW journalism school in the early 1930s, and he and Kay published the Beacon Hill News and South District Journal in Seattle. Prior to creating this Foundation scholarship, for many years they had offered journalism scholarships to students at Franklin, Cleveland and Garfield high schools, also in Seattle. Jim Flaherty died in 1981 and Kay in 1997. Their son, John, was active in the newspapers from 1963 until 1990. He and his business partner, Denis Law, published several weekly and monthly newspapers in the Seattle area. In 1990 they sold them to Pacific Media Company.

• The Zubrod, Funk & Passey Legislative reporting internships require a high level of self motivation and strong interest in learning about legislative issues of concern to newspapers in Washington state. It involves covering the workings of the state Legislature when it is in session. The Foundation invites journalism programs at Washington state universities to nominate applicants. In addition to journalism students, nominations from communications, law and political science departments are encouraged. Jerry Zubrod retired in 1988 after serving as WNPA executive director for 23 years. He died in 2001. The $10,000 endowment was established in 2005 with donations from many of Zubrod’s former colleagues and friends in the industry. In 2016, The Foundation named two other Olympia internships for two former publishers, Kris Passey, former owner of the Marysville Globe and Arlington Times, and Wallie Funk, former owner of the Anacortes American, Whidbey News-Times and South Whidbey Record.

• Wilson/Gay Internship Scholarship, established in 2012, is named for two of WNPA’s deceased titans, Bruce A. Wilson of Omak and Henry Gay of Shelton. Wilson published the Ritzville Journal-Times (1947-1958) and the Omak Chronicle (1958-1982). Gay published the Buckley News Banner (1954-1964) and then the Shelton-Mason County Journal (1966-1999).