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Letter from Columbian Publisher Ben Campbell: Goal, mission still the same

This week, I am honored to assume the role and responsibility as the fourth-generation publisher of The Columbian. This is a legacy that began in 1921 with my great-grandfather, Herbert Campbell.

We faced many economic and industry challenges over the three generations that preceded me, but we have successfully remained a local family-owned business because of the strength of our leadership and the support of our employees and our community.

Although our family has had to make some difficult decisions as our industry evolves, we have done our best to stay profitable and relevant in our community. We have adapted the way we deliver stories and information to our readers because of the advancement of technology and evolution in the way people find and process information. The variety of media platforms that we publish on has expanded from solely the newspaper product to our website, smartphone apps, social media channels, newsletters, ePaper and more. We will continue to evolve and adopt successful initiatives that we discover in our industry.

The Columbian has deep roots in our community. Our owners, management team and employees live and work in Vancouver and in the surrounding communities. Many people who grew up in this area have worked for The Columbian at some point in their lives. We work with local businesses to develop marketing campaigns and promotions including the Best of Clark County. We are proud to support local nonprofits through our community partnerships program. We have uncovered and reported on important stories that have led to positive change in our community. We also have written editorials and opinion articles that foster intelligent conversations with readers and their families and neighbors.

A well-informed industry expert recently told me that The Columbian is the 23rd-largest independently owned daily newspaper in the country. I am proud of that fact. The Columbian has more local staff than most newspapers in cities comparable to Vancouver’s size. Many of those papers have been purchased by newspaper chains that centralized critical functions and made deep cuts to staff. Clark County deserves an independent paper with owners and staff who live and work here and are affected by what we report. I want to keep it that way.

The goal for the Campbell family is to keep The Columbian relevant in our community and profitable as a business. We will always hold true to our principles and values. No matter what challenges The Columbian faces, we will continue our mission to produce great journalism and inform our readers with important local news. I have no doubt that we will be able to succeed with the support of our readers, along with the strength and talent of our employees.


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