In the news business, we often call what we do “writing the first draft of history.” While historians tend to consider history after it has happened, journalists write the news as it is happening. At the Seattle Times, we aim to be accurate, thorough and fair. But, as first drafts go, we have not always hit the mark.
The consequences of such missteps in the media can cause lasting harm in our communities.
With the A1 Revisited project, The Seattle Times directly addresses the harm some of our past coverage has caused. We dig into our archives to “revisit” the front-page stories (or stories that should have been front-page) in which we covered significant historical events.
While we cannot rewrite history or the way we covered it in our pages, as we look back at these stories, we’re also looking forward.
A1 Revisited is an opportunity to interrogate our past coverage, noting where we went wrong, considering how we would cover these events differently today, and collaborating with community members and organizations, and asking critical questions. We hope taking these steps will inform our journalistic practices today as we aim for fairer, more accurate, more equitable and more inclusive coverage.
A1 Revisited: The Seattle Times’ coverage of the 1942 removal of 227 Bainbridge residents left a harmful legacy
Eighty years ago this week, the U.S. government sent Bainbridge Island’s Japanese-American residents to incarceration camps. Today we examine how The Seattle Times reported on the event.
On March 30, 1942, Japanese American residents were forcibly removed from their homes. Here’s how the Seattle Times covered it and what we do differently today.
We are deeply sorry for our harmful coverage of the incarceration of Japanese Americans and for the pain we caused in the past that still reverberates today.
News organizations large and small now commonly refer to what Japanese Americans in World War II experienced as “incarceration,” rather than “internment.”
Suyematsu Farm wasn’t the first Japanese American farm or the largest, but Akio Suyematsu is known as the last Japanese American farmer on Bainbridge Island.
The Panama Hotel — built in 1910, still serving tea — held the belongings of incarcerated Japanese Americans during WWII. The owner now hopes to create a museum.
Take a look inside the temporary camp at the Puyallup fairgrounds where thousands of Japanese Americans were incarcerated in 1942.
This Redmond teen wants elementary schools to have books about the incarceration of Japanese Americans
Inspired by stories of his ancestors being incarcerated during World War II, Kai Vanderlip created a program to bring that history to local schools.
During the transportation of Japanese Americans to the Minidoka incarceration camp, a photographer told Mitsuye Yamada and her family to smile for a photograph.
On Bainbridge Island, the first place to incarcerate Japanese Americans in 1942, survivors of incarceration still live on
Eighty years ago, Bainbridge Island was the first location for the forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans under the Civilian Exclusion Order.
This ‘Mystery Lady’ always had a name, and Fumiko Hayashida had a life far beyond this historic moment
The “Mystery Lady” picture has been called “one of the iconic images of the incarceration of Japanese Americans.” The woman ended up testifying before Congress.