For the first time in 19 years, The Pacific Northwest Inlander hired an editor to lead its newsgathering operation when Jacob H. Fries was promoted to editor last week.
Fries grew up in Spokane and graduated from Central Valley High School. He earned his college degree from the Medill School of Journalism at northwestern University in Chicago in 2000, and worked at the New York Times and the St. Petersburg Times (now the Tampa Bay Times) before returning to Spokane in January of 2008 to work for The Inlander.
"I've worked at a lot of papers, but this has been by far the best job in journalism I've ever had," Fries says. "It's been rewarding to come back to my hometown and be a part of such a great local newspaper. While other media are shrinking, the Inlander continues to grow and innovate, and that’s been exciting to be a part of."
Since joining The Inlander, Fries has been a news editor and managing editor. During his tenure, The Inlander has won numerous journalism awards, including the General Excellence award for 2011 from the Society of Professional Journalists northwest Chapter. The Inlander was also named one of North America's "newspapers that do it right" by Editor & Publisher magazine earlier this year, one of just 21 newspapers — including both dailies and weeklies — to earn that notice.
"Jacob has helped put the 'news' in our newspaper for four years now," says Ted S. McGregor Jr., publisher of The Inlander. "He gets the kind of journalism our region needs, he gets Spokane and the Inland Northwest, and he shares my vision for what The Inlander should be. We're very excited to have his leadership."
Inlander founder Ted S. McGregor Jr. has served as editor and publisher since he and his family started the newspaper in 1993. He made the announcement last week and will continue as publisher of the newspaper and president of Inland Publications, Inc.