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Keeping Up with the Beat of the Neighborhoods: Seattle’s 30 Best Community News Sites, Mapped

Nestled between the Puget Sound and the Cascade Mountain Range, Seattle reveals a myriad of unique neighborhoods. These distinct enclaves carry different personalities. Some communities are vibrant, modern, and entice a bustling lifestyle, while others are historic, peaceful, or family-friendly. It’s no wonder that Seattle has earned a reputation as a “City of Neighborhoods”.

Seattleites have always been keen on their local communities, but it’s during the last decade that a new form of journalism emerged and grew in popularity. Hyperlocal news websites were launched in many neighborhoods. Their role is to shift the media attention from big city news and mainstream press to local events and community stories people can relate to.

What are the Community News Sites/Blogs?

Powered mostly by volunteers, these news blogs are valuable community resources where residents can learn about the changes in their neighborhood, upcoming events, lost pets, roads under construction, new businesses opening or shutting down, graffiti sightings and everything in between. Locals are often encouraged to participate in keeping the blogs up-to-date, by sending news tips to the editors and having a say about their neighborhood.

But it’s not always easy to keep these websites alive and many were abandoned at some point. However, we’ve curated a list with the best ones that comply with a few criteria: frequently updated pages; well-structured, covering a variety of topics relevant to the community; in-line and up-to-date with the beat of the neighborhood; engaging on social media; visually entertaining and easy to navigate.

Without further ado, here are Seattle’s 30 best neighborhood blogs, mapped (kudos to their editors!):

Neighborhood Blogs in Seattle mapped

Blog NameNeighborhoodBlog NameNeighborhood
My BallardBallardPhinneyWoodPhinney Ridge/Greenwood
Our Broadview NeighborhoodBroadviewPhinney Neighborhood AssociationPhinney Ridge/Greenwood
Capitol Hill SeattleCapitol HillPinehurst SeattlePinehurst
Crown Hill AssociationCrown HillPioneer SquarePioneer Square
Downtown Seattle AssociationDowntownQueen Anne ViewQueen Anne
East Ballard Community AssociationEast BallardRavenna-Bryant Community AssociationRavenna/Bryant
Fremont UniverseFremontLake Union BeatSouth Lake Union
The FremocentristFremontDiscover South Lake UnionSouth Lake Union
Seattle GreenlakerGreen LakeGo South SeattleSouth Seattle
Greenwood Community CouncilGreenwoodU District DailyUniversity District
MadisonValleyMadison ValleyVictory Heights BlogVictory Heights
Madrona SeattleMadronaWallyhoodWallingford
Magnolia VoiceMagnoliaMy WallingfordWallingford
Maple Leaf LifeMaple LeafWedgwood ViewWedgwood/View Ridge
Montlake Community ClubMontlakeWest Seattle BlogWest Seattle

A new community-powered model of local journalism

Queen Anne View and MyBallard are just two of the ten trusted neighborhood news sites, part of Next Door Media, an innovative publishing company in Seattle dedicated to finding a new sustainable model of local journalism in the communities where we live. Founded in 2007 by two longtime journalists, the company won a 2009 Online Journalism Award for community collaboration for MyBallard. The network sites also include MagnoliaVoice.com, FremontUniverse.com, MapleLeafLife.com, WedgwoodView.com, MyWallingford.com and UDistrictDaily.com.

Awarded Websites

West Seattle Blog is one of the most awarded community news sites, named “Best Hyperlocal Site” in 2013 by the Society of Professional Journalists, and KING 5’s “Best of Western Washington” in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2016. They are on a mission to report “what’s happening in West Seattle NOW – what you’re saying about it – what you can do about it”, thus empowering residents to take action.

Some neighborhoods understood that by joining online forces they are better and stronger together. They don’t cling tightly to their own identities, but celebrate what brings them together. It’s the case of North Seattle’s Greenwood and Phinney Ridge neighborhoods. Dale Steinke and Doree Armstrong, both experienced journalists, created Phinneywood back in 2008, as a much-needed daily news source serving both communities. They also won a Sigma Delta Chi Award for deadline reporting in 2010!

A similar collaboration is Wedgewoodview, writing about the news in Wedgewood and View Ridge neighborhoods.

People Who Care

With a bit of skill, dedication and time – you’d think anyone could put together a neighborhood blog and just report whatever’s going on around. However, keeping a news site up to date and putting effort into such a complex journalistic endeavor is reserved to only few fellows that know the drill and love their community. It’s thanks to folks like Ryan (a resident in Lower Victory Heights in charge of the Victory Heights Blog), Kate and Cory Bergman (the Scandinavian couple behind MyBallard), Wendy (the editor of Fremont Universe), the contributors’ squad at Seattle Greenlaker, and many more wonderful people in Seattle that these projects exist.

For anyone else who’s eager to write, there are sites that open their editorial doors to all neighbors. On CHS, for example, anybody can add to the site. You just need to login and start posting. The most important, well-crafted posts are promoted to the site’s homepage.

Neighborhood Associations and Alliances

Another form of keeping communities engaged and united is by working under a Neighborhood Association. PNA (Phinney Neighborhood Association) is one of the best-known, founded in 1980, with 78 staff members and over 1,600 volunteers. In a few words, they “turn strangers into neighbors and neighbors into community”.

Downtown Seattle Association call themselves “City Makers”, as they believe that “when downtown thrives, the whole city flourishes”. This hotspot hosts more than 265,000 people working and over 70, 000 people living here. The mission of the Association is to create a healthy and vibrant urban core, getting involved in a variety of projects and issues shaping up downtown.

In Montlake, all residents, property owners and business operators, 18 years of age or older, with street addresses in the Montlake neighborhood are members of the Montlake Community Club (MCC). They focus on maintaining and improving the Montlake neighborhood.

Today, community blogs are busier than ever, keeping alive the spirit of the neighborhoods. Do you own or do you know another great local blog in Seattle that is not on our list? Feel free to reach out at media@rentcafe.com and we’ll gladly add it on the map.

Nicky Iudean
Nicky Iudean
Nicky is a Senior Communications Specialist for RENTCafé.com, where she researches and writes about real estate, interior design, and all things that spark renters’ interests. She is also your go-to person for content collaborations. Nicky double majored in Marketing and Applied Economics and holds a master's degree in Marketing Strategies and Policies. You can reach her via email at nicky.rentcafe@yardi.com.

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