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You are currently viewing all posts written by Sharon Pian Chan. Sharon is the associate opinions editor / digital. Follow her on Twitter @sharonpianchan.

July 19, 2014 at 5:03 AM

Live chat Wednesday: Is Amazon the bully or the hero?

Join us for a live chat on Wednesday at noon discussing “Is Amazon the bully or the hero?” in the contract dispute with publisher Hachette Book Group. Want to find out more about what’s going on in this battle of the titans? Check out our guest columns featuring opposing views from authors Frank Schaeffer, who says Amazon…

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Comments | More in Live chats | Topics: Amazon, live chat

June 27, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Video: A debate about gun initiatives I-591 and I-594

Corrected version Confused about the two state initiatives coming in the Nov. 4 election about gun control and gun rights? Check out our editorial board interviews with supporters and opponents of Initiative 591 and Initiative 594. TVW produced video of the interviews. Initiative 591 would prevent Washington state from background checks for gun buyers that are stricter…

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Comments | Topics: gun control, initiative 591, initiative 594

June 23, 2014 at 4:39 PM

Rewind: Video hangout on survival after college

Are you a recent college graduate? Wondering how you’re going to find a job and support yourself? From the changing nature of internships and job advancement, to crushing student debt and moving back in with parents, this generation of graduates faces many hurdles.

Join our on-air video hangout on Google+ on Tuesday at noon to discuss the challenges facing this generation of graduates and possible solutions.

This is an open hangout, which means anyone can join as a participant with a Web cam. Please keep in mind that this is an on-air hangout and your comments and images will be broadcast on The Seattle Times website, Youtube and Google+. The Seattle Times Terms of Service apply to this hangout.

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Comments | More in Live chats, Video | Topics: college, unemployment

June 17, 2014 at 6:18 AM

Jorge Carrasco, Huffington Post and the financial interests of guest writers

On Monday, The Huffington Post removed an article written as part of a paid campaign to scrub Seattle City Light Chief Executive Jorge Carrasco’s online image, according to a Politics Northwest blog post. Seattle Times reporter Jim Brunner wrote about the effort, which City Light paid for, in a Sunday news story.

The Seattle Times opinion section publishes guest columns, aka op-eds, that are written by community members. You’ll spot them by the “Special to the Times” under their bylines.

Screenshot from a guest column in The Seattle Times.

Screenshot from a guest column in The Seattle Times. Community members are identified as “Special to the Times” under their bylines.

These opinion columns help build a forum for respectful, civil debate about the local issues of the day. (For more about submitting op-eds, check out The Seattle Times’ op-ed guidelines.)

How does the opinion section handle financial interests? Before The Seattle Times publishes a guest opinion column, our editors explicitly ask writers through a written form whether they have a financial interest in the outcome of their arguments. If a writer does have a financial interest, he or she is expected to disclose it and our editors have a discussion with the writer. If we decide to move forward with publication, we figure out a way to be transparent with readers about the financial interest.

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Comments | Topics: city of seattle, journalism, seattle city light

June 11, 2014 at 6:13 AM

The troubling loss of press freedom in China, Thailand

Session on press freedom in Asia at New.Now.Next media conference in Hong Kong on June 7, 2014. (Photo by Sharon Pian Chan / Seattle Times)

Session on press freedom at New.Now.Next media conference in Hong Kong on June 7, 2014. (Photo by Sharon Pian Chan / Seattle Times)

HONG KONG – In February, Hong Kong journalist Kevin Lau was stabbed by two men as he was getting out of his car. The trial of two suspects is about to begin and many believe Lau was targeted because of his work as editor of the Ming Pao daily newspaper.

Lau’s attack raised the alarm on restrictions to press freedom in Asia. Freedom of the press is a proxy for individual liberty. If a government cannot tolerate media criticism, it’s unlikely to stomach citizen protests, criticism from individuals or even an individual’s right to meet with others and discuss government problems.

Lau, who is now learning how to walk again, spoke in a videotaped interview that aired Sunday at the New.Now.Next media conference in Hong Kong, organized by the Asian American Journalists Association Asia chapter and Hong Kong University’s Journalism & Media Studies Centre. Lau called on police to continue investigating who ordered the attack. Here is a video of Lau’s interview, produced by Hong Kong University’s journalism center.

His attack shook many in Hong Kong, where press freedoms are protected, unlike China. In the lead-up to the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Square on June 4, Chinese government imprisoned dozens of dissidents, according to an AP news story. China does not allow public discussion of the 1989 protests, when soldiers killed hundreds of democracy protesters. Imagine if the U.S. government imposed a blackout of media coverage on Sept. 11 anniversary coverage. (Hong Kong media, which is protected by freedom of the press provisions, covered the anniversary extensively.)

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Comments | Topics: asia, China, journalism

March 27, 2014 at 6:12 AM

A lifetime philanthropic award for Naveen Jain from Bellevue LifeSpring?

Naveen Jain, co-founder and chief executive officer of Intelius Inc., speaks during an Executives Club of Chicago luncheon in Chicago  in 2010. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Bloomberg)

Naveen Jain, co-founder and chief executive officer of Intelius Inc., speaks during an Executives Club of Chicago luncheon in Chicago in 2010. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Bloomberg)

Bellevue LifeSpring, which will hold its annual luncheon on Thursday at Meydenbauer Center, is a nonprofit that works to feed, clothe and educate children and their families. The people it serves sound a lot like the investors who lost their life savings in InfoSpace, a Bellevue company founded by Naveen Jain.

At the Thursday lunch, LifeSpring will give its Lifetime Philanthropy Award to Naveen and his wife Anu Jain. Anu Jain serves on LifeSpring’s board of directors. The award goes to people “working toward the betterment of the community,” according to Trish Carpenter, president and chairwoman of LifeSpring’s board.

The shareholders of InfoSpace may choke over that description of Naveen Jain. He is the founder and former chief executive officer of that Bellevue company, which has since been renamed Blucora.

Jain became a billionaire after he took InfoSpace public and the stock price skyrocketed. The only problem was that the company’s revenues were an illusion — a product of accounting tricks and dubious deals woven together by Jain’s masterful storytelling. He claimed in 2000 that InfoSpace would become the world’s first trillion-dollar company.

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Comments | Topics: bellevue, business, nonprofit

March 24, 2014 at 6:49 AM

Interactive map: Where the uninsured are and life expectancy in King County

The Seattle Times’ Sunday editorial discussed how the Affordable Care Act has the potential to reduce health disparities across Washington state and King County. Below are two interactive maps that use the latest data available to show obvious differences between the northern and southern parts of the county. The map on the left side shows the…

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Comments | More in Interactives | Topics: Affordable Care Act, health, Obamacare

March 24, 2014 at 6:23 AM

How a higher minimum wage would affect nonprofit supported-living providers

In a Sunday guest column, Sylvia Fuerstenberg wrote about how a higher minimum wage would affect a nonprofit like hers, which provides care for people and families with developmental disabilities. Fuerstenberg is the executive director of The Arc of King County. Her nonprofit receives funding from the state to provide a specific number…

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Comments | Topics: arc of king county, developmental disabilities, minimum wage

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