The Seattle Times

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ELLEN M. BANNER / THE SEATTLE TIMES
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Monday, December 21, 2009

Seattle Times Pictures of the Year 2009

Jan. 10: This story would have been tough for any of us to cover. Seattle Post-Intelligencer managing editor David McCumber stood in front of the P-I building to announce that the paper was for sale, and with no buyers, it would in 60 days either shut down or go to a digital-only operation with a greatly reduced staff. Although we always competed with the P-I, I believe both news staffs had respect for each other and, very often, we were friends. That said, I think it was tougher for me than for others because I worked at the P-I eight years before coming to The Times. It seemed like McCumber's heart was breaking that day. I know mine was.

"I changed my major in college to photojournalism in my junior year. In the beginning, I don't think any of my professors gave me much of a chance to make it into the field, but there was nothing else I wanted to do, so I stuck with it. Except for a little more than a year after college, photography's the only job I've had. When my kids were little and I went on school field trips with them, I realized that is why my job still thrills me after all these years. It's a new field trip every day, sharing people's stories — their adventures, joys and sorrows — their lives. Best job in the world." — Ellen M. Banner