Journal of the San Juan Islands

Journal of the San Juan Islands

The Journal of the San Juan Islands was founded as the Friday Harbor Journal on Sept. 13, 1906. Its founder, O.G. Wall, launched the weekly newspaper with a stated ambition of helping San Juan County, made up entirely of islands, and its thinly populated farming communities to develop and improve. The motto of the Journal in its early days was, “A Square Deal for Everybody.” Today, San Juan Island boasts a personality all its own. Its rugged natural beauty and rustic rural character flow together on  the landscape like a finely woven tapestry. The Town of Friday Harbor, the island’s commercial core and cultural hub, vibrates with a rhythm that accentuates its small-town charm, while offering at the same time a full array of choices to dine and shop, parks in which to relax and activities that will enlighten and entertain.

Winner of 14 industry awards in 2015!

The Journal of the San Juans won 14 awards from the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association, including awards for topical special sections, tourism guide special sections, festivals special sections, best education story and best personality profile.
In all, Sound Publishing took home 229 WNPA awards. Seventy-five of those were 1st place, including the coveted General Excellence. Sound also scooped up nine Local Media Association awards. At Sound, we remain dedicated to covering local stories that affect each of our communities. No other news source reports down to the neighborhood level like we do.


are female


ages 25 to 54 years


family households


have college


median household

Source: U.S. Census: 2014 American Community Survey (5-year)


Circulation Comparison

ZipZip NameNielsen Occupied HouseholdsJournal of the San Juan IslandsSound Publishing, Inc. CoverageSeattle Times (Sun)Seattle Times Coverage (Sun)
Total3,6661,73747%182 5%
98250Friday Harbor3,6661,29235%182 5%
Sources: AAM / CAC Consolidated Media Report (Q3, 2017), U.S. Census: 2014 American Community Survey (5-year), 2017 Pulse Research readership survey

In our 32 years on San Juan Island, my wife Ruthie and I have operated  San Juan Jewels.  A vital part of our merchandising has been with the Journal of the San Juans, the weekly newspaper, which has been our principal advertising medium.   Prior to our opening, the building housed Jeri’s  Department Store, operated by Jeri Lawson,  my mother-in-law.  The pioneer Lawson family has developed housing areas and with Richard Lawson Construction, built a goodly  share of the structures, private and public, on the island since 1970.
We have truly discovered, as have the tenants who occupy other stores in the old building, that newspaper advertising through the years has been a solid cornerstone of success in the islands. The newspaper has been cooperative, creative and effective in our success.  We presently are having a “retirement sale” to wind up our years while we entertain various offers to buy our firm…a jewel of a firm on a jewel of an island advertised by a jewel of a newspaper.
James Paull,
President, San Juan Jewels