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Why I Am Cancelling The Oregonian

January 20, 2011 9 comments
Oregonian

Oregonian

There’s a point in almost any bad relationship when you know you’ve stuck around longer than you’ve should have. The moment came when you should have broken up but somehow you thought things might change, that whatever was weighing things down would dissipate if you only waited it out. This is how I feel about The Oregonian.

I first started to subscribe to The Oregonian in 1993 when I first moved to Portland. It was our first connecting point to the news of our new home. The Oregonian in 1993 was a mighty thing, with staff writers and columnists galore. The paper stood as many things in Portland do: much stronger than you’d expect for a city of its size.  Flash forward 17 years and you have a paper in absolute ruin.  Where once stood a Business section is often a single page of wire reports and cobbled-together news bits.  Where once there was insightful and award-winning investigative journalism, you now have reporters using anectodal information; my favorite was for the story Construction of downtown Portland high-rise is halted by tight credit in which “reporter” Ryan Frank says, “Real estate brokers had taken to saying that Park Avenue West would be built by the “Bank of Tom Moyer.” No source, no quote, no real reporting.

The Oregonian suffered like most papers in this country as the economy faltered and news migrated online.  But I stuck it out. I tried to look past the fact that more and more of the paper was comprised of news articles that came off the news wire.  It became harder when I started to see wire articles appear in the paper that had been online for days and some times weeks in advance. Again, a sign of the economic times.

With belt tightening at The Oregonian came another clear trend: articles that were going to print without being proofed.  Over the last year we’ve played a game at the breakfast table, reading aloud some of the headlines and articles from The Oregonian to our two grade-schoolers to see if they could spot the glaring grammatical errors. They almost always can. Read more…

Categories: Portland Tags: ,

Oregon: a one-party state? – Yellow Journalism at Its Finest

November 6, 2008 3 comments

7417375_300This morning I was reading The Oregonian and flipped to the Metro section.

Steve Dunn had a fairly wound licking piece about how Republicans in Oregon need to pick up the pieces and regroup. Dunn and I don’t see eye to eye, but his column is commentary.  So truth in advertising. Right?

Next I read the front page metro headlining piece (above the fold): Oregon: a one-party state? written by Janie Har and Bill Graves. If anyone is left out there that still believes that there’s such thing as the “Liberal Media”, you’ll want to sit down for this one:

Emboldened by Election Night wins across Oregon, Democrats now have unbridled power to raise taxes and fees when they meet in January

What the fuck?  This opening in an article that is labeled as a news story isn’t a quote or any other external reference by the authors, it’s an out and out slam against liberals as “Tax and Spend”. The article goes on to talk about how the Democrats are in control of the state legislature but might be restrained by the expectations of voters, some of which tend towards more conservative views.

At a core I think questioning a one-party dominated legislature is more than fair. Any time one party has a majority it’s important for the media to make sure there’s transparency and accountability. But this article is just absurd. It’s been one day since Barak Obama made his moving speech about people from both parties coming together and working together on the problems that face us. To have such an out and out partisan slam in The Oregonian as a news article is just out of bounds, so much so that I’d say it’s not Red or Blue but Yellow Journalism.

Interestingly you won’t find Oregon: a one-party state? online at Oregon Live anymore, the piece seems to have been pulled from their online edition.

Categories: Politics Tags: , ,