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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 21, 2007 1:38 PM. The previous post in this blog was New felony defense in Multnomah County: "He was depressed". The next post in this blog is How to be a popular guy. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Media death watch, Portland edition

Lots of buzz this week about troubles at the O. Willamette Week is always in the local daily's face, and the other day the Double Dub posted an in-house e-mail from O editor Sandy Rowe that suggests, between the lines, that everybody in the place start thinking about their next careers. The memo also reveals that the dead tree version of the paper is now the handmaiden of the electronic version, after years of the relationship being the other way around.

This is not news. Circulation's down, ad revenue has got to be way down, and there's no upturn in sight. Today's kids don't, and are never going to, read newspapers. It's all riding on the internet now.

And when it comes to the internet, the O's ugly parent company, the Newhouse family behemoth known as Advance, has done just about everything wrong so far. All of its web sites are the same, and they've been unspeakably bad. It's looking bleak indeed.

Can you imagine Randy Gragg trying to get a real job?

Comments (21)

Velveeta will make things better. Velveeta makes everything better.

The sad part is that Portland needs a smart, well written, and sophisticated daily paper online or otherwise.

I mean we have a library system with the second highest circulation rates and on of the most books read per capita in the whole country. However what we have as a daily paper reads mostly like it was written for turnip truck refugees and coupon clipping recipe swapping housewives in the suburbs.

Maybe it's time for the O to die, I just hope something better can replace it.

As for that memo. Wow. a big D- for Ms. Rowe in business writing class. This is one to keep for future students in how NOT to write a memo.

meanwhile, the Portland Tribune seems to be doing well, i hear?

Jack Shafer says it far better than I could:

Among the most frequently used words in her memo is must, which appears 10 times. Instead of conveying a sense of Oregonian destiny, the word signals Rowe's reliance on managementspeak. Far from rallying the Oregonian staff to help the new bosses remake the paper, Rowe's memo pours a round of Kool-Aid and invites the newsroom to do a Jonestown.

If we lose the Oregonian's endorsements, we won't know how not to vote.

If we lose the Oregonian's endorsements, we won't know how not to vote.

Fred Stickel will just have to blog them instead.

meanwhile, the Portland Tribune seems to be doing well, i hear?

Is that right? I hope so. I thought I heard awhile back that the Trib was about to go under. It's not a comprehensive paper, but the few articles in the Trib are so much better researched and written that I actually look forward to picking up a copy.

I'd be happy to hire Gragg to do maintenance and clean-up work around my apartments. But I'm not sure he'd like to work that hard.

I do think he knows something about aesthetics, but he probably thinks he's worth more than $12/hour. I don't.

"The sad part is that Portland needs a smart, well written, and sophisticated daily paper online or otherwise". That's been true for 65 years...yup I'm that old to remember.
Velveeta? Try Limburger. ROFLMAO.

How am I going to start my wood stove from Nov to March?

More importantly, how will we wrap our salmon?

Easy! Use the Mercury...

One of the "Oh's!" big problems is that they love the NY Times and its style. No offense since I read the Times everyday and have for years, but with a number of news services, other papers and columnist in this country, the "Oh!" gets much and maybe too much is appropriate here from the NY Times.

Maybe they should try what the preach to the rest of us, a little diversity.

The Nickle

I'd hire Gragg to clean out the stalls of my horse barn. Unfortunately, I don't have a horse barn, and Gragg's skill with a shovel probably wouldn't be any better than his skill as an urban planning/architecture critic.

"Gragg's skill with a shovel probably wouldn't be any better than his skill as an urban planning/architecture critic."

C'mon now, Gragg shovels it on week in and week out. He's a master at that kind of thing. Maybe he can get a job at the rodeo.

If we lose the Oregonian's reporters, PDC, Metro, TriMet, OHSU, Port of Portland, CoP, and Sam won't have a PR firm.

LET'S MAKE A DEAL!

The Big O sells to Soros or some eq, we vote for the Charter change.

I canceled my subscription today.

It's stupid in my opinion to think about the O in terms of liberal or conservative.

However, I absolutely think that the coverage and the editorials are heavily slanted in favor of downtown Portland business interests. Some of those people pass themselves off as liberals, others say they're conservatives.

The common thread is that they all depend upon the government to make their money. Some are given monopoly utility franchises, others depend on urban renewal, and there are others, but those two main categories cover most of what drives the agenda at the O.

Democracy works best when people have access to the important decisions before they are even framed or proposed. The O is too reactive and trusting of the received wisdom of the powers that be. For the O to work well, it should be stirring up mess at the very beginning of murmurs that something is afoot.

The WW, Merc, and Daily Journal of Commerce all do a better job of being proactive than the O. It's not necessarily the writers' fault. There is a culture of kiss-ass of the 'civic luminaries' that is worthless, and needs to go, yet somehow still tries to run this town.

Fortunately, this town has become too smart for that BS.

The culture at the Oregonian seems to think that rewriting PR releases sent in by government sources is news and that's sad. It also might explain why those sources get protection when they step in it. (Neil isn't the only example.)

Forty years age it was a decient news source.

The cruelest line in Slate's bruising critique of Sandy Rowe's silly little e-mail was this one:

"I've read grocery lists that were more literate."

That had to hurt. Especially since her old pals in Virginee are reading it on the Net and laughing at her too.


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