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Monday, May 7, 2012

Assignment editors alert

So, was there a large brawl, with 50 combatants and lots of police involved, last night at Holladay Park in Northeast Portland? Or not? Today we hear nothing but crickets.

Comments (9)

Skeleton crew last evening at the O? Meet Andrew Theen, recently returned to this area (a previous internship at OPB) to join "The Oregonian staff as business reporter in Hillsboro":

"I am a new reporter covering small business in your fine city. I'm an Oregonian coming to you most recently from Bloomberg News in New York. There, I wrote about Iraq and Afghanistan veterans at the Ivy Leagues and the trend of banning bottled water on college campuses.

Prior to Bloomberg, I studied at Northwestern University's Medill graduate journalism program in Chicago and Washington DC. On a fellowship at Medill, I teamed up with fellow reporters to investigate Reserve and National Guard health care woes over the past decade of war. That was a powerful and educational experience.

I liked it out East, but my heart was in Oregon. This is, after all, home."

"I'm excited to tell business stories that matter to the people of Hillsboro and Washington County and to share them with the wider readership of The Oregonian.

The best way to do that is with your help. Email me, reach me on Twitter or Facebook, or come say hello if you see me around. I'm tall."

Do not allow his invitation to pass unanswered.

Thanks. Can we get back on topic?

More crickets...
I guess only large PDC projects are "newsworthy".

Re: "Can we get back on topic?"

New-hire Andrew Theen wrote the slim piece about the brawl. He has extended an open invitation for questions about, for example, why the piece is so slim when there would appear to be so much more to it. Or, why he was assigned the story when he has been hired to do business stories in the western suburbs.

Newspapers don't cover or write stories. Reporters cover and write stories for newspapers. If coverage is limited to rehashing a police alert, then that's one explanation that may suffice. If an extensive report was submitted but much reduced by editors, than that's another explanation. Determining which explanation best fits the apparent mismatch between event and the O's reporting of the event provides information about the O as a medium for unbiased, sufficient reportage. Isn't that the purported topic?


This is not Facebook, and I am not 'friends' with you, so this will have to do for now. But I bet you'll here about my questions, so feel free to respond here.

So, since you are a business reporter, here are some business related questions:

What is the impact on all this Lloyd Center crime to the businesses?

How many have closed in the last 3-6 months around there?

Are there any businesses that plan to abandon the area soon?

Where would they go, Bridgeport or another area?

And finally, Why does Sam Adams and his Portland City Hall Administration hate businesses so much?

Isn't that the purported topic?

Apologies. I didn't notice that Theen was stuck writing police stories on a Sunday night. What you posted talked about his reporting on business in Hillsboro.

There was no police press release on this particular rumble. Somebody must have called it in to the O, and Theen, who was on the desk, called the cops. They probably told him they were busy and gave him just a couple of tidbits of information. They also probably told him to call back in the morning. By morning, Theen was back out in Hillsboro covering pizza franchise openings, and the riot was some other reporter's problem.

The subsequent silence is ominous.

You think that the Lloyd District, being Portland's pre-eminent "Transit Oriented Development", would have its' crack transit blogger cover the story.

No dice. He's too busy digging up the ongoing feud that is "Where is Springfield?" and calling Matt Groenig a liar.

Charettes Gone Wild!, maybe?

It's been two days since the event described in the O by Andrew Theen thusly:

"A large fight near Holladay Park in Northeast Portland Sunday night drew a large police presence.

Officers responded to a fight among more than 50 youth, according to police.

No arrests were made, no injuries were reported."

The O has offered no additional coverage. Mr Theen's slender piece has elicited two dozen comments, none of which has been submitted by someone who claims to have been present when the alleged brawl occurred. Could it be that the reading and writing public has been punked?

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