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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 2, 2012 10:45 AM. The previous post in this blog was The next blow to the newspapers. The next post in this blog is Cars are bad -- unless they're at OHSU. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Another note from Chris Anderson

When we get two personal e-mail messages in as many days from the publisher of the O -- well, that's something to blog about. In the latest, he responds to our speculation that he wanted to have the paper endorse Romney over Obama but was ordered not to do it by the corporate brass back in New Jersey:

Mr. Bogdanski:

Thanks for posting my note.

I don't propose to engage in conversation every time you refer to The Oregonian. I'm not a regular reader of your blog, for better or for worse. Maybe I should be!

Having said that, I do want to respond to your provocation about The Oregonian's foregoing an endorsement in the presidential race. As any member of the editorial board who was there will tell you, I met with the group six months ago to discuss whether we would endorse Mitt Romney in the Washington Republican caucuses. (I don't know exactly who proposed that idea; I simply heard from Bob Caldwell that it was on the table for discussion.) That's when I told the group that not only was I opposed to endorsing Romney but also that I didn't think we should bother to endorse anyone in the fall.

My point of view, as I have expressed to anyone who wants to pay attention, is that I want our editorial and commentary content to be mostly local. We can have an influence on local matters to a far greater extent than on national issues. As I said to one of our associate editors, Supreme Court justices don't get up in the morning and check The Oregonian to see how they should rule. Similarly, Oregon voters aren't waiting for a proclamation from us to determine their choice for president. On the other hand, we might be able to convince Oregonians to vote a certain way based on our knowledge of the candidates, the issues and what we think might be best for the future of our state.

I have never discussed the editorial policy of The Oregonian with our owners. They have never, directly or indirectly, given any direction with respect to any aspect of our news or opinion/commentary content. An examination of the editorial positions of the various Advance newspapers will support this statement. There is no "Advance editorial position." Unlike my previous employer, where the owners dictated the editorial and commentary philosophy of all the company's newspapers, Advance's owners believe that editorial policies are best determined locally. Regardless of how people feel about our positions, at least they should know that the decisions are Made in Oregon.

Regards,
Chris Anderson

N. Christian Anderson III
President & Publisher
The Oregonian
1320 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201

Not only does he respond to our speculation, but he reveals a bit of a new overall track for the O. Interesting stuff, and we're grateful to have it.

Comments (8)

Sounds like good business sense to me. If the Oregonian dared to endorse Romney in this one-party town they likely would suffer for it.

Nice.

If he doesn't read this blog, it is obvious that many of his reporters do.

I sure wish that Andersen's viewpoint about the O having an influence on local issues far greater than national issue would extend to our City Council and the Mayor. Council does more arm twisting concerning international, national and obscure regional issues than our own city.

In a way the O has more rights to editorialize on international, national and regional issues than CoP. At least that is what regional newspapers use to do.

The Portland City Council has failed so miserably in its core mission that it can't find anything else to do but tilt at windmills. It's been that way since Opie Sten -- maybe even back to Earl the Pearl. Epic. Fail.

Disclaimer: I'm a former Oregonian employee who hasn't actually paid for or touched a copy of the O in memory. Yes. Local local local is probably the only hope for dailies, especially if you have a geographical niche like the Bend Bulletin or the Coos Bay World, two terrible terrible papers.

But I am looking forward to seeing a lot less syndicated dreck from Andersen's paper, less national and world news, less sports and especially less weather. Stop with the comics, the TV schedule, the crossword, the stock market gibberish. Hire up those PSU interns, read them the twitter policy, and livestream neighborhood association meetings.

"On the other hand, we might be able to convince Oregonians to vote a certain way based on our knowledge of the candidates, the issues and what we think might be best for the future of our state" So after all the "O"s studying and meetings, which one of the two unqualified wackos running for mayor did they decide was best for our future?

I'd like to see the paper expose the candidates who are thoroughly concealing their true selves.

How is it OK to create an entirely false impression for voters to consider when voting?

Legislative candidate Carl Hosticka mailers don't mention his 12 years as a Metro Councilor.

Lehan and Damon voter pamphlet statements don't mention any of their positions on the many contentious issues in the Clackamas County, nothing about their track record and not one word about their agenda or intentions to support everything Metro that voters have been opposing and rejecting.

This is cold blooded public deceit that should not be given a pass.


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