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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 8, 2012 9:43 AM. The previous post in this blog was Your library district vote already at work -- building bike lanes. The next post in this blog is If your 'dog is a cat.... Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sobering thoughts from the pot paper publisher

In his annual letter to readers, Willy Week publisher Richard Meeker says some smart things about Portland and his journal's role in it. For one thing, he admits that WW is not really an "alternative" publication any more, but more importantly, he laments the fact that there's less and less media to be an alternative to any more. The O, he points out, is going downhill fast, and its downsizing isn't healthy for the city.

As for his own outfit, Meeker says:

To grow and flourish, a city like ours needs a sustained narrative — one that originates in careful questioning and discussion. This kind of reporting — not just of news, but of culture and imagination — is at the heart of the complex buzz of ideas and thoughts that holds us together as a community and gives us our sense of possibility.

As to WW’s role in all of this, consider the following: Our newsroom has a staff of nine. We have a production staff of five, an advertising and marketing team of 12 (including classifieds and events), a single circulation manager, a Musicfest staff of two, and five of us in operations. We also have a number of freelance contributors and other independently contracted help.

In other words, we have nowhere near enough resources — for our aspirations or Portland’s — which is why I believe this to be the challenge that will animate the years ahead.

Nowadays there are more government p.r. flacks in Portland than they are reporters, and that ain't good. The internet has ripped the news business apart, and it isn't going to be put back together in anywhere near the shape it was in in the old days. As much as they exasperate us, the print media stand between the public and disaster. We had better hope that the few serious journalistic forces this city still has, figure out a way to survive.

Comments (10)

"To grow and flourish, a city like ours needs a sustained narrative — one that originates in careful questioning and discussion."

No the modern press corp is only supposed to reprint the press release from the government flakes, er I mean flacks.

Questioning the agenda will soon be a crime in the new world order.

We need an alternative to the bobble heads of Fox and "news" radio. Unfortuately, print is a dinosaur. Killed by the kilo-byte. Like the horse and buggie and vinyl records it will be for a few enthusiasts who love the retro feel. The world is moving on.

"In other words, we have nowhere near enough resources — for our aspirations or Portland’s — which is why I believe this to be the challenge that will animate the years ahead."

Yes, your business model has changed. You will continue to have to cut back, since people will not pay more next year for less of what you delivered last year.

"The internet has ripped the news business apart, and it isn't going to be put back together in anywhere near the shape it was in in the old days."

This is true and will continue. I personally am glad it was ripped apart, and also glad it will not be put back like it was. Kill or be killed.

"As much as they exasperate us, the print media stand between the public and disaster. We had better hope that the few serious journalistic forces this city still has, figure out a way to survive."

Survive or evolve... maybe even evolve to survive? We now get our "news" from so many different sources. And each day we evaluate their credibility (did what they say yesterday come true? what is their bias and agenda?)

Just because they write as a 'professional' for a (credible? respectable?) newspaper (no longer on paper, and often not very 'new') means nothing anymore. I am no more going to give credibility and authority to Nigel just because he writes for WW, but instead I might give the same credibility to a ex-waiter and current comic joke writer who does not write for WW, but has researched the whole derivative debacle and has earned my respect and his credibility because of his own research and knowledge, not the name of his advertiser/newspaper.

Does Nigel deserve more respect and authority than Bill? Why? Do I care if I get better info, news and opinions from an url that is rather than Opinions and news are at both locations; may it be the survival of the fittest. Crowdsourcing and Craigslist have shown us the way.

I was early in my efforts to get on line and gather everything from the internet. I ditched all manner of hard copy (except for books) a long time ago. My laptop and more recently my iphone have been an essential part of my being for many years. Only recently have I begun to untie myself some from these electronic government trackers to read newspapers again. Not always real informative or up to the minute, but a really nice change. Maybe papers will catch on again rather than die, as more people decide to undo themselves from the leash we call a PC.

We had better hope that the few serious journalistic forces this city still has, figure out a way to survive.

I find it odd, Jack, that you apparently wrote this sentence without realizing that many of us do consider you a "serious journalistic force" in this city and region.

It might be pointed out that many newspapers are now charging a small monthly amount to access more than headline content. I think you will be seeing more of that in the future.

To "grow and flourish" a city needs a growing supply of good paying jobs, competitive tax rates, an educated workforce, high amenity/reasonably priced housing, affordable public utilities, and a reliable transportation grid (especially for the timely movement of FREIGHT) especially during peak traffic.

Portland is failing every count.

If you're a condo developer (or other beneficiary of patronage), a municipal employee, or a union member, then Portland is looking out for you.

Everybody else exists to feed the beast.

"I am no more going to give credibility and authority to Nigel just because he writes for WW . . ."

I don't give Nigel credibility and authority because he writes for Willamette Week; I give it to him because he's earned it over years of excellent investigative reporting.

I also give Jack Bogdanski a lot of credibility and authority for the same reason, and because the last time I was talking to someone at the Port of Portland and brought Jack's name up just to get a reaction, all that person would say was, "He does very good research." Which said volumes to me.

The Oregonian shares the general decline in all big city newspapers.

But the Oregonian also inflicts upon itself a comical and almost unending series of un necessary wounds.

he PC addition prevents them from publishing accurate reproductions of PPB news releases and reports. The O never prints a full and accurate description of criminals, in the name of not offending anyone.

Similarly, the Oregonian literally refuses to print simple objective facts with which it disagrees. In its sports pages, look for he name of the Washington, D.C. NFL team. The O has decided that the fact of the team's name is offensive and refuses to print the name.

When, in the name of PC, the local paper refuses to print objective, observable facts in sports stories and in reprints of police reports, I have no confidence in the reporters or editors willingness or ability to print relevant facts in any story.

Hillariously, I received today in the mail a letter from the Oregonian's Kevin Denny, VP of Circulation, breathlessly announcing that I am to be, yet again, graced with a free, daily and Sunday, 26 week subscription to the Oregonian, delivered to my home. The letter announcing the amazing gift I am to receive is courtesy of the Oregonian's "partners", and bears the logos of the "partners", including a logo of a stylized Native American used by the Porland Winterhawks.

The Oregonian adherence o is PC idiocy is inversely proporional to the amount of money brought in. THe Winterhawks are paying money; the Oregonoian has no problem wih the logo.

Shame hat he same calculus didn't apply when i opined ad nausium about high school mascots, logos and nicknames.

No integrity at the Oregonian on any level.

Which is why the O is doomed.'


I'm a Winterhawks STH and no one offered ME a free subscription (morose sadness). It is indeed ironic that the PC Oregonian would miss this chance to walk their own walk... (but then again, I've always said that the only things true in the O are the date, the sports scores, and yesterdays temperatures.

FWIW, Its BlackHawk of whom you speak. He is REVERED among hockey fans as brave, strong, cunning, and fearless.

Symbol of the Chicago Blackhawks, one of the NHL "original six" teams.

There are very strong hockey connections between the original Portland Rosebuds and the Blackhawks, one of the reasons that we Portland Winterhawk fans are HONORED to have his likeness as our logo.

Cheers, Mike


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
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Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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