Monday, June 06, 2005

Is it just me...?

Or has the Oregonian decided to minimize Rose Festival. Insiders, please tell me - why no Queen picture on Page One Friday, as it has been since time began? Why were there only two pictures about the Starlight Parade - easily the only event anymore that exudes life and real energy?

Is this more a statement about not changing the paper at night or not having enough staff on weekend? As the man said in Dirty Harry, "I gots to know."

I'm not a huge RF fan, but these things were pretty glaring to me. And I'm guessing there were at least three photogs assigned to the Saturday parade.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, it very well may be "just you". Consider the thought that perhaps the "gleam may have left the Rose Festival". Don't get me wrong, the RF is a wonderfully positive event but what has it done for us lately? Events have been subtracted from the RF but few have been added over the years. The Rose Festival Association has lately become so politically correct and uptight that it probably turns off some people. Did changing the term "princess" to "ambassador" really help anything? Was there a huge hue and cry for this change?
Its not the RF Association's fault but the coming of the fleet, with all its understandable security precautions is now a yawner.
Perhaps, and that's a big perhaps, the "O" has picked up on the RF apathy and is acting accordingly. I have no way of knowing this but it seems viable. Doesn't it?

Monday, June 06, 2005 3:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was surprised as well by the lack of coverage in the Oregonian. The Starlight Parade is easily one of the most visual and unusual events of the year in Portland.

It's interesting to hear people ask what Rose Festival has "done for me lately." With only minimal taxpayer support (police patrols during parades and the like), this thing makes an 80-million dollar contribution to the regional economy. They give hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships to the bright and promising young women (no boys, which isn't very PC of them). They didn't object when the schools began referring to the "princesses" as "ambassadors," to remove any hint of a beauty contest, and yet people assume that Rose Festival imposed the new label. They didn't; the schools and the kids did.

We take it all for granted. We talk about how we're not big fans of Rose Festival, and how it's lost its gleam, and then we bitch when they make a necessary change, like dumping the creepy Jon-Benet Ramsey pageant called the Junior Princesses, and dropping the money-pit air show, that was running the organization into the red while attracting fewer and fewer people.

My kids and I like the Rose Festival because it gives us something positive, fun, and clean to do, just like it did when I was a kid, and whether or not it's considered cool, or gets covered in the paper, I'm very glad it's there.

Monday, June 06, 2005 4:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the downward spiral began with RF encompassing every summer event. June through August is too long to sustain the spirit of RF. Starlight Parade..Fun Center..Rose Parade, that's RF. Balloon racing CART races Air Show, ect. These events get publicity on RF coat tails but could exist without being baggage RF has lost its identity. It's a shame, too.

Monday, June 06, 2005 5:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, its just part of the Big O's plan to ignore real news that affects real people and carry on its own pc version of some alternative universe that exists somewhere in multnomah county. Fortunately TV and Radio still understand that an event that draws thousands of people deserves some coverage. Its part of what I call the "validation" theory. Folks can go to an event, but they like to see it validated or covered in the media. For some reason (or maybe its because the o doesn't want to cover something that's already been on tee vee) the O doesnt like to do this. What we need in this town is a paper like the old Oregon Journal or the Seattle P-I back in the 70s and 80s. For Gods sake, they covered the "News" The Two dot Journal that came out mid morning was a classic. Screaming headlines and all that. I had hoped the Trib might pick that up but doesn't look like its gonna happen.
It all boils down to what KATU News vet Norm Gunning likes to scream from time to time: "News is News". If you have to have some one explain it to ya, yer lost.

Monday, June 06, 2005 8:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too many Portland newbies and imports as readers, too little relevance on the part of the Rose Festival. As one "O" staffer was overhead, "How many stories do we have tonight about that Rose thingie?"

Hard to tell, maybe, too, which demographic that the paper might want to grow really gets off on extensive RF coverage. All ambassadors were covered, and there are stories about events; how much do you need if you don't much care?

Tuesday, June 07, 2005 2:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a parade is not news. it's a great photo op. writing 2000 words of blather about it isn't going to "validate" it. the rose festival couldn't be less coherent as an "event." gee, why couldn't we have a paper like the London Times circa 1834? please...

Tuesday, June 07, 2005 8:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, its just part of the Big O's plan to ignore real news that affects real people and carry on its own pc version of some alternative universe that exists somewhere in multnomah county.

So, publishing numerous stories and photos during the festival and then multiple pages of photos on the day after the parade constitutes a "plan to ignore" it? Sounds like a sucky plan.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005 1:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And the special section inside A&E: more blind-eye-turning.

I'm not a native Oregonian, but I've lived here more than 15 years. And every time I see the Rose Festival on a front page or leading a news cast I realize I'm not in a truly big city. Not a complaint, mind you, so much as stating a symptom....

Tuesday, June 07, 2005 1:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank God we're not truly a big city, that's why most of us choose to live here, but: Rose Festival is our Seafair...Mardi Gras...Tournament of Roses...perhaps not on the exact same scale, but still: local TV and newspapers hammer those events as hard, or harder, than we hit RF. Barring actual news, it's what's going on.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005 8:53:00 PM  
Anonymous ionceateahammock said...

"And every time I see the Rose Festival on a front page or leading a news cast I realize I'm not in a truly big city."

Who wants to be? Would you rather hear about the latest murder? Kids in crisis? A big traffic tie up on the Dan Ryan?

Those of us who cover this stuff (and have for years) KNOW it's not news-- but it's what people are talking about. Or is it us MAKING them talk about it?? Only Walter Lippman knows for sure...

Wednesday, June 08, 2005 5:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(I'm the anonymous who posted about not being in a "truly big city.")

This gets to the civic schizophrenia of Portland.

There are world-class aspects of Portland, as nobody can deny. Would you sit quietly if anyone said that we didn't have music, dance, restaurants, mass transit, or literary culture equal to that found in nearly any big city in America? I wouldn't.

But then the Rose Festival comes around and we're Mayberry and proud of it. My family (by marriage) are worldly, sophisticated, educated, clever, engaged folks. But they are agitated if they miss taking a gander at the princess/ambassador from their alma mater or seeing who was named queen. To my non-native mind, it's like seeing them eat Cap'n Crunch for dinner.

It's unique to Portland, this phenomenon, I'm certain, a touch of the era of consensus and happy unanimity in an age of relativism and jaundice. I happen to feel more comfortable with the latter -- a simple matter of taste.

But, I don't think the Rose Festival is big news, or at least not any bigger news than a state or county fair, and how much coverage of that is enough? A little bit, I'd say.

Beside, those Rosarians give me the creeps.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005 8:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow..three page-one color photos and an eight-page pullout doesn't seem to me like they're minimizing Rose Festival coverage. They seem not to have shown the Scientology float--wonder if they didn't approve of its inclusion in the parade?

Sunday, June 12, 2005 7:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's what people are talking about

I don't know a single such person except those I work with in the media. So I'm not sure whose world this coverage is reflecting.

One person's mirror is another person's black hole, I guess.

Sunday, June 12, 2005 10:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank God it's over. Now we can go back to, uh, hmm.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005 2:11:00 PM  
Anonymous decaf said...

I know a bunch of people outside the media who talked about the RF. Every single such conversation was about strategies for avoiding associated traffic.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005 7:04:00 PM  

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