Thursday, August 11, 2005


I have learned the value of this site to some, and the responsibility.

There are so many issues we've discussed that as I re-read from the May start, I see the value in talking about what matters to us in the media, the reaction from those who need us (PR and marketing folks), and regular viewers and readers who found this.

There have been a number of times when people whose job it is to disseminate have asked those who don't to stay out. If you read the fine print up above, it was always my intention to let everyone in. I think we learn more when we listen to others.

I have been loudly criticized for editing (censoring) comments that I felt were so off point to be obscene (I get to choose), or disrespectful or redundant. I make no apologies, and if those folks don't like it, they are welcome to do what I do. There are dozens of places for you to write a blog yourself.

I think we have found here that we have an imperfect media market - where our enormous daily (the O) struggles for the credibility it needs, where our weeklies (WWeek, Trib and Merc) have issues about finances or editorial/financial judgement, where the growing trend in TV news plays more to the fear factor than as a mirror on our region, and where local radio is becoming, slowly, obsolete.

No matter what the subject, everything is interesting.

I thank those of you who have taken time to write and express your thoughtful opinions, your look at the history of media in Portland, and your hopes for its future.

I have listened (I think) to some who want me to challenge, more than condemn, or take pot shots.

So let's take this into Friday and beyond - If there was another daily newspaper in Portland, what would you want it to do differently from the Oregonian?

If you needed radio to keep you up to speed every hour (and at the "bottom of the hour"), what would that sound like?

If TV news needed to cover crime because it's easy, what is the one thing a station like 12 or KATU could add that would make it worth watching?

Thanks for stopping by.


Anonymous dotyoureyes said...

I don't think we just cover crime because it's easy -- it also draws viewers in. You only have to look as far as KPTV to prove that.

I think the challenge and opportunity in covering crime is finding ways to put any given event in context -- is this a one-time thing, or a regular event in the neighborhood? (And which one of those possibilities is more newsworthy?) Is there a way to make this story relevant to people in a way other than a Jerry Springeresqe "ooh, look at the freaks on meth who beat their babies!"?

That's the part of covering crime that's not easy, but if you do it well, you can bring in viewers and provide a service that goes beyond a police blotter.

Friday, August 12, 2005 12:24:00 AM  
Blogger Ruben Bailey said...

Was that a "Titz McGee" signoff?

If it was, then...

Stay Classy.

Friday, August 12, 2005 8:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Portland - indeed all of Oregon and Southern Washington - already has the radio service you describe: OPB.

Friday, August 12, 2005 9:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>If you needed radio to keep you up to speed every hour (and at the "bottom of the hour"), what would that sound like?

It would sound a lot like either of these stations:

Friday, August 12, 2005 9:05:00 AM  
Blogger PDX Graphics Guy said...

It would be nice to hear some good news for a change :)

How about stories on how people can improve their quality of life? If you have meth in your neighborhood, what can you do to kick it out? That kind of thing.

Friday, August 12, 2005 9:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Viewer said...

Keep it in context and don't overhype it. I don't want to hear ever again, "could it happen in YOUR neighborhood?" or any variation on that idiotic statement.

Let's be honest, crime gets viewers for the same reason people stare at car accidents. As such, it may or may not be real news, but it is most definitely prurient entertainment. There is no need to overhype it to try to generate more fear. Scaring people makes all of us less safe in the long run.

I'd love it if - when they report some scary crime - they at least would mention how rare such crimes are. If they can't stand doing that, how about if you just stop trying to make it sound as if there's some sort of anarchy-driven wave of crime, hmm?

In a metro area of over a million people, a shooting a day means you're more likely to choke to death on a sandwich or break your neck descending the stairs at home than ever even see a shooting (outside of the television fish bowl), let alone actually be involved in one.

It's fine reporting crime stories, but let's not pretend that crime is pervasive and something we all need to fear. Stop trying so hard to scare people. It isn't needed to get viewers. The voyeur element already does that.

I am fine with crime reporting, but I deeply resent the naked attempts to generate fear among viewers.

Just doing stories in a more straightforward manner would be a vast improvement.

Friday, August 12, 2005 9:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No normal person needs radio to keep them up to speed EVERY Hour.
They have lives, friends, families, jobs.

They're perfectly happy spending 5-10 minutes in the morning making sure the world didn't fall apart the night before, and a half hour to an hour in the evening staying informed about the world and the community they live in.

Friday, August 12, 2005 9:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To get to the newspaper question, I would love to see a daily tab with great photos, tightly written stories with lots of personality and a feisty point of view. I don't think a full-fledged Philly Daily News or Boston Herald would work in Portland—the paper would have to be smarter than either of those, for one thing—but I think an adaptation of that approach could be great.

Friday, August 12, 2005 9:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm fine with the crime reporting, too. But could KPTV and others stop with interviewing the neighbors? I don't care what the neighbors think.

Friday, August 12, 2005 9:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absent from discussions here is the concept as the press as the fourth estate. Remember that idea? For a democracy to work, the public must be informed to at least a basic level of the machinations of our society. The press/broadcast media largely have abdicated that function, which historically has been the trend in societies taken over by tyrants.

TV news, especially, is guilty of feeding us story after story that isn't about the big picture. The message to viewers is that the most important stories are those that are simply about individuals -- somebody got shot downtown, you should be really scared.

That fuels a self-centered, fearfull mentality.

Where are the stories about things that really matter to a wide swath of people? Like how our rights have been diminished under the current administration? Instead of writing about Mayfield as if he were a lone victim, where is the perspective that the erosion of his rights means all of our rights are eroded?

Where is the daily coverage of the breakdown of our societal systems (education, infrastructure, agriculture, etc.) — ironic because plenty of money exists in our economy to make them function a lot better.

These things won't get fixed as long as everyone's attention is focused inward. All the while, the powerfull are usurping a system meant for the people.

Friday, August 12, 2005 10:01:00 AM  
Anonymous gnossos said...

Well over a million people in the immediate PDX area and with the Oregonian we get a wire service/NYT rip and read topped off with a SMATTERING of local and regional news. And a mid-sized tree farm's worth of advertising with each issue.

The so-called suburban editions have become a poor joke -not much more than a compilation of PSAs and community events wrapped around a feel good feature or two. Major gack.

More local and regional news and analysis, plus the points made by Anon at 9:42 would keep me buying the Oregonian. I've been a regular reader (from the time I was a carrier back in the early '60's) and I cannot recall a time when this newspaper was less relevant.

Friday, August 12, 2005 10:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Former Viewer said...

What could another daily do differently? Compete. That'd improve both papers.

What could local TV news do differently? How about cover any news in addition to chasing ambulances and cop cars. Stop using packaged crap and passing it off as local. Maybe hire some journalists as reporters. I know, that's far-fetched, but a consumer can dream, can't he or she?

Friday, August 12, 2005 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger Betsy said...

I want more context - but not in a paragraphs long, 'go see this special four-part report we did' way. Tell me why the story you're featuring now is relevant to me; why I should care; how it might be linked to similar stories or larger issues; where I can go for more information. Don't provoke my sympathy, invoke my brain instead.

If there's a crime wave happening, tell us why. Ask the logical questions that arise - 'why has the gang task force shrunk since '98? What are we doing with those officers instead?' - and then answer them in a turgid, relevant way that leaves you out of it (Please, enough with the "As we brought to light with our series here, blah blah blah.")

And, of course, what gnossos and 9:42 already said...

Friday, August 12, 2005 11:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding local TV news, I often wonder if the insiders place too much emphasis on content. Take KPTV's 10pm news, for example. I know those people at KPTV put most of their daily effort into ensuring that their newscast isn't "boring". So they fill it with crime news and make it sensational... and credit their content for their ratings. But I don't think it's the content that sells. It's the time slot, the on-air people, the professional newscast look, and the appropriate newscast pacing.

Take last night's ratings, for example. KPTV had a 2.4 rating at 9:45pm, yet jumped to a 7.8 at 10:00pm. Why the big turn-to KPTV right at 10pm? You think it was news-viewer loyalty to the crime content? No way. It was news-viewer loyalty to the people, presentation, and overall product.

Content is only one piece of the newscast puzzle. Some of the other pieces include: pacing, production quality, graphic creativity, set use, sound, energy, anchor delivery, reporter delivery, and writing. If all of those elements are fantastic, then there is NO WAY A NEWSCAST CAN BE BORING. I say you can get the same ratings results by making your newscast LOOK sensational... instead of making the content sensational.

As a viewer, I only know what I see. And I only see one station at a time (there's no space in my living room for 4 TVs). Give me a well-rounded and balanced look at the day's news (with only a little crime news please), but make the PRESENTATION flashy, creative and professional. I'll be quite entertained.

Friday, August 12, 2005 11:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Skip said...

I would want to read more gossip, gossip, gossip!

Friday, August 12, 2005 11:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why the big turn on KPTV right at 10?
Because the networks are all in re-runs and it is summertime. Compare the "big turn" on August 11 to, say, any night in November...

Friday, August 12, 2005 12:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this blog going away?

The intro kind of sounds like a "good bye".

Friday, August 12, 2005 12:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ya, the Tribune is shutting down this site. They just can't afford to run it anymore.

Friday, August 12, 2005 1:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Encouraged by this thread said...

Hey, this sounds like a discussion among thoughtful, civil people! What happened?

Friday, August 12, 2005 3:38:00 PM  
Blogger pdx_photoman said...

Former Viewer wrote: "What could local TV news do differently? How about cover any news in addition to chasing ambulances and cop cars. Stop using packaged crap and passing it off as local."

Years ago, I was news director of the ABC affiliate in Orlando, Florida. When I got there, it was, quoting the GM, "the fourth-rated station in a three-station market."

With nothing to lose, I took a chance. I eliminated all coverage of violent traffic accidents, which had filled the newscasts, unless there was another news reason to cover them (causing an hours-long traffic snarl, for instance.) We eliminated all but the most serious crime coverage unless we could provide context (a dramatic increase in drug-related crimes showing social shifts, for example.)

The assignment editor and I reassigned a full-time crew to Seminole County, the fastest-growing county in the area, and they focused a lot on growth-related issues. I increased coverage from the state capital and spent more time in Orlando covering government issues, many of which were growth-related and some of which involved questionable dealings by local politicians (a la the PDC controversies of late).

Result: Within two years, we moved from overall #3 in the market to a strong #2 and were first at 11:00 PM. However, we did less well with "the demographic" -- we were getting an older audience. So it was a mixed success, as far as the sales department was concerned. (Of course, there's always an excuse.)

But this convinced me that television news can treat serious issues and survive.

Friday, August 12, 2005 4:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

stop crying and close the site down.

Friday, August 12, 2005 9:53:00 PM  
Anonymous historian said...


Thank you for your post. If your story is true, it goes to show that there are a number of avenues leading to news ratings success. There is no one correct road to travel. That's why it is so disheartening when folks, who work for stations that take the journalistic low road, claim that their road is the only road leading to success. It's simply not true.

By the way, pdx_photoman, you wouldn't by chance be a current Portland News Director, would you? You know, the one who left KGW in 1998 to become the News Director at WFTV, the ABC-affiliate in Orlando, Florida... only to return to Portland a few years ago to be the News Director at KATU? Just wondering...

Friday, August 12, 2005 10:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The way to cover crime in a thoughtful manner is to not depend on a reporter or a desk-jockey PIO.

Both generally are just making stuff up to make it through the day to the next story.

Saturday, August 13, 2005 12:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can bash the O all you want, but without it, television and radio reporters would be screwed. That's where most of their local, non-crime news comes from.

You can bash the O all you want but there are lots of stories there that provide context on local and regional issues. The problem is, the people who bitch the loudest are the ones that don't read those stories. But they're quick to complain the O does a lousy job.

Of course the paper could and should do better. That's true of any news organization. Sure it should have gotten the Goldschmidt story. But it has done great work and from what I see, the paper keeps trying to get better. I sure don't see that committment in the broadcast media. Or the Trib or WW.

For all the blather from the broadcast types posting here, I see little substantive discsussion of how they would improve their product.

And as far as the non-media types who post here, you sound like the same bitchy losers who show up on every board. And you can bet that of everything I've written in this post, the only thing the aformentioned losers will key in on is the fact that I called them losers. Which will prove my point.

Fire away.

Saturday, August 13, 2005 12:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's too bad most of the stories the "O" breaks only to be copied by television actually show up on television the night before they are in print.
There are a number of "beat" reporters in television newsrooms who are beating the "O" on a regular basis. And it's being done with a much smaller staff.
A common comment in t-v morning meetings is "did you see the "O" finally covered the story we did two or three days ago?"

Saturday, August 13, 2005 1:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As long as the current business model is in use, the idealization of local service by broadcasters will not be realized. Radio and TV have become monstrous debt service engines with the "play" on the upside capital appreciation. When some bright one figures out how to put in place a new business model, the face of broadcast will change.As the old saying says succinctly, "freedom of the press is owning one."

Saturday, August 13, 2005 2:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Oregonian HAD the Goldschmidt story. It just chose to sit on it for years in deference to the high and mighty man. So did Willamette Week. They just decided to wait 15 years before "breaking" the story. Shame on all of them.

Saturday, August 13, 2005 5:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The O Living Section became a wasteland (see almost any day when the lead story is from Knight-Ridder, etc) when they moved Mark Wigginton out and Bridget Otto in. It never recovered, and it's been a joke ever since.

Saturday, August 13, 2005 7:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, last poster:

1) Wigginton, Sr. Editor for features, left the O to run Portland Int'l Raceway and freelance. He wasn't "moved out."

2) Bridget Otto didn't replace Wigginton. She replaced Roger Anthony, then the Living editor, while Wigginton was still at the paper.

Other than the facts, your post is just fine.

Saturday, August 13, 2005 8:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Saturday rambler said...

Does it seem a little haughty that print people assume themselves to be a superior form of journalist, because they have time and space to work on a story that, they hope, is interesting, true, and new--in other words, newsworthy, and other media follow up on it? And why do Oregonian people assume that their stories, alone, are followed up on by TV and radio--when in fact the Register-Guard and Statesman Journal (and the Columbian, for that matter) originate a good deal of material?

And did last Sunday's Oregonian not follow up on the Lake Oswego Review story about the ban on Sunday construction noise?

Not to defend broadcast media entirely: there's a remarkable absence of originality in radio and TV coverage in this town. If there isn't a news conference, a scheduled event, or a formal announcement, it doesn't get covered until the newspaper does it. Unless, of course, it's a night time breaker, in which case it will be covered in the exact same way every time--the Schmautz standup, the shocked neighbor--while the O misses it altogether, because of deadlines.

And even have to wonder how many people actually read the newspaper version. Circulation may be in the hundreds of thousands, but beyond Sports, the comics, and The Edge, how many people are really paying attention?

Saturday, August 13, 2005 9:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 1:14:

The stories television "breaks" usually is crime, car crahses, fires amd missing kids. TV gets its leads from scanners, ODOT and press releases, not gumshoe beat reporting. Yes, the O does have the advantage of a big staff and yes, it does run wire. But then again, the paper covers a lot of ground. Some of the stories you find boring or unimportant matter to people in suburban towns so a lot of the resources are devoted to that. And how much of what you see on local tv nees is produced by other news organizations, including features.

Television is shallow by nature. Get a picture and get it on the air. Proof? The Legislature just met for seven months. What would you know about what happened in Salem if you relied on tv to inform you? The Guard, the Statesman and, yes, the O and provided deep and meaningful coverage.

As far as Goldschmidt goes, in hindsight, a lot of news organizations screwed up but remember this, tv didn't break the story or add anything to it. An importand questio to ask is, what major stories are we (all of us in the news business) missing right now.

Leave it to the always unhappy, self-appionted media critics to gripe about how lousy we are. (Some posters here do provide insighful, helpful critiques of our work and I appreciate that.) We need to acknowledge our weaknesses and try to do a better job, print or broadcast.

Saturday, August 13, 2005 10:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Television gives itself too much credit for "breaking" garden variety crime stories and pitbull attacks or house fires. These things get a few inches in the O because usually that's all they're worth. Granted, TV is much better suited to news as it happens stories (weather, fire) but newspapers will make some inroads there when they figure out how to take advantage of the Internet.

Saturday, August 13, 2005 10:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When every TV and radio station is sending reporters out to cover the "breaking" news of the day without regard to its worth to the community, how can the reporters ever get the time to do relevant stories.

Sweeps? Give me a break, I'm embarrassed by the stories and the time we am given to do them. If only we gave our photographers the time they needed to edit the way they want to.

The Oregonian reporters are given the freedom to work on a story for weeks or months. TV is just get it done for the day and move on. Wham Bam... what are the numbers ma'am?

The last time a TV station did a story that changed the community was when the Rausch was at KGW and Dooris did the city workers screwing around all day sweeps that made the mayor freak out.

Everytime you see a PDX city car that says "the city that works" you can thank KGW.... circa 1994.
What have you done for me lately?

Saturday, August 13, 2005 3:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How has KATU been doing against KGW at 5 and 6:30?

Saturday, August 13, 2005 3:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to 8/13/10:41, all of the news outlets are missing stories about major abuses in the court system. In 1999, the O did a story on the Professional Liability Fund setting up a shell corporation to defraud a plaintiff out of a malpractice claim. A good story by Jeff Manning and another reporter-can't remember the name. But it was reported that this was an isolated case. Imo, you should open your minds to the possibility that it is not. As one lawyer said to me recently, the problem is systemic. And the O got it wrong when it did a glowing Monday profile on a judge that I witnessed looting a Portland property and business owner in Bankruptcy court. Reporters over there need to stop labeling sources "whiners" and start following up. As for "self-appointed critics", we need more. Recent Congressional hearings on the Press reveal that many scholars see improving the press as essential to our nation's well-being in both the short and long run.

Saturday, August 13, 2005 7:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Improving the nation's well-being is never going to be the objective of a for-profit corporation. That's beyond debate. So instead we look to non-corporate media, and the shining star is NPR. It's interesting to me that there is no television equivalent. The overwhelming success of public radio, and specifically NPR, proves that the demand is there and it can be met.

Saturday, August 13, 2005 10:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

responding to 7:13, sounds like you're not happy because the media isn't rabid about one subject you are passionate about.

Reporters get calls all the time from people who want something looked into. Sometimes reporters investigate and guess what, IT IS an isolated case and it may or may not be worth a story. The PLF story is a good example. A reporter needs at least a whiff that something is amiss before launching on a big story. If there isn't some traction, you can spend weeks or months on a fishing expedition. Big papers like the O often cou reporters loose to look into things and the stories don't pan out. Readers wouldn't know that.

Saturday, August 13, 2005 11:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, NPR is great. Maybe they should televise Morning Edition.

Gee, why do you think there isn't a television version of NPR. I know, let's ask Bill Moyers.

Saturday, August 13, 2005 11:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1) Wigginton, Sr. Editor for features, left the O to run Portland Int'l Raceway and freelance. He wasn't "moved out."

fyi....wigginton was moved upstairs and left when he had little or no influence anymore. and he was very much relieved to get out of there and go work for PIR.

2) Bridget Otto didn't replace Wigginton. She replaced Roger Anthony, then the Living editor, while Wigginton was still at the paper.

otto was in charge IMMEDITATELY after wigginton was kicked upstairs. i know, that's when i quit writing for them. she was a dolt. roger was NEVER the living section editor.

get YOUR facts straight.

Sunday, August 14, 2005 7:34:00 AM  
Blogger MAX Redline said...

Man oh man, I do wish the trolls would go back under their bridges. Hmm...maybe they can't do that anymore because ODOT is busily fencing them out. Oh well, it was just a thought.

Anyway, folks, as a viewer and reader NOT a media professional - I'll paraphrase Nixon: Let me say this about that.

After years as a 7-day subscriber, I cancelled my subscription to the O right around the time they brought out that "Personal Style" section. And you know what? I've never missed it. Why? Because it is not relevant to me or to my family.

Most of their "news" seems to come straight from the wire services, which I can get the previous day by going to MSNBC or someplace. There is no additional detail.

Same with the business section.

Not being into sports, I can't address that. Maybe they cover it well and maybe they don't, but it isn't relevant to me.

That leaves the Metro and Living sections. I can get the comics online, and I really don't care about advice columns. So much for the Living section.

Metro has potential, though rarely attained. If, for example, they're going to do a story about "Dignity Village", why don't they tell me how it is that the Portland city council can overlook things like permitting and codes for them, while throwing a hissy fit if the average Joe remodels his kitchen?

Those are the kinds of things that matter to me - and they're precisely the kinds of stories that the media never tells.

I guess it's just easier to run up to the zoo in response to one of their endless streams of press releases, photograph yet another cute little baby monkey, and give it lots of space on the front of the Metro section - or at the end of the nightly "news" broadcast.

Excuse me...when did free advertising for the zoo become news?

Sunday, August 14, 2005 8:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, 7:34 . . . you're wrong. I can't remember the chain of succession, but Roger definitely was Living editor for a time.

Sunday, August 14, 2005 10:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I write for the Living section.

Roger Anthony was my editor.

He was replaced by Bridget Otto.

Sunday, August 14, 2005 10:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can someone please explain 2 things.

Why the Springsteen concert was not reviewed ?

What purpose does Jonathan Ncholas serve ?

Sunday, August 14, 2005 10:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ditto on Nicholas. He's useless, and annoying and irrelevant. His endless promotion of Cycle Oregon is sickening. Make him go away.

Jay at 8:48 makes some excellent observations about the what's wrong with the O's coverage but he also makes a common gripe that is unfair. The O (or another media outlet) may do several stories on a subject (Dignity Village is a good example) and the questions he wants answered may be in many, but not all, of those stories. If you're not a regular/occasional reader, you wouldn't know that. In that case, I think the criticism is unfairly applied.

It seems like some of the O's loudest critics are the ones who don't read it.

Sunday, August 14, 2005 10:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BTW, Bridget Otto is Fred Stickel's daughter.

Sunday, August 14, 2005 10:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You mean why wasn't the Springsteen concert reviewed until the 1200 word piece in today's paper?

Sunday, August 14, 2005 10:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's the big deal about reviews being a day late? Would you rather have a reviewer shovel 500 words written in 50 minutes into the newspaper? Or review half the concert in order to make deadline?

Or would you rather have a meaningful review that provides some insight although it's a few days after the event. Certainly someone of Springsteen's stature is worthy of reflection.

Maybe this is an example of the disconnect between media and readers/viewers. The consumers want and expect it right now. On the other hand, if media rushes stories into print/on air, there's always criticism that the coverage was too shallow and greater likelihood it will contain errors.

Sunday, August 14, 2005 11:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They're perfectly happy spending 5-10 minutes in the morning making sure the world didn't fall apart the night before, and a half hour to an hour in the evening staying informed about the world and the community they live in.

Sadly this explains a lot.

America ruled by the headline and soundbite. No need to spend anytime really trying to understand the world around you when you can just have it spood-fed in nice, easy to swallow bites.

Sunday, August 14, 2005 1:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: Friday, August 12, 2005 9:25:19 AM post

It is precisely that sort of intellectually incurious mindset that explains why a moron like Bush got elected.

Someday you'll be asking why the media didn't warn you about the rise of the Chinese economy, the effects of global warming and on and on and on.

No long ago I was talking politics with a old guy in a suburban town. He was a staunch supporter of Bush and claimed to get his information from several newspapers, magazines and news programs. But he wouldn't name any of them. It turned out that his sole news source was Rush Limbaugh.

And to Friday, August 12, 2005 10:01:18 AM

who said "For a democracy to work, the public must be informed to at least a basic level of the machinations of our society. The press/broadcast media largely have abdicated that function, which historically has been the trend in societies taken over by tyrants."

It's a two-way street. People must read or listen to those reports and they must act. Democracy is not a spectator sport.

Sunday, August 14, 2005 3:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to live in the Research Triangle area of NC. Go check out the Raleigh News and Observer. Similar sized market (actually quite a bit smaller than PDX if you don't add in Durham and CH) and beat the pants off of the O in terms of quality and breadth.

I think the recent edits in the O by the guy who left the progress board and his buddy (in today's O) say it all: Portland (and Oregon) is a second class place that's convinced its first class. Smug complacent self-satisfaction are our codewords.

And the media reflect this.

Sunday, August 14, 2005 4:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The O wastes a lot of its money writing about small town goings on.

Does any one know how many reporters they have covering the suburbs. Seems like a ton. Wonder what the paper would look like if they stopped assigning reporters to cover quilting bees?

Sunday, August 14, 2005 5:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Responding to 8/13 11:16 p.m.

I happen to know beyond a reasonable doubt from my own legal experience that the PLF story is not an isolated case and that Oregonian reporters and editors have been furnished with what they need to get "traction" on the story. There is documentation. Much of it is public record. I have concluded that the O is operating a rag for the good old elite that runs the state without regard for the general public interest. The crowd at the O really needs to do some soul-searching if credibility is ever to be attained. I don't see much openness to growing, learning-or sometimes even READING- documentation that is furnished reporters and editors over there. They exhibit the kind of hubris that goes before a fall, imho.

Sunday, August 14, 2005 6:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny how the Seattle Times can do a Springsteen review the morning after it but the "O" can't. It's called immediacy. Reviewing a concert 4 days late is terrible.

Sunday, August 14, 2005 6:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One thing I will say for the big O is that Food Day is great! The Blueberry/Walnut/Rice and Watermelon/Tomato/Feta salads featured this summer are out of this world. But I guess, good food is part of Bread and Circuses for the masses while the elite controls the political dialog.

Sunday, August 14, 2005 7:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the 6:50 twins.

Who gives a s*** about music reviews. If you went, you know how it was and if you didn't, you won't find out from a review.

And PLF guy, maybe the O is dogging it. But maybe you're a paranoid nutcase who doesn't consider the all the facts. Almost every news reporter has met a conspiracist who looks at only the information that supports the charge and ignores inconvenient facts.

Here's another possibility. The O wrote an in-depth story about this PLF thing and doesn't see value if writing another long piece about one person with a similar problem.

Here's an idea, peddle your story to the Pulitzer prize winning Willamette Week. Or tell that investigative fireball Phil Stanford about it. Then things will start happening. Oh yeah.

Sunday, August 14, 2005 8:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many many people care about music reviews. You're not the standard, buddy.

Sunday, August 14, 2005 8:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

on Mark/Roger/Briget (the midget):

Roger may have edited for a brief period, but I submitted my ideas to Mark and got them edited by Roger (who was the best copy editor I've ever had, and a wonderful writer himself). As soon as Mark moved out of the editor's chair, I pitched to Bridget (who very badly re-wrote a very funny piece of mine (without any discussion), after which I hit the road).
I believe you, Mr/Ms Living Section writer, but I never pitched to Roger. I wish I had.

Sunday, August 14, 2005 8:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nobody likes Jonothan Nicholas until they need an item dropped into his column.

Sunday, August 14, 2005 8:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a former North Carolina resident, I can echo the comment above about the Raleigh News & Observer - one of the best papers I've seen in the country - they always assume that their readers are intelligent and curious.

But even there, people were complaining about, for example, the increasing number of wire service articles and movie reviews in the entertainment section. Some of the things that people gripe about with the Oregonian are increasingly widespread in every newspaper - they're not unique to the O. For what it's worth.

Sunday, August 14, 2005 9:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Mr. 8:11

Why does it matter if you get a music review a day or two late. Does it really matter that much?

BTW, do you know if the Seattle reviewer stayed until the end of the Springsteen concert. I think some reviewers duck out early to make deadline. If the O stayed until the last note and missed deadline, isn't that better than reviewing half of a concert?

And about Micholas. He seems like a really nice guy but his column is featherweight. It's so forced and his style is goofy. Better they should lose him and add another Metro columnist.

Sunday, August 14, 2005 9:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know that we need the full-bore review the morning after, but this is Springsteen, a huge deal...some kind of mention of the concert would be timely, along with a plug for the full review is Sunday's edition..

Monday, August 15, 2005 7:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is worth a read: Journalism instructors talking about what they used to teach but no longer believe:

Monday, August 15, 2005 8:02:00 AM  
Blogger pdx_photoman said...

Historian asked:
"By the way, pdx_photoman, you wouldn't by chance be a current Portland News Director, would you?"

No. The Orlando story I recounted (WFTV) was three decades ago ... before the on-air consultants had invaded every newroom.

Would this be possible today? I don't know. What made this possible was that we were so far behind WESH and WDBO that we had nothing to lose.

Monday, August 15, 2005 8:43:00 AM  
Blogger MAX Redline said...

>It seems like some of the O's loudest critics are the ones who don't read it.<

Hey. I'm not loud, and I used to read it every day. I still check out online parts from time to time. The O in general is simply not relevant to me.

Johnny Nicholas was suspended some time back for plagiarism, and the O should have fired him right then and there.

I've always liked the O's FoodDay supplement; it's probably the most relevant to my daily life.

Monday, August 15, 2005 8:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the oregonian

why subscribe to some agenda-ridden, wire report-filled, devoid-of-content, pre-assembled trash heap? and all of the goddamn fluff crap too.

stop littering my property with that stupid food-day on tuesdays

Monday, August 15, 2005 11:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Dizzied said...

On Nicholas: I defy anyone to please explain what the hell is going on in today's (8-15) column. Something about a road rally, divorces, Prineville. . .

Monday, August 15, 2005 12:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Silly Idealist said...

"[...] the questions he wants answered may be in many, but not all, of those stories. If you're not a regular/occasional reader, you wouldn't know that."

Absolutely true. So he can just hop over to their website to get the context, and... ummm... hmmm. Guess not.

I realize that The O's website is Not Exactly Their Fault, but wow... what a stinker. While the poster quoted above should be right on, the O's website makes exploration of context online pretty much impossible. No one but a regular reader (or a dedicated researcher in a library) can find that hypothetical context. That's a little rough on all of us with actual lives to lead.

"If it matters to Oregonians, it's in the Oregonian... but you'll never find it on our website, you miserable freeloading bastards!"

Monday, August 15, 2005 1:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The same number of people care about music reviews as care about art gallery reviews.
I would like to know what groups are upcoming but I could care less about what someone's personal take on a concert. I'll make up my own mind also.
I may not know what good music or art is, but I know what I like sums it up.

Monday, August 15, 2005 2:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arts reporting and arts reviewing are two very different things. Perhaps you don't know the difference.

Monday, August 15, 2005 2:34:00 PM  
Blogger MAX Redline said...

>"[...] the questions he wants answered may be in many, but not all, of those stories. If you're not a regular/occasional reader, you wouldn't know that."

Absolutely true. So he can just hop over to their website to get the context, and... ummm... hmmm. Guess not.

I realize that The O's website is Not Exactly Their Fault, but wow... what a stinker. While the poster quoted above should be right on, the O's website makes exploration of context online pretty much impossible. No one but a regular reader (or a dedicated researcher in a library) can find that hypothetical context. That's a little rough on all of us with actual lives to lead.

"If it matters to Oregonians, it's in the Oregonian... but you'll never find it on our website, you miserable freeloading bastards!" <

As I noted earlier, I had been a seven-day a week subscriber for many years. I terminated my subscription to the O shortly after they introduced that mindless "personal style" supplement.

The O simply had become irrelevant.

Calling me and others like me "miserable freeloading bastards" is unlikely to enhance your overall readership.

Produce a quality product, and I'll buy it. As you obviously can't, shut your trap and listen to the input.

Monday, August 15, 2005 3:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Silly Idealist said...

Oops. Sorry, Jay, I was putting words in their mouth. They didn't really say that. (Well, not that I know of, anyway. Judging by their website, perhaps that's what they think.) It was an attempt at humor, which apparently failed.

Monday, August 15, 2005 4:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About Oregon Live (and ((alabama)),,, michigan, ((new orleans)), et al, all the affiliated Newhouse newspaper web sites, they're all the same, run by Advance Internet): Yep, it's hard to navigate. It takes many clicks to find a story, then many more clicks to navigate through that story.

Isn't internet ad revenue driven by "click-throughs?"

Maybe Advance Internet is going for maximum revenue at the expense of user-friendliness.

Monday, August 15, 2005 8:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 8:00. Suggesting someone you don't know is a paranoid nutcase who ignores convenient facts when you haven't seen the evidence is civil? I consider it presumptuous. And arrogant, which, imo, is a major fault of many in Portland in and out of the MSM. And one of the reasons we can't head off major problems before they embarrass us. I am all for fact checking, but we don't get much from the folks at the O; we get presumption instead. Systemic problems in the courts are important because they could potentially affect us all. And undependable courts and agencies keep legitimate investment out. Those stories are important in a rudimentary sense and go to the heart of what we say we want to doas a state: create jobs, preserve and improve the quality of life. But we can't solve our problems until we can first define them. And the O calling sources names-like paranoid nutcase- instead of fact checking is, imo a major reason we aren't making more progress. You prove my point.

Monday, August 15, 2005 10:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee, the newspaper won't pay attention to me. There must be something wrong with the newspaper.

Have you tried Willamette Week or the Trib or the Guard or the Statesman? Maybe you've got a blockbuster story and the O really is asleep at the switch.

Or maybe .... oh nevermind.

BTW, who did you talk to at the O? Who exactly are the people who blew you off?

Monday, August 15, 2005 11:43:00 PM  
Blogger MAX Redline said...

Somebody (KOIN, I think?) pitches their product as news that's local and "to the point".

And that's okay for tv, I guess - I understand that airtime is limited. But I think detail is important to rational decision-making. I'd like to know, for example, why it's a good idea to spend $84 million to fund a 3.4-mile extension of the streetcar from the Pearl district to OMSI.

As I sit in the Terwilliger curves on I-5, I ponder such things.

The O could provide such detail, but generally doesn't. One of the things I loved about local programming such as "Northwest Reports" was that they did provide greater depth.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 7:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. or Ms. Know-it all: It is possible for there to be something wrong with a newspaper. Check out how the LA Times served as a cheerleader for William Mulholland until the collapse of the San Francisquito Dam. In fact, if you look at the history of the O, it has not infrequently sided with elitists to the detriment of the public interest. Your comments peg you, not me. That is all.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 10:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Monday, 2:34
Yes, I know the difference between Arts reporting and Arts reviewing.
Reporting may give you information you can use.
Reviewing gives you one person's impression of what they heard or saw. That is usless information that only expands the already bloated head of the egotistical reviewer.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 12:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One more time:

Hey, Monday, August 15, 2005 10:29:38 PM

Who did you talk to at the O? Who exactly are the people who blew you off? Did you really talk to anyone. Maybe you are a PNC.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 10:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blowing off reviewers disregrds Dorothy Parker, Griel Marcus, Pauline Kael, Richard Meltzer (not to mention Shawn Levy) and dozens more great writers who bring context and opinion to arts writing.
You obviously don't know what you're talking about.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005 1:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>As I sit in the Terwilliger curves on I-5, I ponder such things.

and i'm pondering why every idiot newscaster says on the air that "it sounds like a great idea" to spend money we don't have for education or jails and spend it (estimated 800,000) on changing 82nd avenue to avenue of roses

i don't fucking care what you newscaster morons think, thats not what your paid to do

and avenue of roses is a stupid idea by the way

Wednesday, August 17, 2005 2:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>and avenue of roses is a stupid idea by the way

it really is

the visitors to portland that want to experience the whimsical avenue of roses need to be instructed not to enter any establishment or turn off into the neighborhood as this would ruin the illusion......

Wednesday, August 17, 2005 2:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Monday, August 15, 2005 10:29:38 PM

You are a paranoid nut case.

All talk, baby, all talk.

Thursday, August 18, 2005 12:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoyed that over the course of this whole thread, we DID get to see that the person talking about the corrupt court system really probably very much IS one of those nutcases who reporters and editors occasionally get trapped by on the phone (I had one in person once that took more than an hour and two security guards to conclude). And they go on and on and on, and maybe they had a point once but it's lost now and they can't ever really seem to provide the documentation they claim, and they wallow in phrases like "it's all public record, you can go look it up," and


when push comes to tipping, they don't answer real questions. Instead of an answer, they'll tell you that it's entirely POSSIBLE that court systems become corrupt, you know! It's entirely POSSIBLE that the entire paramilitary industrial complex is targeting me for subliminal radiation interruptions because I once had an idea for a better type of steel and I tried to get it patented but my husband at the time was involved with the Pentagon, and he got them not only to stop my patent but also to steal my idea and kick me out on the street with nothing but my SSI check. So it IS POSSIBLE that something's wrong with a newspaper, Mr. Smarty Pants!

Sunday, August 21, 2005 10:15:00 PM  
Blogger CCEPDX said...

Back in high school we learned that legitimate reformers are often called crazy to thwart needed reform. It is more than a bit presumptuous not to check facts and to jump to conclusions, adding two and two to come up with five.

Monday, August 22, 2005 1:33:00 PM  
Blogger CCEPDX said...

BTW, court systems are incorruptible: every judge is more than human and every lawyer is brimming with integrity. Will the real nut case pleas stand up?

Monday, August 22, 2005 1:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

" Back in high school we learned that legitimate reformers are often called crazy to thwart needed reform."

However, it does not follow that everyone who is called crazy is a legitimate reformer....

Monday, August 22, 2005 7:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well say what you want. The nutcase bitched because a reporter didn't pay attention to his "story." But the nutcase can't tell us who he talked to. That, my friends, the the mark of a paranoid nutcase. All charges and hot air. No balls and no facts.

You want to deal with psychos who bitch because their "stories" don't get play? Be my guest. I'll tell you one thing. they'll never be satisfied. Their circular arguments never stop.

There's plenty of real news and real investigative reporting to be done. You don't have to hold the hand of this nut case.

Stop your goddam handwringing and go out and kick some ass. Be real reporters.

Monday, August 22, 2005 11:51:00 PM  
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