oregonian

EW was delighted when local community-driven news source MyEugene.org got a boost by being the first partner in The Oregonian's new news network.

According MyEugene:

MyEugene was recently selected to partner with The Oregonian – the largest news organization in the Pacific Northwest – for a one-year pilot program that is sponsored by J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism at American University, a non-profit organization funded with a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to spearhead the project.

Which is pretty awesome.

Another partner is the excellent source of bike info the BikePortland Blog.

But this week The O announced some more partners, and some of those, according to Our Oregon, an economic and social fairness nonprofit, unlike MyEugene, violate The Oregonian's own news standards.

Our Oregon writes on its blog that:

… the Oregon Capitol News is a project of Cascade Policy Institute, a right-wing think tank that pushes for "free market" solutions. That typically means they advocate against environmental regulations, for the privatization of schools, and against tax increases, particularly on corporations and the rich. Recently, Cascade Policy Institute has made a name for itself politically by opposing legislative efforts to ban Bisphenol-A in baby bottles.

The Oregonian has rules for news organizations that apply to by local and hyperlocal sources of news posted here.

Sites that do not qualify include:
tes that do not qualify include:

• Organs for institutions such as government agencies, political parties, non-profits.
• Public relations sites connected with another business
• Personal or opinion blogs
• Aggregators
• Sites that might otherwise qualify, but are not owner operated

For example, another new hyperlocal news source cropping up in Eugene featuring the ever popular weather guy Tim Chuey is Eugene Daily News, which has news stories of its own, but also sometimes functions as an aggregator when it pulls together headlines and stories from other sources as it does on this link.

Our Oregon focuses on the fact that Oregon Capitol News is described as "A Project of Cascade Policy Institute" and thus is an organ for an institution. In The Oregonian's story it describes it as "the Cascade Policy Institute’s independent reporting project."

In that same press release, North Coast Oregon is added as one of the new news sites. That site was the source of a lot of pro-liquified natural gas propaganda and attacks on those who oppose LNG. For more on LNG in Oregon, go to EW's May 2010 story on the issue.

North Coast Oregon went from an unfunded blog to a "news" source running "investigative" stories during the height of the LNG battle. Now that the hotly contested Bradwood Landing LNG terminal is no longer an issue, the "investigative" pieces have disappeared.

Our Oregon points the finger for picking up rightwing funded news sources as local partners at N. Christian Anderson III the new publisher, who Our Oregon says has a history with rightwing publications. Read Willamette Week's take on Anderson.

Are The Oregonian's efforts to go hyperlocal leading it to be a less credible news source?

Full disclosure:
EW is not an "objective" news source. It's advocacy journalism — reporting with a point of view. It's even in our mission statement (see below).

EW Mission Statement

Eugene Weekly serves the Eugene-Springfield and broader community with zest, passion and attitude as an alternative to the mainstream media. We proudly admit to practicing advocacy journalism with a point of view. The reality is that most media practices advocacy journalism with a point of view, but the owners and editors deny it. It's a big difference that we admit to our biases.

We are a watchdog for those institutions and leaders in all sectors who are protected by the traditional media, and we boldly challenge prevailing wisdom and authority. We are aligned with the progressive contingent of the community but are unafraid to take a strong independent stand. We support and celebrate unfettered artistic expression and the lively, free interchange of political and social ideas and opinions. We provide the most comprehensive and detailed guide to what’s really happening in the community, from backroom politics to leisure and cultural activities. We seek to provide a financially sound work environment for Eugene’s finest and most creative writers, artists and business people.

The Oregonian compared local Congressman Peter DeFazio to Bart Simpson in a front page article today:

"In the mold of that other Springfield celebrity, Bart Simpson, DeFazio is an equal opportunity provocateur. He is notorious for coloring outside the lines of the Democratic Party...."

Huh? DeFazio is clearly less yellow and has less hair than Bart.

He may also be less progressive than advertised. The Oregonian notes DeFazio's good grades from the NRA and reports:

"He is a Democrat and calls himself a progressive, but he votes liberal 61.5 percent of the time, the lowest of the four Democrats in the [Oregon] delegation."

Or maybe DeFazio did this O piece to reposition himself rightward so he can run for a statewide race? Does he share Homer's views on nuclear power?

Hey, haven't I been saying for years that people should take the backstage tour at The Oregon Shakespeare Festival?

The Oregonian's classical music critic (NO, I don't know why he came down with theater critic Marty Hughley, whose name, by the way, I finally know how to pronounce, thanks to Stabler) David Stabler thinks that's a great idea too:

Behind the scenes at Oregon Shakespeare Festival



The OSF doesn't seem to have any videos about Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, which we see at 1:30 pm, but here's a photo with mostly naked Danforth Comins:



Maggie (Stephanie Beatriz) tries to make some connection with her husband Brick (Danforth Comins). Photo by David Cooper

And there is a video about adapting Pride and Prejudice for the stage.

Here you go!



Li-Ning at the Portland Art Museum © 2009 Chris Ryan

This review will appear in the 12/3 issue of the Eugene Weekly

A Red Hot Mess
“China Design Now” at the Portland Art Museum mostly fails to charm

Take the streetcar to the Portland Art Museum, and you’ll see the best thing about its “China Design Now” exhibit before you even walk in the door. Two hunded red lanterns hang over the sculpture courtyard, playing whimsically with the air above Deborah Butterfield’s Dance Horse, connecting the museum’s awkwardly distant buildings.

More delightful packaging awaits inside the museum: In neon, simplified Mandarin characters spell out the title of the exhibition, and red-wrapped glass makes everything glow an eerie, vampire-friendly light (one expects legions of Twihards to search for the Sparkly One here, honestly). But step into the exhibit — up the stairs and through a welter of rooms; no one ever called PAM’s exhibit space easy to get to — and the whimsy, delight and enjoyment smash together in a welter of candy-colored sights, noise and confusion.

(Read more after the jump!)

The Oregonian has picked up on the story that EW first ran Thursday about Oregon National Guard soldiers' exposure to a highly toxic chemical in Iraq.

The Oregonian reported that as many as 52 soldiers were exposed to the hexavalent chromium. Two Indiana soldiers that were exposed have contracted cancer and one has died. The Oregonian cited a doctor saying that exposure to a concentration of "about the size of a grain of salt in about a cubic yard -- has shown a 50 percent increase in cancers."

We got a letter today (Dec. 12) from The Oregonian announcing the paper will no longer be delivered to Eugene area homes, businesses and newsracks beginning Jan. 1. Sunday delivery will continue, but daily and Saturday delivery will cease. You can have the paper mailed but chances are it won’t arrive until much later, if not the next day. We haven’t heard about Salem delivery. Read The Oregonian online at www.oregonlive.com

Oregon’s largest daily has been losing subscribers for years. Back in 1999, the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association listed its daily paid circulation at 431,000. In early 2008, ONPA reported a drop to 310,000, a difference of about 121,000. We suspect the numbers are even worse today. The Register-Guard’s circulation during the same time frame dropped from 78,000 to 68,700, a loss of about 9,300 subscribers.

New ONPA circulation numbers should be out in early 2009. Expect some even more shocking numbers. Want to own a daily newspaper? A lot of them are for sale, but there aren't many buyers.

The big O (Oregonian) is offering buyouts to many of its employees.

More at Willy Week and Blogtown, PDX.

Apparently, they want to get at least 50 buyouts from the newsroom.

And I just resubscribed ...

To quote Matt Davis at the Merc:

UPDATE, 10:46: This is pretty awful. We're trying to figure out how many employees the Oregonian actually has. Either way, 100 is going to put an enormous dent in their operation. ... I want to hear what the mood is like down there. Honestly, I can't imagine.

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