Saturday, June 22, 2013

My friend don't listen to the crowd / They say 'Jump"

This location, about halfway down from the Vista Bridge
(commonly referred to as Suicide Bridge because of all the
jumpers) is the new location of
The Oregonian offices.

How is it that this town can support two alternative newspapers, one of which-- the Willamette Week-- has won a Pulitzer (the Mercury's sister paper, Seattle's The Stranger has also won one); Pamplin Media Group's mini-empire of weeklies including the Portland Tribune and various area papers; independent neighborhood newspapers littered throughout the city; a few glitzy magazines; left-wing, right-wing, anarchist, socialist, and libertarian rags; and 'zines of all stripes, but a simple daily newspaper with no competition can't make a go of it? All these publications are printed on paper. They weren't killed by "The Internet".

The question might be partly answered by the way The Oregonian's bloodbath went down. Printing every day but only delivering three times a week? What kind of model is that? But wait, that's been changed. Now, they're delivering "three times, plus a bonus newspaper once a week." Now, that's been changed. Now, they're delivering "four times a week". Isn't that the same as three plus a bonus? No. It's better! Somehow. And moving out of downtown? Are you kidding? Downtown, you see city councilors while buying a Schnitzelwich at a food cart. How is phoning it in from Beaverton or somewhere going to improve the news coverage, exactly? And having to rename your new web site after one day because it sounds like a porn site? Seriously?

C'mon, Oregonian. This is the Pacific Northwest. You can do a suicide better than this.

Fred A. Stickel, publisher of The Oregonian for 35 years, said, upon his retirement in 2009, that he believed newsprint would endure:
"There are too many readers who want it in their hands. I can't carry that [computer] into the bathroom. I can't tear it out, keep it."
The Oregonian fired Stickel's daughter, Bridget Otto, yesterday.

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Upside Down on Mars by Barry J. Cochran is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.