We’ve taken two newspapers for as long as I can remember. The Eugene Register-Guard and the Portland Oregonian. The Oregonian has been in business since 1850. Darn, that’s a long time to be ruffling feathers. I have a lot of memories of dad going through the papers after he got home from work or after he was disabled.
We get the mid valley edition and save the sports pages for the Portland branch of the family. My nephew is playing his last year at the U of O. And the mid valley sports news is weighted towards coverage of this end of the valley. In other words, if they want to know what their son is doing they need our copy of the sports pages. Unless the U of O really falls on its face or does really, really well. Yeah, we creamed Utah last week (team only has the worst offence in the country). This week it’s the Boilermakers, in Indiana, on national TV. Fingers crossed and is it ok to pray for the success of a football team?
The Oregonian seems to be a pretty decent paper. It’s owned by Advance Publications so ownership isn’t local anymore, but the editorial board seems to have a decent amount of freedom to work with. The paper has won a few Pulitzers over the last few years and seems to pull an equal number of complaints from both sides that it’s biased in the other’s favor so I guess they’re doing something right. The paper has either done investigative work or reprinted significant investigative work from, say the LA Times or the NY Times. And if I need more information there’s always the internet.
The Oregonian is big enough to have its own staff editorial cartoonist. I’ve loved Jack Ohman for years. He’s also a fishing nut and his two books on fly fishing are wonderful.
The Register-Guard is a rarity. It’s a mid size paper that’s still owned by the family that founded it. I believe they’re into the third or fourth generation. One nice feature is a weekly insert for their Springfield customers that helps take the place of the Springfield News. That very local paper was bought out and closed down a couple of years ago.
The paper has won some state and regional awards for coverage in science and the arts and was a Pulitzer runner up in 1999 for coverage of the Thurston High School shootings. God that was a very bad day.
Again their coverage seems fairly balanced. There is a bit of a bias towards the pro development side of the fence. But, hey, more people more subscribers. You just take it into account when you’re reading the stories. There seems to be about as many people from both fringes complaining that the paper is biased in the other sides’ favor, so again they seem to be doing a pretty good job. The Guard doesn’t have its own cartoonist but they print a pretty good mix from the various syndicates.
Actually taking the two papers is interesting. A lot of times they both cover the same major stories and it’s fun to compare how the story was edited. Usually one will have a longer version than the other. But, it breaks both ways so it may be a matter of space available or how much local interest the editors think the story will generate. Again, if coverage seems a little thin, there’s always the net or the local library.
Oh, I spring for the Oregonian and mom springs for the Guard.