This is not an exit

Archive for March, 2011|Monthly archive page

Faith healing vs. tiger blood

In Uncategorized on March 10, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Oregon children win. Wisconsins lose. Charlie Sheen does both and I’m shamelessly promoting my newspaper’s new website (but at least I do that after the jump.) Here’s the Thursday news roundup!

Oregon House unanimously votes to end faith healing exception
By Ryan Kost/ The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)

One of last year’s more horrifying stories was that of Alayna Wyland, the 10-month-old Clackamas County child who was denied treatment of hemangioma — an abnormal buildup of blood vessels that covered here eyes for months and left her nearly blind — because her parents, Timothy and Rebecca Wyland, didn’t believe in Western medicine. The girl’s parents are members of the Followers of Christ Church, an organization that “emphasizes belief in the Lord Jesus Christ and His blood sacrifice for our salvation by grace, through repentance and faith.”

Timothy (left) and Rebecca Wyland appear in court as defendants in the case where they were charged with criminal mistreatment of a child. Photo by Randy Rasmussen of The Oregonian.

Read the rest of this entry »

Organic food, Tiger Wu and Zelda

In Uncategorized on March 7, 2011 at 7:08 pm

What do Oregon Rep. David Wu’s tiger suit shenanigans and organic groceries have in common? They’re both featured in the Monday roundup! Take a look at my favorite stories of the day.

It's becoming increasingly difficult to discern what's really organic these days ...


When ‘organic’ food isn’t
By Sherri Buri McDonald/ The Register-Guard (Eugene, Ore.)

Just like many other commodities, food is becoming increasingly expensive. It gets even pricier when you slap an “organic” sticker on it.

The Register-Guard’s Sherri Buri McDonald took a look at the products offered by Golden Temple, a local cereal manufacturer, and found that some of the items solicited by the company since its acquisition by Illinois-based Hearthside Food Solutions weren’t organic as advertised. In-store signage for Golden Temple granola and its Peace Cereal claimed the main ingredient in both products was organic oats, which hasn’t been true for years.

Read the rest of this entry »

Your staff will make deadline if you cut the bullshit

In Uncategorized on March 7, 2011 at 9:09 am

Note: This is the second in a series of convention notes from the Associated Collegiate Press’ conference in Los Angeles March 3-6.

Jorge Medina has five words to keep in mind in order to run an efficient newsroom: integrity, accountability, leadership, responsibility and communication. The Orange County Register designer has seen fellow reporters and editors lose their jobs because they couldn’t adhere to these values.

Let’s just fire down the list, shall we?


When it comes to integrity, Medina says you’ve got to treat your deadlines as a promise. Consider your staff as though they’re your family and be straight with them. He emphasized over and over that if you see something you don’t like, speak up right away. Don’t hide the problems that your newsroom faces; this will only cause those issues to manifest and grow. You’re also short-changing them by doing so. Don’t expect your reporters and editors to get better at their jobs if you’re not showing them what they’re doing wrong.

Treat your newsroom the same way you would any other place of employment. I do my best to maintain a professional atmosphere at The Torch. I’ve always been a firm believer in the idea that you’ve got to dress for the job you want, not the job you have and professional etiquette is no different. If you want to end up at The Oregonian, act like it.

Read the rest of this entry »

Cultivate a philosophy of public service in your newsroom

In Uncategorized on March 5, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Note: This is the first in a series of convention notes from the Associated Collegiate Press’ conference in Los Angeles March 3-6.

Serve yourself, serve your staff and serve the public: That’s what journalists do.

This is probably the most valuable take-away I got from my time at the Associated Collegiate Press’ conference in Los Angeles this past weekend. And that was just the first day.

I’m not saying that the rest of the weekend was for naught. Quite the contrary, actually. The rest of the weekend was valuable, it’s just that Mark Witherspoon, adviser for the Iowa State Daily, was one of the most inspiring instructors I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. And, as you may know, I work with some damn good journalism teachers.

Ever since I began my foray into media studies, I’ve held the belief that journalism is one of the ultimate public services. During my time as a reporter intern at The News-Register in McMinnville, my editors emphasized the importance of speaking up for the little guy.

Witherspoon only drove this further.

He told us that our newspapers have the power to influence their communities. He said that with great power … well, you were accountable for a lot with that power — I was just waiting for him to finish the quote with “comes great responsibility.”

Read the rest of this entry »