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|Oregon Small Town Journalism
This story contains a little classic American newspaper humor and a lot of classic American newspaper heart. It all began when the editor of the Coquille Valley Sentinel discovered that a seemingly mundane story turned out to have legs. There was more about it than first met the eye. We loved the piece and put it on our AroundOregon news page. The editor of the Cottage Grove Sentinel saw the piece in the magazine and decided to use it to remind his own staff that hidden in some standard journalistic fare there are stories of great importance to the community.
Oregon Magazine contends that some of the finest editorial reporting and analysis done in this state takes place in regions distant from chrome and concrete Portland. Far out there where the elk and the antelope play, where coastal fogs blanket towns with twenty buildings, where wild mustangs still roam free, are small newspapers staffed by people of suberb professional ability.
So, the email reproduced below is about an article one small paper did, and the use another small paper made of it. The truth of it resides in the simple fact that both of these papers are edited by people who are very good at what they do. They may have the great fortune to live in small town Oregon, but they do their job like they turn out the Washington, D.C. Times. Enthusiastic, hard-nosed pros in places sans traffic jams, usually unheralded, they are the very core of American journalism. For what it's worth, they have the admiration of the editors of this publication.
From: Oregon Magazine
Hey Larry, I haven't thanked you yet for bringing to my attention
Oregon Magazine: Richardson's work was a classic piece
of investigative journalism. Sam Spade as a reporter. And, Finn?
Can't you just see him in a classic 40's black and white film about a big
city newspaper? The news room is an ear-rattling din of teletype
machines and ringing phones. Over there is the cynical old reporter in
his snap-brim hat, his trench coat flopped over one corner of his desk.
He reaches inside a top drawer and retrieves a pint of whiskey. Pulling
a swig from it, he looks at Finn and says, "This isn't a city, it's a war
zone. There are more crooks at City Hall than there are in the state
God bless the founding fathers for the First Amendment, Gutenberg for the printing press and small town Oregon editors for the tales of our times. (LL)
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