« Rick Steves talking in Oregon about travel and legal marijuana | Main | Am I the best investigative reporter in Salem? »

September 18, 2014


My own more limited experiences with the SJ mirror yours very closely.

Have you read the book, "The Chain Gang", by Richard McCord? It gives a great deal of attention to Gannet's arrival in Salem and presents a corporate picture that I found to be "must" reading.

I had a strong personal tendency to attribute failings of the SJ to individual editors and publishers.

The book is one of the things that convinced me this was a mistake. Most publishing decisions are driven by the Gannet corporate model, a system these -mostly men- have indentured themselves to usually out of a passion to be involved in paying journalism.

Deals with such devils are expensive. Mostly, I feel sorry for them. They have nowhere else to go.

Yes, I've read "The Chain Gang." In fact, I'm re-reading the chapters about Salem to refresh my memory about how Gannett unethically forced the Community Press out of existence many years ago.

Gannett plays tough. Illegally tough, it seemed, in this and other instances when it tried to squash competition. Salemians need to realize that the Statesman Journal isn't a community newspaper. It is a Gannett holding that happens to be in this community.

The SJ web site now is a clone of USA Today's and all other Gannett newspapers. Much of the content of the SJ comes from USA Today. The new publisher has been brought in to do Gannett's bidding, not to pursue journalistic excellence.

The Gannet business model for a "community" paper is a symbiosis with that community's C of C businesses.

It is the localized version of "what's good for GM is good for the country."

At its best it is sincerely held and appears to be able to fund a paper that actually does have some local news coverage. The economics of producing such a paper are brutal and getting worse.

But at its worst, naked, pocket lining cronyism is often the result.

It is interesting to watch your own efforts to develop some semblance of an alternative voice.
Keep up the good work.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Strange Up Salem

Welcome to HinesSight

  • Salem Political Snark
    My local political rants are now made on this badass blog. Check it out. Dirty politics, outrageous actions, sleaze, backroom deals — we’re on it. 

  • Twitter with me
    Join Twitter and follow my tweets about whatever.
  • Church of the Churchless
    Visit my other weblog, Church of the Churchless, where the gospel of spiritual independence is preached.

  • Welcome to HinesSight. If this is your first visit, click on "About this site--start here" in the Categories section below.