The Oregonian

The Oregonian

Infobox Newspaper
name = The Oregonian

caption = The October 2, 2004 front page of
"The Oregonian"
type = Daily newspaper
format = Broadsheet
foundation = 1850
ceased publication =
price = 50¢ weekdays, $1.50 Sundays
owners = Advance Publications, a media company owned by the descendants of S.I. Newhouse..
publisher = Fred A. Stickel
editor = Sandra Mims Rowe (editor), Peter Bhatia (executive editor) [ Editors of the Year] , a February 2008 article from "Editor & Publisher"]
staff = 288/75 (full-time/part-time)
circulation = 319,625 Daily
375,913 Sunday [cite web | title=2007 Top 100 Daily Newspapers in the U.S. by Circulation |publisher=Burrelles"Luce" |url= |format=PDF |accessdate=2007-05-28 |date=2007-03-31]
headquarters = 1320 SW Broadway
Portland, Oregon 97201
ISSN = 8750-1317
website = []

"The Oregonian" is the major daily newspaper in Portland, Oregon, owned by Advance Publications. It is the oldest continuously published newspaper on the U.S. West Coast, [cite web | first = Richard | last = Heinzkill | title = A Brief History of Newspaper Publishing in Oregon | publisher = University of Oregon Libraries |month=August | year=1993 | url = | accessdate = 2006-11-22] founded as a weekly by Thomas J. Dryer on December 4, 1850. It is the largest newspaper in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest by circulation. [ [ Top 100 Newspapers in the United States] ]

The paper received the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. Its journalists have received six others, among them: Explanatory Reporting (1999), Feature Writing (2001), Editorial Writing (2006), and the Breaking News Reporting (2007).

"The Oregonian" focuses its content on the Portland metropolitan area, but is available in most parts of Oregon and the Clark County area of Washington.

The paper maintains an online presence through, a website controlled by Advance Publications' New Jersey-based web division.

Under Rowe's leadership

Quote box
quote="Business should be the backbone of the newspaper."
source=—Sandy Rowe, quoted in the "American Journalism Review". [cite news
title=Continuation of Follow the Money
first=Lewis M.
date=November 1999
According to "Editor & Publisher", soon after Sandra Rowe, the paper's current editor, arrived in 1993, she introduced organizational changes to the newsroom. Instead of having a large number of general assignment reporters, Rowe organized them around teams, many of which often develop "subject expertise" that "reflect [s] the interests of readers, not traditional newsroom boundaries.". Examples (over the years) include "Northwest Issues and Environment", "Living In the '90s"/"How We Live", "Politics and Accountability", "Health, Science, and Medicine", "Sustainability and Growth", and "Higher Education". [ [ Newsroom Roster] from the paper's website] Accompanying the reorganization was a more bottom-up approach to identifying stories: "instead of having an assignment-driven newspaper, you have the beat reporters coming to editors with what is going on", with the team editors responsible for deciding what stories were covered by their teams.

The position of public editor was established at "The Oregonian" in 1993. The role was filled at first by Robert Caldwell [ [ Robert Caldwell, Editorial Page Editor] from the paper's website] ; Michele McLellan took over the role three years later and was delegated the authority to decide whether or not an error on the part of the newspaper resulted in the publication of a correction. [ [ Details Matter: Accuracy] , a July 23, 2002 article written by Michele McLellan for the Newspaper Credibility Handbook at the American Society of Newspaper Editors website] When Michael Arrieta-Walden ended his three-year term at the position in 2006, no successor was named. [cite news
title= Thanks to all for sharing your wisdom
work=The Oregonian|publisher=Organization of News Ombudsmen
date=March 26, 2006

Newsroom staff in 2008 is about the same size as it was when Rowe arrived, though there are 50 fewer full-time staff members than there were in 2002; about half of those positions were eliminated after a buyout in late 2007. The paper's outside news bureaus grew from four to six during her tenure.


"The Oregonian" was founded as the "Weekly Oregonian" in 1850. In 1861, its ownership passed to Henry Pittock in settlement of back wages, and the paper began publishing on a daily basis.cite web | last = Scott | first = H. W. |authorlink=Harvey W. Scott | title = The Press | work = History of Portland, Oregon | publisher = Syracuse, New York: D. Mason & Co. Reprinted in "Access Genealogy." | year= 1890 | url = | accessdate = 2006-12-23 ] Between the dates of 1866 and 1872 Harvey W. Scott was the editor.Fact|date=December 2007 In 1881, the "Sunday Oregonian" was first published. The paper would became known as the voice of business-oriented Republicans in an age when each main point of view was represented by a Portland daily.Fact|date=December 2007


In 1922, "The Morning Oregonian" launched KGW, Oregon's first commercial radio station. Five years later in 1927, KGW became affiliated with NBC. "The Morning Oregonian" purchased its second station, KEX, in 1933, from NBC subsidiary Northwest Broadcasting Co. In 1944, KEX was sold to Westinghouse Radio Stations, Inc. "The Oregonian" launched KGW-FM, the Northwest's first FM station,Fact|date=December 2007 in 1946,(acclaimed by "The Oregonian" May 8, 1946) known today as KKRZ. Both KGW and KGW-FM were then sold to King Broadcasting Co in 1953.

In 1937, "The Morning Oregonian" shortened its name to "The Oregonian". Two years later, associate editor Ronald G. Callvert received a Pulitzer Prize for editorial reporting for "distinguished editorial exemplified by the editorial entitled "My Country 'Tis of Thee." [ Pulitzer Prize Winners of 1939] from the Pulitzer Prize website] . In 1950, Advance Publications founder S. I. "Si" Newhouse purchased the paper. At that time, the sale price of $5.6 million was the largest for a single newspaper.Fact|date=December 2007 In 1954, Newhouse bought 50% of Mount Hood Radio & Television Broadcasting Corp, which broadcasts KOIN-TV, Portland's first VHF television station, and KOIN-AM-FM.


In 1957, staff writers William Lambert and Wallace Turner win that year's Pulitzer Prize for Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting, No Edition Time [ Pulitzer Prize Winners of 1957] from the Pulitzer Prize website] . Their prize cited "their expose of vice and corruption in Portland involving some municipal officials and officers of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America, Western Conference" and noted that "they fulfilled their assignments despite great handicaps and the risk of reprisal from lawless elements."

In 1959, a violent five-year strike began November 10, during which union workers published their own daily, "The Portland Reporter". Wallace Turner refused to cross picket lines and was hired as West Coast Correspondent for the "New York Times".

In 1961 Newhouse bought the "Oregon Journal", Portland's afternoon daily newspaper. Production and business operations of the two newspapers were consolidated in "The Oregonian"'s building, while their editorial staffs remained separate. It was shut down after declining advertising revenues in 1989 and "incorporated" into "The Oregonian".

As part of a larger corporate plan to exit broadcasting, "The Oregonian" sold KOIN-TV to newspaper owner Lee Enterprises in 1977. At the same time, KOIN-AM and -FM were sold to Gaylord Broadcasting Co.

S. I. Newhouse eventually died in 1979. He turned over the operation of his company to his sons. S.I. Jr. took on responsibility for the magazines, and Donald took over the newspapers.

The paper established an Asia bureau in Tokyo, Japan in 1989, becoming the first Pacific Northwest newspaper with a foreign correspondent.

In 1992, the "Wall Street Journal" cited an incident of the "The Oregonian" recalling its papers in 1989 as an example of how papers soften business coverage to appease advertisers. In the same year, "The Oregonian" endorsed Bill Clinton during that year's presidential campaign, the first time in its history that it had endorsed a Democrat for president.cite web | title = THE 1992 CAMPAIGN; Newspapers Publish Endorsements | publisher = The New York Times | date = October 19, 1992 | url = | accessdate = 2006-11-22]

1993 saw a busy year for "The Oregonian". Robert M. Landauer, then the paper's editorial page editor, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Editorial Writing for "a bold campaign to defuse myths and prejudice promoted by an anti-homosexual constitutional amendment, which was subsequently defeated," according to the Pulitzer judges. It then became the subject of national coverage when the "Washington Post" broke the story of inappropriate sexual advances which led to the resignation of Oregon senator Bob Packwood four years later. This prompts some to joke, "If it matters to Oregonians, it's in the "Washington Post" (a twist on a slogan heard in advertisements for "The Oregonian"). [cite news|last=Koberstein|first=Paul
title=Dubious Achievements: The Oregonian 1974-1999 (The Oregonian's Big Oh's)
url=|work=Willamette Week
] Finally, Newhouse appointed a new editor for the paper, Sandra Rowe, who relocated from "The Virginian-Pilot"

1999 was also a busy year. It began when staff writer Richard Read won the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting, for a series, The French Fry Connection, that illustrated the impact of the Asian economic crisis by profiling the local industry that exports frozen french fries. A coworker of his, staff writer Tom Hallman Jr., was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, in Feature Writing, for his "unique profile of a man struggling to recover from a brain injury," according to the Pulitzer judges. The paper won two Overseas Press Club awards, for business and human rights reporting, and then it was ranked by the editors of Columbia Journalism Review as number 12 in the list of "America's Best Newspapers" and the best of the papers owned by the Newhouse family.

In 2000, "The Oregonian" was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News Reporting for its coverage of an environmental disaster created when the New Carissa, a freighter that carried nearly 400,000 gallons of heavy fuel, ran aground February 4, 1999, north of Coos Bay. The articles detailed "how fumbling efforts of official agencies failed to contain the far-reaching damage," according to the Pulitzer jury. That same year reporters Brent Walth and Alex Pulaski were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Writing for their series on political influences in pesticide regulation.

Turn of the century

*2001 The paper wins the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, for its "detailed and unflinching examination of systematic problems within the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, including harsh treatment of foreign nationals and other widespread abuses, which prompted various reforms." In addition, staff writer Tom Hallman Jr. wins the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing for a series, The Boy Behind the Mask, on a teen with a facial deformity.
*2003 Music critic David Stabler is a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Feature Writing for "his sensitive, sometimes surprising chronicle of a teenage prodigy's struggle with a musical talent that proved to be both a gift and a problem," according to the Pulitzer judges.
*2004 The paper endorses John Kerry for President of the United States--only the second time that the paper has endorsed a Democrat for president.
*2005 Staff reporters Steve Suo and Erin Hoover Barnett are finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in National Reporting for "their groundbreaking reports on the failure to curtail the growing illicit use of methamphetamines," according to the Pulitzer jury.

In 2006 editorial writers Doug Bates and Rick Attig win the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing for their editorials on the conditions at the Oregon State Hospital. [ [ The Pulitzer Board Presents The Pulitzer Prize Winners 2006] ]

In 2007, "The Oregonian" and its journalists were recognized with several awards. Sports columnist John Canzano was selected as the nation's No. 2 sports columnist in the annual Associated Press Sports Editors Awards. Three "Oregonian" reporters—Jeff Kosseff, Bryan Denson, and Les Zaitz— were awarded the George Polk Award for national reporting, for their series of reports about the failure of a decades-old multibillion-dollar federal program. The program, established by the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act, was intended to help people with severe disabilities find employment, but instead "awarded executives handsomely but left disabled workers in segregated jobs often paying less than minimum wage." [cite web | title = Polk Awards Announced — Honor 8 Papers From New York To Oregon | publisher = "Editor & Publisher" | year= 2007 | url = | accessdate = 2007-02-20] [cite web | title = Long Island University Announces Winners of 2006 George Polk Awards | publisher = Long Island University | year= 2007 | url = | accessdate = 2007-02-20]

On April 16, 2007, it was announced that the staff of "The Oregonian" were awarded a Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting for their "skillful and tenacious coverage of a family missing in the Oregon mountains, telling the tragic story both in print and online." [ [ 2007 Pulitzer Prize Winners - BREAKING NEWS REPORTING, Citation ] ] In addition, the paper's reporters were finalists in two other categories. Les Zaitz, Jeff Kosseff and Bryan Denson were nominated finalists for the Pulitzer for National Reporting for the same series that also won the George Polk Award noted above. Inara Verzemnieks was nominated for the Pulitzer for Feature Writing for "her witty and perceptive portfolio of features on an array of everyday topics," according to the Pulitzer judges.

In 2008, Sports columnist John Canzano was for the second straight year selected as the nation's No. 2 sports columnist in the annual Associated Press Sports Editors Awards.Fact|date=September 2008

In February 2008, "Editor & Publisher" named editor Sandra Mims Rowe and executive editor Peter Bhatia their "Editors of the Year"; the trade journal noted that since Rowe and Bhatia arrived in 1993, the paper and its journalists have won five Pulitzer Prizes and been finalists another nine times. "E&P" also cited "an increased focus on specialized reporting; a reorganized newsroom that promotes "team reporting" concepts over traditional beats; and regular training sessions and seminars that most staffers credit for encouraging fresh ideas and competitive approaches." Pulitzer Board member Richard A. Oppel, the editor of the Austin American-Statesman called the paper "one of the finest newspapers in the country, easily in the top 10."

On September 28, 2008, the paper distributed a DVD of "" as an advertising supplement for that day's editioncite web| url=| title='Oregonian' Distributes 'Muslim Terror' DVD—After Mayor Asks It to Refrain| work=Editor & Publisher|date=2008-09-28|accessdate=2008-10-01|author= E&P Staff] , doing so two week's after newspapers such as "The New York Times", "The Charlotte Observer" and "The Miami Herald" had done the same thing. [cite web|url=|title=Newspapers Deliver Millions of 'Terror' DVDs to Subscribers -- In 'Swing States'|work=Editor & Publisher|date=2008-09-13|accessdate=2008-09-14|author= Greg Mitchell|coauthors=Joe Strupp] "The Oregonian" did so in spite of the fact that Portland mayor Tom Potter personally asked publisher Fred Stickel not to distribute it because the "tenor of the video contributes towards a climate of distrust towards Muslims" and because the paper's willingness to distribute the DVD bestows upon it "an impression of objectivity and legitimacy it does not deserve." Stickel cited "freedom of speech" and an "obligation to keep our advertising columns as open as possible" as reasons for not rejecting the DVD.

Allegations of bias

*"The Oregonian" was founded by businessmen whose specific goal was to establish a Republican newspaper.cite web | title = Oregon Biographies: Thomas Jefferson Dryer | work = Oregon History Project | publisher = Oregon Historical Society | year= 2002 | url = | accessdate = 2006-12-24] Throughout its history it has endorsed only two Democratic candidates for president in over one hundred forty years: in 1992 and 2004.
*In 2004 the paper faced criticism after a headline characterized a 1970s sexual relationship between then-mayor Neil Goldschmidt and a 14-year old girl as an "affair" rather than statutory rape. [cite web | first = Jill | last = Rosen | title = The Story Behind the Story | publisher = American Journalism Review | url = | accessdate = 2006-11-22] [cite web | title = The 30-Year Secret
publisher = Willamette Week | date = November 22, 2006 |url = | accessdate = 2006-11-22
] [cite web | first = Christopher | last = Vetter | title = We are Dealing with a Child Molestor | publisher = Inside Portland Magazine | url = | accessdate = 2006-11-22]
*In 2005 Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights published two reports on "The Oregonian", claiming the paper under-reported Palestinian deaths in its news stories of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and excluded the Palestinian narrative in its Opinion Pages. [cite web | title = The Oregonian: A News Coverage Report May-October 2004 | publisher = Accuracy in Israel/Palestine Reporting |month=March | year=2005 | url = | format = PDF | accessdate =2006-11-22] [cite web | title = Excluded Voices: A study of Palestine/Israel in the Opinion Pages of The Oregonian Newspaper | date = March 21, 2006 | publisher =Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights | url = | format = PDF | accessdate = 2006-11-22]

Targeted publications

The staff of "The Oregonian" also produces three "targeted publications"—glossy magazines distributed free to 40-45,000 wealthy residents of the Portland metropolitan area and sold on newsstands to 5,000 others.

MagazineDescriptionCopies deliveredTarget household incomeWebsite
"Homes+Gardens Northwest""Take [s] you inside real Northwest homes and gardens, where residents and professionals have created spaces perfect for the finest Northwest living"] 40,000$120,000 (median)
"Mix""Celebrates our fascination with fine food and the casual entertaining that marks the Northwest lifestyle"] 40,000$95,000 (median)
"Ultimate Northwest"Captures the "experience of living the good life here in Oregon and the Northwest"] 45,000$164,000 (average)

ee also

*Ben Hur Lampman, writer for the "Oregonian" during the first half of the 20th century
*United States journalism scandals


External links

* [ Official website]
* [ Photographs from "The Oregonian"] on Flickr
* [ A Brief History of Newspaper Publishing in Oregon] at University of Oregon Libraries

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