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June 24, 2013 01:23 PM

The Oregonian's new media company Oregon Media Group (OMG, its acronym is OMG) is hiring. The second thing listed after "a sold understanding of news writing, journalistic ethics and story structure …" is "mastery of social media and digital interaction." That comes before the ability to work on deadline (which comes in at number four. 

This listing comes only days after The O is reported to have laid off 95 staffers, including 45 from the newsroom. Willamette Week reports that Scott Learn, the enviroment reporter who has been heavily covering the coal controversy, and Eric Mortenson on the forest and ag beat are among the layoffs. Sports reporters, community reporters and arts journalists are among those axed. WW has been listing the layoffs as names come in on its blog. 

Music critic Ryan White, who was among the layoffs last week, pointed out on Twitter that the paper is already advertising for a new music critic.

On the postive side, the website name "MyDigitalO," which has led to speculation on just how one achieves a "digital O" has been axed.

Media pundits say this layoff and hiring strategy is in keeping with other Advance papers that lay off more expensive experienced journalists for new, cheaper and younger ones. The ad makes clear what its focus is: 

"While we value experience, talent is the pivotal factor, and we are proactive about professional development, whether you are a 10-year veteran or just starting your journalistic career. One way or the other, you will report on a variety of topics, including maintaining live blogs, tweeting, shooting video and otherwise engaging audiences across multiple platforms."

One of the jobs listed is for "advertorial."

Here's the job listing.

June 21, 2013 04:52 PM

The Oregonian has announced it's changing its delivery schedule for its print additions, laying off employees — among the layoffs are environment reporters Scott Learn and Eric Mortenson, (no relation to me,) Willamette Week reports). WW also reports that The O has decided NOT to call its online version TheDigitalO after all. Nope that's not a joke, nor is the fact that editors are now apparently being called "managing producers."

The O is owned by Advance, which has been roundly criticized for its attempt to go to a three-day-a-week print schedule in New Orleans. 

Former Oregonian reporter and current Oregon Emerald publisher (who moved that college daily to an online focus and a reduced print schedule) Ryan Frank raised $3,500 for a bar tab for The O's staff at Higgins, a bar across the street from the paper, Romenesko reports. Donations can be made at oregonianfund.com. After tonight Franks says the money will go to supporting families of those laid off.

Willamette Week is updating the layoffs on its blog.

Let's all support our local papers (and yes, that means the R-G, too) and make sure this doesn't happen in Eugene. We need good, local news coverage!

June 20, 2013 04:22 PM

Somebody (or bodies) destroyed Roundup Ready sugar beets in southern Oregon. No communiqué yet that EW knows of has claimed responsibility. 

The news came out when the FBI put out a press release (and on a side note, since when is pro-pesticide group Oregonians for Food and Shelter a "community group"? Check out its board of directors). From worries about the health effects of genetical modification (GM) and pesticide use, to fears over superweeds, famers, foodies and other folks have a host of concerns over GM crops like wheat, alfalfa and sugar beets.  

FBI Asks for Help in Identifying Suspects in Genetically Engineered Crop Destruction 

Community Group Offers up to $10,000

Reward FBI Portland

June 20, 2013 Beth Anne Steele

(503) 460-8099

Over the course of two nights in early June, an unknown person or group of people did significant damage to two plots of land used to grow genetically engineered sugar beets in Jackson County, Oregon. The plots are on private farmland leased and managed by Syngenta.

Sometime during the night of June 8, 2013, the person/people destroyed about 1,000 sugar beet plants on one property. During the night of June 11, 2013, the person/people destroyed about 5,500 plants on another property. The financial losses are significant, but the actual estimates will not be released at this time due to the needs of the investigation. The FBI considers this crime to be economic sabotage and a violation of federal law involving damage to commercial agricultural enterprises.

The group Oregonians for Food and Shelter (http://ofsonline.org) is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest, and conviction of the person and people involved. OFS will evaluate any reward claims and will make the final decision on dispersal of funds.

Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI at (541) 773-2942 during normal business hours or the FBI in Portland at (503) 224-4181 24 hours a day. Tips may also be e-mailed into Portland@ic.fbi.gov.

The statement from Oregon Department of Agriculture Director Katy Coba was interestingly put, in that she acknowledges that biotech such as GMO seeds (in the wake of the recent GMO wheat issue) is problematic for many:  “To my knowledge, this is the first time someone has deliberately taken the cowardly step of uprooting high value plants growing in our state. Regardless of how one feels about biotechnology, there is no justification for committing these crimes and it is not the kind of behavior we expect to see in Oregon agriculture." 

June 20, 2013 04:36 PM

Prolific EW music writer Will Kennedy passes along this gem of "What Phish sounds like to people who don't like Phish."

You ate my fractal.

June 19, 2013 12:13 PM

One of several videos from a recent City Club program on affordable housing.

June 14, 2013 04:51 PM

Paul Cienfuegos was in Eugene this week and will speak at the Florence Public Library this evening (June 14) from 5:30 to 8:30 pm.

June 13, 2013 04:43 PM

June 13, 2013 04:43 PM

June 11, 2013 06:07 PM

It appears talks between District 4J and the Eugene Education Association (EEA) ended early this morning with little progress after nine hours. No further talks are scheduled.

 

“The District continued to propose unacceptable changes to leadership language and barely moved on key financial issues,” says a statement from the EEA at 2:15 am today (June 11). “The District proposed 10 furlough days (a 5 percent pay cut), one of which would have been paid for out of insurance reserves. The District also offered no cost-of-living increase and half steps for members who are step-eligible.”

 

The EEA has recently offered a 0.8 percent COLA and full step increases, along with a $25 per member per month insurance contribution, also to be paid out of reserves.

 

“The District seems unwilling to look hard at its own spending priorities such as $350,000 to remodel the Ed Center auditorium, the continuation of costly conferences, and expensive consultants.”

 

Teachers have complained about the hiring of Massachusetts consultant Jon Saphier who was reportedly paid $290,000 last year and about $215,000 this year. The mandatory “Welcome Back Breakfast” at the Hilton at the beginning of this school year cost a reported $25,000 and some teachers have complained that it had no value. On Saphier’s website it says, “In recent years he has led large-scale district improvement projects forging working alliances between superintendents, union leaders, and school boards.”

 

Adding to the strife is resistance by teachers to a common high school schedule to be imposed next fall by Superintendent Shelly Berman and the 4J School Board.

June 11, 2013 06:15 PM

In case you missed it June 8.