Flight of journalists to government jobs continues

by NW Spotlight

It hasn’t even been a month since Dave Lister’s article on all the Portland-area journalists jumping ship for government PR jobs, and now Willamette Week is reporting that award-winning Melissa Navas is leaving the Oregonian to go to work for Multnomah County’s communications staff.

In his article last month, Dave Lister wrote “It’s very troubling that in recent months several prominent area journalists — the latest being KGW’s City Hall reporter, Randy Neves — have left their media posts to join the growing ranks of government spokesmen. The very people we used to look to to watchdog the claims of government are now being paid to make those claims, and the spin cycle is on high. With professional journalists crafting government press releases, the sound-bite media often reports them as news, unquestioned and unchallenged.”

Commenting on the decline at the Oregonian, a WW blogger posted “Will last one out the door please turn off the lights.”

  • Pre baby boomer

    Stands to reason – dubious job security in the private sector compared with generous salary and benefits allotted in a ‘governmentium’ realm.

    Unsettling is unwavering steerage in the direction of what’s left of U.S. toward a socialist New World Order hell bent on eroding what’s good for our Constitution.      

  • Anonymous

    As a long time broadcast journalist…admittedly one of the few non-liberals in the profession…I have to say let these people alone. They see the writing on the wall. They work in dying industries and are taking the best way out they can find. 

    They will find, however, that the job now entails much more just than dropping news releases and seeing them published as is. Nope, the media…driven by the Internet…has changed. The diversity of opinion now available to the masses is unlike what they learned working in the media. They’re going to have to work their tails off to get their stories out.

    The days of “…government press releases, the sound-bite media often reports. . .as news, unquestioned and unchallenged” are long gone. For every paid reporter there are several bloggers online to question the government news releases. 

    Are these people liberals? The odds say they are. But government workers generally are liberals aren’t they? The non-liberals who decide to leave journalism (I’m talking about me here,) find themselves self-employed or working in corporate PR. I even spent several years doing communications for the Oregon Republican Party.

    So, I can’t fault these people for taking the road out of the journalism industry. They’re just going to what is most natural to them. Leave ’em alone.

  • I’m not sure why there is even a reference to Dave Lister’s July 23 article. The Willamette Week broke this story back in May, with updates through June. Lister’s article certainly did not break this story, the credit for which properly belongs to WWeek’s James Pitkin.

  • Founding Fathers

    From this story, it looks like the “flight” is limited to those with a last name of “N(vowel)v(vowel)s”.

    • the real valley person

      No, there have been quite a few. Some very good reporters in fact. Its an industry shakeout and people have to earn a living.  

      • Dogface

        No, they don’t have to make a living. They can live for free in the US and never work a day.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    I dont think anyone has seriously been looking to journalists to be any sort of check on government in at least a decade, probably two.

    Basically the only check journalists will perform is if it will damage the cause of smaller government. If its in the cause of bigger government, journalists quickly become stenographers.

    From AGW to entitlement expansion the government media complex makes Eisenhower’s warnings about a military/industrial complex seem like concerns about spare change when the vault door is wide open.

    When on is asked to name big government advocates who have gone from politics to the press, there is a long list of names. When one tries to think of advocates for smaller government that have moved to the press one can think of few if any.

    Is it any wonder then that the press takes the big government view as the prima facie case and views any dispute with such solutions as requiring massive and stringent proof before even being considered?

    Remember with which Obamacare was accepted as being revenue neutral by the press? Do you remember thinking about the absurdity of this? We have not one experience as a nation of a major entitlement ever costing anything other than far more than projections yet the press lapped it up unquestioningly. In a time of massive deficits Obama was lauded for launching another entitlement.

    How absurd.

    • the real valley person

      Yeah, who needs actual reporters in war zones when you can just listen to Rush criticize their reporting.

      On AGW Rupert, as in much of life, there is reality, which in the end wins out, and there is Rupert world, which is on the losing side of historical trends. Its not about liberal or conservative in the end. Its just what is. You can have an opinion about reality. But you can’t have your own reality. 

      • Rupert in Springfield

        >You can have an opinion about reality. But you can’t have your own reality.

        Very true. Unfortunately my reality is closer in keeping with real world events than yours

        After all, you have maintained since day one on this blog that the AGW computer models predict accurately. Something manifestly untrue. After all, if AGW computer models predicted accurately, then we wouldn’t have the situation where one day coal fired electrical plants were blamed for global warming and the next day explained as the reason why the predicted warming did not occur!

        Keep slugging away champ, there are still some who still believe this stuff. Mostly government funded scientists who depend on AGW for their lively hood, but some nonetheless.


        • the real valley person

          I have never said anything one way or the other about computer models predicting anything. They don’t make predictions. They make projections based on a set of assumptions. And if you don’t know the difference then too bad for you, because I’m not going to try and educate you on that one.

          And if that is all you took away from the article on coal burning delaying global warming by putting a lot of particulates in the air, then that explains how you manage to maintain your alternative reality.  

          I don’t need to slug away Rupert. My job here is too easy. I only need to point out reality from time to time. You after all are the one who will vote for the guy or gal that does not even accept evolution as settled science.  

      • Notfooled

        Only warriors should be in war zones. Those blow dry fools from CNN are always getting in the way and causing way more trouble than they are worth.

    • ExJstudent

      There is no check. They are all in the tank for the admin. They are all dems. They are all fools. They are all losers.
      If you can, you do. If you can’t, you write about it.

  • Dogface

    Remember, many have said the government needs to subsidize journalism because no one wants to read any of the drivel these fools put out. This is one way to do it.
    What a great job. Write about stuff – never actually do anything – and then get paid.
    I love it.

  • Ladywriter

    I am a journalist but I was fired by the Oregonian because they are running out of money.
    I am on unemployment now, but after two or three years that might run out. Then what am I supposed to do?
    Have you ever tried to find work as a journalist?
    Why didn’t they tell me at U of O that I most likely would never find work.

    • Moe

      Looks like you got some bad advice from some overpaid government workers at the college.

    • grumblebug

      get a job on another realm. get a plan that doesn’t drain everyone else’s pocket. If you were Fired and not laid off – this is not your business to begin with.

  • Tired of BS

    All “government spokesman” positions should be eliminated.  It’s just a way for politicians and bureaucrats to hide behind some mealy-mouthed weasel, instead of answering to the public.

    • grumblebug

      I agree. The issue here is that government communications is NOT and should NEVER become journalism which is a narrow trade. Government communicators have a background in government administration and know how to clearly describe complex issues to the general public. They are technical translators. These hires were dumb unless the persons job is simply to write media releases for new programs.

  • Who Cares!

    So its a problem that these folks are making more money and have job security because of what? 

  • getreal

    No. It is a crime that the Director of Communications (X-22yr-oregonian) hired 100% cronies. Doesn’t make me trust anything coming out of office because now 4/5 communications officers are x-oregonian staff and they are experts in spin not transparency….and how would you like to work for government and have this be your new communications staff. no incentive to trust people that have worked to create panic where it need not be.