The Oregonian has seen its readership decline dramatically in the past several years. Revenues from advertisers have declined sharply. Layoffs occur all too frequently. The paper is getting smaller and smaller. More and more readers simply go to the free web site, Oregonlive, or to the countless other free websites to get their news. Things look pretty bleak at the Oregonian.
This year alone we have seen the Rocky Mountain News and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer close forever. The Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times have both filed for bankruptcy. The Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News have cancelled home delivery four days of the week. The San Francisco Chronicle should go under by about the time you read this, if not sooner.
The demise of daily newspapers, especially the award-winning Oregonian, is not something we can take lightly. Without the independent, hard-hitting investigative reporting of the Oregonian, where would we be? How would Oregon survive? Who would hold politicians accountable? How would you know how to vote without the Oregonian’s voter guide? We would all be in big trouble without the Oregonian. I think we can all agree the Oregonian must be saved.
Here is how we can all help save the Oregonian.
1. Quit reading the paper online. We must all call and order home delivery. The Oregonian can’t stay in business if they give all their news away for free, so we must pay for it. Get rid of your Oregonlive bookmarks now. Call today and order the paper. It only costs $13.95 each month. That’s only two and one half mochas at Starbucks. It’s not much to pay to stay informed.
2. Quit advertising on Craig’s List and use the Oregonian classifieds for all your ads. The Oregonian can’t stay in business if no one places any ads with them. They really don’t cost that much and should be pretty effective if everyone does number one above.
3. Support legislation that would bail out the newspapers by giving them taxpayer funds and allowing them to operate as non-profits (this makes sense, because they are already non-profit). There is no reason a paper should have to make money. It would not cost much for all of us to chip in, through our taxes, to save this grand old dame of print news. Reporters have to make a living wage, and unless everyone does numbers 1 and 2 above the Oregonian will not have enough money to pay the reporters. If our taxes helped with this burden, then the Oregonian could be saved.
4. Support legislation that eases logging in Oregon. What do you think newsprint is made from? That’s right, wood. And to get wood we have to cut down some trees. Trees are like corn or cotton or any other crop. They grow and we harvest them. But, some silly environmentalists have convinced our week-kneed politicians that our forests need protecting, which has increased the cost of newsprint. Without an abundant source of cheap newsprint, the Oregonian will go under. Support easing of logging now. Donate any wood you may have on private property. It could be tax deductible if we can get number 3 above put into law.
5. Send the Oregonian some money. What do Oregonians do when they see someone in need? They give and they give freely. Why should this situation be any different? If we all simply sent in what we could afford, be it $25 or $500,000, the Oregonian could stay in business. Oregonians are known for their generosity. Let’s help those who need the most help right now — the staff and owners of the Oregonian. They may be too proud to ask us directly, but we know they need the help and we must not let them down now. Give and give often. Donations can be sent to The Oregonian, 1320 SW Broadway, Portland, Oregon.