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July 28th, 2004 John Schrag | News Stories
 

No Shame at the Big O

     
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American Journalism Review
Think WW is obsessed over The Oregonian's coverage of Neil Goldschmidt? Check out the current copy of the American Journalism Review. Inside the monthly trade journal is a 6,935-word account (more than twice the length of this week's WW cover article) of how the region's largest daily was scooped by a "feisty alt-weekly" on the news that Goldschmidt had sexually abused his 14-year-old babysitter when he was mayor.

While several journalists from around the state blasted the O's sloppy work and sympathetic coverage of Goldschmidt, executive editor Sandy Rowe's only complaint was the copy desk's failure to honor her orders to take the word "affair" out of the headline. Otherwise, she told the AJR, "there is nothing to be ashamed of here."

The daily's top editors were most touchy when comparisons were made to the paper's losing Oregon's last big political scandal, Sen. Bob Packwood's sexual harassment, to The Washington Post. As Portland editor Dee Lane explains, "It's the same only in that it's a public figure, it's about sex and we got beat." (Read all about it at www.ajr.org.)

 
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