Portland's Taxpayer-Funded PR Industrial Complex

tax payer PR dollar sign

News
We know times are tough for government agencies. They’re cutting services—and sometimes trying to raise taxes—because of the recession. But a study by WW reveals there’s one sector of government that seems to be not only surviving, but thriving: public relations. Public agencies of all kinds have communication offices that employ squadrons of spokespeople who sometimes outnumber the reporters ...   More
 
Thursday, May 19, 2011 JAMES PITKIN

The Oregon Idea—Minus One Big Player

Oregon State Capitol.

News
 OHSU, Portland State University, Oregon State University and Portland Community College are taking an unusually pro-active political stance to push a concept called "The Oregon Idea." The four academic institutions have set up a slick website and are encouraging supporters to employ social media to spread the word.Effectively, their "Idea" is aimed at pressuring lawmakers and Gov. John Kitzhaber ...   More
 
Friday, February 25, 2011 NIGEL JAQUISS

Ducks Aim to Have Smoke-free Campus by Fall 2012


News
If all goes according to plan, fall 2012 will bring the University of Oregon a smoke-free campus. The university announced today that, with the aid of a $1 million donation from PacificSource Health Plans, it is kicking off a campaign to get its smoking students, faculty, and staff to kick their habit. According to a news release from the school, students can trade packs of cigarettes for acupuncture ...   More
 
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 Jason Slotkin

The "War on Terror" — Another PDX Connection, This Time to Torture Allegations


News
The arrest of Mohamed Osman Mohamud last month for an alleged plot to blow up Pioneer Courthouse Square thrust Portland onto the front line of the so-called "global war on terror." A lesser-known local connection emerged again this past week when national media outlets reported that psychologists Jim Mitchell and Bruce Jessen participated directly in waterboarding terror suspects. Mitchell, ...   More
 
Wednesday, December 22, 2010 JAMES PITKIN

MONKEY BUSINESS: Reporting on OHSU's Primate Lab


News
Reporters get used to dealing with difficult sources. Professional spokesmen paid to provide information to the public usually aren't among them. But we hit some turbulence today trying to report on Oregon Health & Science University's National Primate Research Center. The center, home to about 4,200 nonhuman primates, has been the subject of past coverage in this newspaper, including ...   More
 
Thursday, August 13, 2009 JAMES PITKIN

Why Voters Choose How They Do


News
Ever wonder why your neighbors voted the way they did on Measures 66 and 67, or any other ballot question? Jonah Lehrer, it turns out, has the answer. Gifted neuroscientist and author of the critically acclaimed books Proust Was a Neuroscientist and How We Decide, Lehrer says voters are notoriously inscrutable, emotional, and deeply irrational creatures. So a voter might choose no even though ...   More
 
Sunday, January 31, 2010 Leah Dimatteo

State Audit Lauds OHSU's Use of Tobacco Settlement Dollars


News
Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown today released an audit [PDF] of the $200 million grant that state lawmakers awarded OHSU in 2001. The Oregon Opportunity grant was a pretty big deal because it was funded by tobacco settlement money and represented a relatively bold move during the last recession. Bottom line: auditors found that OHSU put the money to good use and did what it said it ...   More
 
Thursday, January 21, 2010 NIGEL JAQUISS

OHSU's Double Dose of Monkey News


News
Our cover story this week about primate research at OHSU pointed out the school's practice of creating positive publicity to divert attention from animal-rights activists. So we weren't surprised when The Oregonian today published a piece about possible breakthroughs in viral engineering at the Oregon National Primate Research Center, the site where OHSU breeds monkeys for medical research. But ...   More
 
Friday, April 2, 2010 JAMES PITKIN

A Prologue to Protest


News
For about the umptieth time over the past 12 years, 30 or 40 protesters from the Portland Animal Defense League gathered Monday, June 28, outside the Oregon National Primate Research Center in Beaverton (an outjut of Oregon Health & Science University) to protest that institution's maltreatment of monkeys in medical and psychological experiments. This particular protest was fairly widely reported ...   More
 
Tuesday, June 29, 2010 MATTHEW KORFHAGE

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