A couple years back, the Oregonian’s hackneyed Web front-end, OregonLive.com, started experimenting with a local implementation of Reddit, a link-sharing social network. It never gained critical mass, and it was easy to game the system to get (and keep) links on the front page of OregonLive.
Hey, we had our juvenile fun, but it was to a point: the Oregonian simply doesn’t have a clue how to operate in the 21st century new media world.
OregonLive made a number of tweaks to their Reddit system, including moving the links to the very bottom of the front page and giving up on hosting Oregon Reddit (it’s just a category at Reddit.com now). We can still have a little fun with them.
They (obviously) still don’t get new media at the Oregonian (they had a daily podcast for a couple months starting in August 2008, which petered out last March), but that’s just a critique of their delivery.
The real knock on the O is the same knock on pretty much any old school daily: their pretension of objectivity makes them shills for the status quo.
Journalist, author and pundit Dan Savage had some fun recently with what he calls a “drug war” story in the Oregonian, and gave Oregonian reporter Bryan Denson the honor of “Stupid Fucking Credulous Hack of the Day” not once, but twice in the same week.
I thought that story deserved a link on the front page of OregonLive, and voila!
Dan also published a long and humorous e-mail exchange with Denson, which is an object lesson in the insularity of reporters at the O. (Here’s Savage’s Wikipedia page, just for future reference, Bryan.)