I follow the news because you don’t want to

Recently, the Oregonian started showing up in my driveway. This wasn’t much-hated, unshakable Food Day— if was a full edition.

I’m not one of those people who prefer a print edition. The web is cheaper, cleaner, produces less waste, and gives readers a chance to contribute to the discussion. But I think it’s clear that there is much to be desired from the Oregonian (or their owners Advanced Publications) web product.

There’s been a lot of criticism of the Oregonian’s coverage, and the sensationalist reporting definitely seems like a trend. The most disturbing let an accused double murder’s implausible— but sexually titillating— excuse for the deaths are in the headline and lede. Rape victims get anonymity and so should murder victims— but there are multiple photos of the 19-year-old female victim accompanying the story.

Today’s big issue is cannabis legalization: Washington’s cannabis stores are opened yesterday (7/8) and the Oregonian sat down with the Oregon’s initiative author and the head of a national organization who gave $650,000 to the ballot measure. Surprise! They’re both in favor of it.

They talk about the lack of a DUI standard, and there are a few unattributed graphs on the standard arguments against legalization in general— but there are no substantial alternative POVs. Legalization seem inevitable in Oregon, (though polling shows only a ten point lead for advocates) but will it be done right? I started a Reddit thread on the issue.

In other stories:

* After a series of stories from the Oregonian, the Oregon state fire marshal posted the travel patterns of oil train travel in the state.

* A former high school principal was sentenced to 2 years in prison by a state court for sex with a 12-year-old, while a federal court gave him nearly 11 years in prison for possession of child pornography. He was convicted of a similar crime in 2003, and only served 6 months in jail and 1 year in a half-way house. The case highlights the disparity between state and federal sentencing regarding child abuse, the Oregonian reports.

* In 2012, Reed College reported 14 on-campus sexual assaults, while the University of Oregon (with 20 time the student body) reported 17. Columnist Steve Duin said these numbers indicate a need for sexual assault reporting reform at the U of O, similar to what happened at Reed in 2011.

There was also plenty of crime, sports, food, lots of inserts, and an editorial page focused mostly on national issues— but I included all of what I thought seemed important.

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