Fees for reporters, subsidies for propaganda

7/15/2013: We’ve written before about the $104K cost of “Around the O”. Here are two much worse examples of how UO is making work more difficult for real reporters, while spending public money on what amounts to propaganda. I suppose you could argue this is good for UO in the short run, except it goes against everything that public universities are supposed to stand for.

1) If you’re a UO student journalist like Daily Emerald Editor Sam Stites and you try to get public records about UO’s athletic department, the Ducks will hit you up for substantial fees, and Dave Hubin will argue it would be wrong to use tuition money to subsidize the release of public records to the public.

But UO has no problem spending money to hire sports reporter Rob Moseley away from the Register Guard to write for the official UO GoDucks.com website. At $50,000 a year, plus bowl games junkets for spouse and kids, and on a year by year contract, I can just imagine how much real information we’ll get from Mr. Moseley about things like the Jock Box subsidies and who paid for the NCAA legal defense.

2) That’s just sports. But UO is playing the same game with substantive things like President Gottfredson’s official calendar, showing who he met with, while negotiating an independent board for UO. Surely that’s important enough to justify a public interest fee waiver? No. Dave Hubin wants to charge $240 for UO’s student journalists to see the calendar.

The Oregon Commentator tried to pay this fee with money allocated by UO’s student government for just that purpose. Hubin responded with a ruling saying student publications like the Commentator and the Emerald can’t use student money to buy UO’s public records.

But President Gottfredson has no problem paying for yet another “strategic communications” flack to broadcast his own spin on things:

Salary: $60,000 to $85,000 

Public & Government Affairs and the Office of the President invite applications for a full-time (1.0 FTE) Director of Public Affairs and President’s Office Communications.  This position is responsible for providing executive communications support to the president of the university and for developing and managing comprehensive communications activities for the Office of the President with internal and external constituencies.  

The Emerald has now set up an independent non-profit to solicit donations, in an effort to get around Hubin’s rules. Donate here, you’ll get a nice letter *from* the Emerald Editor, to show the IRS when you claim it on your taxes. You don’t have to be an economist to understand that free-riding will mean they’ll never get enough money- a fact our UO administration is counting on.

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3 Responses to Fees for reporters, subsidies for propaganda

  1. Anonymous says:

    He sold out his journalistic heritage to be a PR wonk for 50K? And this from a successful, small town reporter who built a tremendous, nationally recognized social media site and who functions as an advisor to ODE and mentor to young journalists-to-be. And for what? To belong. Social media is ruining true journalism.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Did he keep his other job? What’s his FTE at UO?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Nevermind – I see the contract. Hmmmm….smells fishy.

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