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UO’s administrators spend millions on PR flacks and Around the O to puff up their careers, and the only journalists left to find out what’s really happening are the students at the Daily Emerald

Once we had regular coverage from the Oregonian and the Register Guard, but those newsrooms have been gutted and GC Kevin Reed uses fees and delays to make it difficult for any reporters left to get the public records that might reveal what’s really going on at Oregon’s flagship university.

Today the NYT discusses what good student reporting has done at other universities:

Two prominent departures at top universities this month have a common link: inquisitive student journalists.

Stanford University’s president, Marc Tessier-Lavigne, announced on Wednesday that he would resign from his position and retract three decades-old research papers, after an independent review of his scientific work was prompted by coverage in the campus newspaper, The Stanford Daily.

Last week, Northwestern University fired its head football coach, Pat Fitzgerald, after its student newspaper, The Daily Northwestern, reported that his players had engaged in hazing rituals.

The back-to-back revelations have highlighted the important role of college newspapers in holding to account the powerful institutions that house them.


  1. Prof from another AAU school, and sometimes fan of uomatters 07/20/2023

    This is a puzzling post:
    While I am all in favor of uncovering and reporting a ‘good scandal’, something investigative journalism has long done, THAT hardly scrathes the surface of what really goes on at universities. Of course ‘ around the O’ covers the + goings on at UO: thats what public affairs departments in all organizations do, that is their job.
    All universities have additional departments devoted to investigative activities for reported/claimed violations of all kinds. Indeed modern Universities probably devote relatively more resources to this ever before.
    The phrase ….really going on at Oregon’s flagship university….. includes a hell of a lot more than scandal. How about the latest cool science paper from your ecologists or developmental biologists.
    Northwestern or Stanford is unlikely to suffer much from these ‘dust-ups’, at least with respect to their stellar academic reputations.

  2. honest Uncle Bernie 07/20/2023

    Alas, the Emerald is not what it once was. There used to be some serious coverage of academic affairs. Sometimes better than what the Register-Guard or Oregonian dug up. Now the Emerald is almost entirely about sports, and student life, and something occasionally about goings on in the Eugene area. There is almost no serious coverage of workings of the university or academic life.

    The decline of local newspapers is a real tragedy of public life. In Eugene, the loss of the old Register-Guard is actually a danger to civic life. I suspect that it is partly behind the evident decay of civility, with the homelessness, vandalism, and theft that have become rampant. The internet and broadcast stations just don’t make up for the loss of the papers.

    • Fishwrapper 07/21/2023

      The demise of the R-G is a tragedy, but at the same time, it’s been almost inspiring to see the Eugene Weekly, with its limited resources scrap its way into some of the fray and make an effort to fill some of the void left. Their venture into non-profit journalism, as well as their partnership with SOJC’s Catalyst Journalism Project. While they don’t have the means to replace the footprint of anR-G from decades (even only years) past, they are not giving up on the good fight for local journalism – and helping train the next generation of journalists at something other than the school paper.

      • honest Uncle Bernie 07/21/2023

        I thought about the E-W after I posted. Yes, they are filling a void, they’re scrappy, it’s admirable that they survived covid in what must have been a very hard time. Still, as you say, they don’t have the means to replace the R-G. In my opinion, part of the reason is that the Weekly is very one-sided in the opinions it allows to be presented (with some exceptions in the letters). Whereas the R-G really tried to be somewhat representative of the entire Lane County area. For example, they’d print opinion pieces (back when the R-G had an editorial section) by environmentalists on how to manage Oregon forests, and then a piece by someone from the timber industry, and sometimes pieces from yet other points of view, e.g. OSU forestry staff. I must admit, I thought the industry views were purely self-interested, and generally idiotic. But then we went into the era of horrific smoke intrusions, and I realized that perhaps the industry views were not entirely selfish, or misguided. This is something you just won’t find much of in the Weekly, or KLCC.

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