Slant 1-15-2015

• It was a great season for the 13-2 Ducks, but you could feel the wheels on the wagon starting to come off even a few days before the Jan. 12 national title game against Ohio State. A drug-related suspension of the team’s second-leading receiver was followed by ESPN analysts warning that, despite a high-powered offense, the Ducks are a scheme-driven squad capable of being exposed as a one-trick pony. And exposed they were. Even though QB Marcus Mariota put up decent numbers, the team on the whole looked outmatched and overwhelmed, begging the question: Will the Ducks forever be the well-dressed bridesmaid, never the bride?

• Too bad that in this age of information overload, lawsuits seem to be the best vehicle to gather the most important information. After months of trying to figure out who knew what when, a lawsuit has been filed by a female student against the UO and the basketball coach to find the truth about the sexual assault against her. The UO says basketball coach Dana Altman, up for $50,000 in bonuses at the NCAA tournament, didn’t know his player had been suspended for an alleged sexual assault at his last school, but according to the lawsuit, the player’s mother says, “We told them everything.” On with the lawsuits if that’s what it takes to shine a light on our public institutions.

• When Jason Younker spoke at the City Club of Eugene Jan. 9, we were reminded how little we and our children learned all through public school in the West about American Indians, and how much we really should know. Younker, an assistant vice-president and advisor to the UO president on sovereign nations, said the UO was the first university in the state to establish his position. He’s an eloquent spokesman on the resiliency of American Indians.

• In the wake of the terrible Charlie Hebdo shootings and the hostage-taking and deaths at the kosher grocery store in France, the horror of the most recent killings by Boko Haram in Nigeria took a while to get attention in the U.S. If we believe — and we should — that #blacklivesmatter, then as a community and as a nation we need to pay attention to Africa as much as we do to the U.S. and Europe. The Nigerian government has harassed and detained reporters covering the terror group, and Boko Haram has killed several journalists. Reporters in Nigeria are dying trying to get the word out about events such as the estimated 2,000 people killed in early January. Let’s make sure we take heed. 

Print is dead! Long live print! Media pundits have been predicting the end of print newspapers for decades and yet we are printing 10,000 more newspapers today than we did in the year 2000. Our average print run in 2014 was 39,415, and we now have a record 856 outlets in the region. We certainly don’t expect the internet to go away as a news source or daily newspapers to regain their prominence and profitability, but something of a backlash might be happening against digital-information overload. One clue is a new website in Scotland called that allows readers to select a collection of web content and have it printed out and mailed to them as a newspaper. PaperLater’s slogan is “No more clicks. Sit. Read. Relax.” 

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