Keynote speaker at the Slow News conference — no, that’s not a typo — June 25 at the University of Oregon was none other than Logan Molen, former publisher at The Register–Guard, who lost his job there in last winter’s sale of the paper to GateHouse Media. Now publisher of The Steamboat Pilot & Today in Colorado, Molen confessed growing skepticism about the influence of digital media on news — and of the ability of digital advertising to support quality local journalism. Print, he suggested, may continue to shrink but will remain the foundation of newspapers; the most successful new model might be weekly print publication with digital updates through the week. That sounds a lot like Eugene Weekly today.
• What we’re reading: Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover. Published in 2018 by Random House, this is a wild ride for a memoir. The story of an Idaho family dominated by a father who doesn’t believe in education, it tells how Westover escapes her own private Idaho through education. She is a fine writer, and it’s hard to put her book down.
• Bitcoin is big news in Oregon with Secretary of State Richardson interested in allowing it for political contributions. But it is a complicated cryptocurrency, as Maren Peasley demonstrated at the City Club of Eugene on June 22. Peasley, an identity specialist at a global security vendor, recently co-founded DC541, a local cybersecurity discussion forum that meets monthly and is open to the public. That sounds like a good way to go before we take our money out of the bank and put it in Bitcoin.
• Why not our Sen. Jeff Merkley as a candidate for president or maybe vice-president? He had the courage and imagination to go to the border in Texas and use social media to tell the country what was happening there. He was the only senator bold enough to endorse Bernie Sanders for president when other Democrats fell into line for Hillary Clinton. You say Oregon is not a great base? What about Arkansas, as in Bill Clinton, or Georgia, as in Jimmy Carter? Merkley’s exploring his options.
• You probably have picked your favorite team in the World Cup by now, Spain, France, Germany, Brazil, but not the U.S., alas, since we didn’t even make it to the world’s greatest sporting event. EW is delighted to have Killian Doherty writing and photographing for us both inside and outside soccer stadiums all over Russia. A Eugene attorney with the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide, Doherty will be sending his observations for print and online until the last match ends.