I am writing to ask why the cover story of your most recent issue (8/2) was simply a list of things that your staff has downloaded. I ask this in all seriousness because it begs the simple question: Why? As in: What is your purpose? I struggle to see how a list of random cultural artifacts has anything to do with the fulfillment of your paper’s official mission statement.  

It’s not like you have nothing to report on. Can you not write more about the specific performance of our city manager? What percentage of Eugeneans are happy with his performance? Your article had quotes both in favor of and opposed to Ruiz, but little information as to what he has actually done. Why is he seen as controversial? How is his performance different from other managers? Perhaps the city’s “oppressed and dismissed” could use more information about their local government.  

Also, the problem with our recycling situation is not that it is suddenly “complicated” to sort, but that we aren’t recycling. 

The larger point here is that your paper is floundering. I encourage you to look over the publication at your next staff meeting, and to question whether and how the work might bolster your mission statement. Alternatively, you could just change the mission statement to something more honest, such as, “We endeavor to print at least 16 pages of mostly ad-based material, every single week.” 

I think you should try harder. 

Shaun Winter