By Jeb Bladine • President / Publisher • 

Jeb Bladine: One certainty is, things will change

Things will change. Thinkers of all political persuasions agree, and so do we.

Whatchamacolumn

Jeb Bladine is president and publisher of the News-Register.

> See his column

Marcelo Gleiser, in a CNN commentary headlined “Covid-19 will change us as a species,” wrote: “The year 2020 will be remembered as a turnaround point in human history. Not just because many will die, but because the Covid-19 pandemic is offering us a chance to reinvent ourselves.”

Politico Magazine surveyed 34 “macro thinkers” for an article headlined, “Coronavirus Will Change the World Permanently.” The global virus, wrote Politico, “is already reorienting our relationship to government, to the outside world, even to each other.”

Jonah Goldberg, commented in conservative National Review on a pandemic “set to be the first truly collective trauma in decades to affect every American.” Wrote Goldberg:

“Most historic events of the last half-century are remembered largely as moments on television … There’s a huge psychological difference between watching and participating, and I don’t think anyone is appreciating the difference.”

Generationally, Americans have short memories, so we can’t speak authoritatively about our cultural future. But at the News-Register, in our tiny corner of our little world, we can envision possibilities for change.

We already are the only locally owned Yamhill County newspaper, outlasting historic publications in Lafayette, Carlton, Amity, Dayton and Sheridan. Even the printed Newberg Graphic, owned out of Portland, has been folded into newspapers from Marion and Clackamas counties.

Newspapers already were reeling financially before COVID-19. Some 2,000 publications closed over the past decade, and that number is growing.

Closure, of course, would be the ultimate change for the News-Register, which dates its family tree back to 1866. Setting that aside option for now, other options are being considered.

Offices may move out of downtown McMinnville in a financially forced consolidation of facilities; two weekly issues could become one, perhaps with reduced paper size; subscription rates may rise to reflect high costs of printing/distribution; transformation from private company to nonprofit information service is one route, as is long-predicted elimination of print into an all-digital service.

Notice all those political endorsement letters in today’s Viewpoints section? Those likely will become paid ads in the future, ending a free service to political campaigns that generate so many of them.

We may suggest ways for subscribers to help sustain the community newspaper. But for now, requests for help seem unbecoming when so many vital local businesses and institutions and people are so financially challenged.

For now, the focus is on change.

Jeb Bladine can be reached at jbladine@newsregister.com or 503-687-1223.

Comments

Don

With the news yesterday (May 2), we might as well board up 3rd st:
Gov. Kate Brown extends Oregon coronavirus state of emergency to July 6:

https://www.oregonlive.com/coronavirus/2020/05/gov-kate-brown-extends-oregon-coronavirus-state-of-emergency-to-july-6.html

Actually, we should close third street on Mothers' Day for a block party with all the stores and restaurants opened for business. The Governor is trying to wipe out our community.

Sad to see the Newspapers fade away.
Don

msantone

We are blessed that NR is with us. Change is necessary. Let's call it evolving with the dangerous times. We will do what we can to keep you serving our community, if we know what is good for us.