By Jeb Bladine • President / Publisher • 

Whatchamacolumn: Newspaper seeks its 'value proposition'

After correcting a previous error, last week’s column concluded: “That’s one of the reasons we have a community newspaper … if you want to help sustain that newspaper, take a look here next week.”

It’s now this week and, on reflection, it seemed more important to ask WHY people would help sustain the newspaper. In other words, what is our “value proposition” for inviting that help?


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

> See his column

We have our own thoughts about that value, sometimes taking ourselves too seriously with the suggestion that democracy as we know it is doomed if private-sector journalism continues to falter. Still, people generally recognize that governments and other powerful institutions, unfettered by a vibrant free press, have a way of turning citizens into people they rule instead of people they represent.

Seeking a more down-to-earth assessment of value, we asked a growing group of readers who appreciate the newspaper enough to have joined the News-Register Press Club. Here’s our first response:

“I’m not much of a writer, but these words are sincere:

“Where would we be without community newspapers, such as my favorite … the News-Register?

“One can be assured that we will never find on Facebook news, metro news sources or national TV, such integral things as:

“What was the outcome of the city council meeting?

“What’s that new building going up on Highway 99W?

“Who won yesterday’s football game against Newberg?

“What’s happening with the new Fire District?

“What are the details of the new Turkey Rama?

“Etc., etc., etc.

“Our community is stronger as people become and stay engaged in local interests.

“The News-Register has a dedicated, passionate team of professionals whose goal is to bring relevant local news and advertising to this community. Without the News-Register, we would be in a “news desert,” with no reliable information. Anyone can post opinions on Facebook, but the News-Register has proven repeatedly that it is uncompromising in its reporting of local news. This treasure in our community is priceless!”

I do have to take issue with one part of that reader’s vignette — her opening line, “I’m not much of a writer.”

We will continue compiling thoughts about our community newspaper’s value proposition, including your criticisms and suggestions to improve that value. Meanwhile, back to the original promise of column content this week, here’s where anyone with Internet can find ways to help sustain the newspaper:

Jeb Bladine can be reached at or 503-687-1223.


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