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COVID-19 and the measures put in place to slow its spread have had a devastating impact on the Oregon Coast, just as businesses were preparing for the boost that normally comes with a busy Spring Break.

Here at Oregon Coast TODAY, we are doing everything we can to support the small businesses that are the bedrock of our visitor industry, but we need your help. We have committed to waiving all ad costs for our bar and restaurant advertisers as well as most event venues for the duration of the governor’s shutdown order. We have also paused the billing on all of our digital ad services. During a time of crisis, our clients need us to be offering support, not sending them a bill.

But we still have bills to pay and it is here that I’m hoping you can help, by joining our new booster club, TEAM TODAY. This new club offers members access to special deals from our advertisers as well as invitations to exclusive events. Complimentary swag from hats and fleeces to totes and coffee mugs will allow members to show their TEAM TODAY pride. And this most dedicated group of readers will also get access to a private Facebook group where we will ask opinions on everything from which cover shot to run with, which features to pursue and even take suggestions for pun-filled headlines.

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(1) comment


I have had a good number of conversations with people who have a wide range of opinions about the media, or more specifically, the Press. Their ideas are old hat, and it is not surprising to me that many Americans are nothing more than consumers of a small frame of "news."

They have unlimited criticism against the Press, though in most cases, they are talking about over-aid teleprompter readers of the national broadcast media, which is antithetical to real journalism.

Many ask me -- "You have covered the drug war in Mexico, you have traveled to Vietnam and written about not only wildlife, but the war. You have been a police beat reporter and science writer. You have won awards for magazine pieces on the Hanford nuclear complex. So why are you working for Oregon Coast Today? Why can't you get some big paying job with The Atlantic?"

Something to this effect. Well, I remind them as a writer, I am who I am, with or without a big time story on drug running or police brutality. If I find the people living on the coast as interesting to me, then by god, I will make sure they are interesting to the reader.

Deep Dive column was of my own creation, but he editor of the Today went for it, and here we are coming up on one year. It's going strong.

But we take for granted things, now don't we. CV-19 is killing people in confined spaces and with major medical issues. Strong nurses and doctors are dying when they are hit with viral load after viral load. Life has changed on many levels. Many businesses (40 percent) will never come back, and those that do will come back as something very different.

Without truth tellers, and even just people framing our art world and the travel aspect of the Lincoln County and beyond arena, we are lesser people. Yes we are. One man's Podunk rag is another woman's graceful magazine.

I got into journalism in 1975 at the University of Arizona. The Arizona Daily Wildcat, man, I cut my teach on hard news, beats, arts, sports, all of it. That's 45 ;years ago, and I haven't stopped writing or getting published, but I am not on TV or in some national news organ like, surprisingly, many of my friends and cohorts thought I might be.

Back then, with a journalism degree, the writing was on the wall in 1979 when I graduated -- daily newspapers were dying, and many medium to large sized cities were losing competing dailies, AM and PM.

SARS-CoV2 under parasitic, usury, zombie capitalism is like a virus upon a virus upon a virus. Now, those things we hold dear, like a cool trendy mom and pop ale joint, or a fine dining restaurant run by several owners, or that pool hall, or even that bookstore, well, many of them are foregone conclusions -- bankrupt and forever gone.

Now I just read that Newport City is furloughing 12 people and thus that is the reality of Capitalism under a 120 days of coronavirus -- survival of not always the fittest, the underserving getting the best of us, the mom and pops destroyed in what the billionaires call "great disruptive technologies and economic forces."

Of course, theses are people and deeply connected families in our community that are now sacrificed.

Media, and news organs? Here we go, 1979 again, but on steroids: Here, on last week's Democracy Now,


At a time when many journalists are risking their lives to cover one of the most significant stories of their lifetime, media companies are slashing jobs and salaries. Over the past week, hundreds of journalists at Vice, Quartz, The Economist, BuzzFeed, Condé Nast have been laid off. In April, The New York Times estimated 36,000 employees of news media companies had been laid off, furloughed or had their pay reduced since the arrival of the pandemic — 36,000, and that was a month ago.

The crisis is not new. The size of America’s newsrooms have been shrinking for years. According to the Columbia Journalism Review, nearly 3,400 journalists lost their jobs in 2019. Another estimate put the toll at nearly 8,000. The Pew Research Center recently reported U.S. newspapers have shed about half of their newsroom staffs since 2008.

We’re joined by two guests. Gregory Moore is the former editor of The Denver Post, which won four Pulitzer Prizes under his tenure. He’s past chair of the Pulitzer Prize board, former board member of the National Association of Black Journalists. His recent article at is headlined “How Will the COVID-19 Crisis Affect Local News Businesses?”

And we’re joined by Angely Mercado. She’s a freelance writer, researcher, based in New York, has written for The New York Times, Vice, The Nation, among many more. In her new piece for CNBC, she writes, “I got laid off on Friday the 13th — and had to move back home. My new side hustle is writing obituaries for $200.”

Quoting her:

ANGELY MERCADO: ...And yeah, I’m one of the many people that was laid off this March. And these layoffs don’t just affect staffers; they affect freelancers, because I’m now essentially a freelancer again. And when the budget goes down, like not enough to have staffers, that also means that less publications can take on freelancers, there’s less budget to take on extra projects, and freelancers also losing a lot of work, from what I’ve noticed.

And I think it’s been a very daunting time to be back at freelancing, because there aren’t as many job openings, there aren’t as many opportunities. At one point — I think it was late March — I had sent out a pitch to an editor that I connected with on Facebook, and then, after I had done all the work and the pre-research, was told that their budget had just been cut, so they could no longer work with me.

So, there are a lot of people who are being affected in different ways. There are also freelancers that rely on service jobs sometimes, part times, in order to subsidize their income whenever their freelancing budget runs dry. And that’s no longer available. So, different avenues that a lot of journalists and freelancers use to subsidize income, to be a little bit more stable while they wait for an invoice to come through, it’s not available anymore. And it’s just a very scary time to be looking for work and trying to work on projects. And there are also freelancers who maybe don’t have health insurance in the middle of a global health crisis. So, there are a lot of factors, a lot of moving factors, that none of us could have ever really guess would happen or that we could have really prepared for, that are occurring right now because of the pandemic.

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