The Oregonian is Already Hiring New Reporters

Headhunter WSI posted this today


Three days after The Oregonian finished laying off nearly a quarter of its newsroom staff, the paper’s new digital company, Oregonian Media Group, is advertising reporting jobs at the paper.

Oregonian Media Group, the new company formed by The Oregonian, has begun posting job openings this morning—for a general assignment reporter, a music critic, a content data analyst, and an advertorial editor.

“You will be part of an exciting initiative to take us even further into
the digital space, but also join a team that already has solid multimedia savvy,” the general-assignment reporter listing says. While we value experience, talent is the pivotal factor, and we are proactive about professional development, whether you are a 10-year veteran or just starting your journalistic career.

A company called Workforce Strategies, Inc. has also posted a job listing on LinkedIn for a general assignment reporter at The Oregonian.

UPDATE, 12:35 pm: Anderson verifies to WW the job offers are authentic.

“We’ll be advertising open positions for Oregonian Media Group and Advance Central Services Oregon using a wide variety of sources; obviously, LinkedIn is one of those,” Anderson says in an email. “We’ll be posting on and many other places – even The Oregonian. And in the case of positions in the content area, we have a significant number of applications on hand and will review those as well.”

On Thursday, the paper announced it is moving to a digital-first reporting strategy and reducing home delivery to four days a week. It then laid off more than 45 employees in a newsroom of 218.

Publisher N. Christian Anderson has pledged that although The Oregonian laid off staff last week, the paper will have the same number of reporters when it debuts its changes on Oct. 1.

“Peter Bhatia, our editor, told his staff Thursday that as we have about 90 reporters now, we will have 90 reporters on October 1,” Anderson wrote in an editorial yesterday. “Some of our content staff will be new, replacing some well known names and faces that will be leaving us sometime this summer.”

The job listing suggests that new jobs at The Oregonian will be heavily focused on web traffic. The employee will be expected to “monitor websites for aggregation opportunities” and “post supplementary content in coordination with related content reporters.”

Here is the full listing posted by Oregonian Media Group:

We are expanding our pool of talented Reporters and you may take
assignments in a variety of areas, from public safety to municipal
government to entertainment to neighborhoods / communities. If you show a particular talent in one area, and depending on our needs, that area may become a focus for you. In most cases you will cover stories
independently, although you may also work in collaboration with others, or act as a “supplementary” reporter to support a lead Reporter.

Your main activities will include: Covering breaking news as a general assignment reporter and providing in-depth analysis as needed.Acting as a discussion leader during periods of intense traffic.Adding depth and engagement on the hottest topics / stories at any given time to ensure an immediate and steady response to breaking news. Monitoring websites for aggregation opportunities. Posting supplementary content in coordination with related content reporters.Monitoring reader response through audience data, comment streams and social media reaction, while engaging with readers on all platforms.Recording, editing and posting topical video / audio / photos. More specifically, you will:

Gather information and write journalistically sound news elements
for use in all media platforms, existing and future, that is balanced
and factual, timely and topical, and well-sourced and contextually
correct.Learn and employ all techniques for effective digital reporting across all platforms, including but not limited to: Frequent, incremental posting throughout the day.Story aggregation and topical link-posting.Monitoring and engaging in reader comment streams on local market website impact pages.Elevating comments into new posts when appropriate.Interacting on social media platforms, with story shares, objective commentary, and promoting the news organization’s content initiatives.Understanding and employing the means for monitoring audience interest and competitors’ posting on your topic, including setting up Google alerts, Twitter and RSS feeds. Work independently and remotely, while maintaining operational communication with your editor and, when applicable, production center.Develop and maintain working knowledge of and use hardware, software and cloud-based equipment and systems for direct-to-web production and engagement, including but not limited to:
Taking photographs and short video, and posting it to the web as well as uploading to any internal production systems.Using laptops and smartphones for remote web reporting.Using the Moveable Type content management system, and any future CMS. Understand the news organization’s audience traffic tracking systems and analytical reports.Keep abreast of industry advances and proactively consider new methods of reaching audiences including engaging, interactive and optimized product offerings.
Note: this description is intended to give you a general overview of the position and is not an exhaustive listing of duties and responsibilities.

I Wanted to Better Understand Meat, So I Killed a Rabbit With My Bare Hands.

There is already blood on the ground when I arrive at Camas Davis’ Southwest Portland backyard. It pools into the pores of a decorative rock and dribbles onto the soil. The blood is too bright and too red to seem real. It looks like pulped strawberry, or a painter’s tantrum.

I am holding a rabbit in my hands, which I have just received out of a box labeled for leafy greens. I am trying not to bond with the animal or pet its fur, though its coat is soft as spring dandelions.

This is a survival mechanism of sorts. In about 10 minutes, I am going to break this rabbit’s neck.

On this fine and sunny Saturday afternoon, Davis’ Portland Meat Collective is hosting a class in rabbit slaughter and butchery. The blood on the rock is chickens’ blood, let this morning. Ten of us are in line, ranging in personality from Estacada cowboy to prim food obsessive, all cradling our rabbits with what probably looks like tenderness. But closer inspection would reveal that each of us is tightly gripping our rabbit’s paws together with our fists, so it can’t scratch us or jerk away.

The class is taught by an intensive-care nurse, Levi, who trained with the late chef Robert Reynolds in France. “I don’t love rabbits,” he says at the beginning of the class. “I don’t think of them as cuddly.”

He thinks of them as food. He says that food rabbits, like farm turkeys, are remarkably stupid animals, doomed to death within hours in the wild. But he doesn’t want to cause them any suffering, and so he teaches us how to kill them as humanely as possible.

This turns out to involve a broomstick, which goes over the back of the rabbit’s head for leverage. A simple tug to the back feet, and the rabbit’s spine is neatly severed, too fast for the brain even to register the shock. It is a variation on a classic Navy SEAL technique.

Here is the thing, though: I don’t even kill spiders. I scoot them out the door between a cup and a newspaper. Though I come from Anglo-Germanic hunting and farming stock—my grandfather used to trap squirrels for stew until my grandmother made him stop—I never went on the family trips in search of elk and deer.

Still, like every eater of meat, I have left behind me a massacre as surely as if I had slaughtered the animals myself. I have eaten elk tongue and deer heart and bull penis, the livers of ducks and geese, the feet of chickens and pigs. I have boiled stomach in soup and fried skin into cracklings. I have eaten tartare and called the watery myoglobin that leaks onto the plate “blood.”

There’s no inherent hypocrisy in this. Whatever Ted Nugent’s faux-spiritual hunter’s malarkey, I don’t think you should have to kill your own meat, any more than people who drive cars need to drill their own oil. Specialization of labor has been a remarkable success, all things considered. Most of my classmates intend to farm domestically or cook seriously, and though we’re served wine the course has the feeling of a trade school. People take notes. For my own part, I’m here because I feel I should understand what it means, at the most visceral level, to eat an animal.

But of course no epiphanies are forthcoming. It’s not as if I suddenly understand the nature of the exchange between life and life. When it comes to performing the act itself, I mostly just worry about screwing up—that I will apply pressure too soon or not tug hard enough and the rabbit will be left living and in pain. Its little bones, however, are as fragile as a bird’s, and after a tiny pop softer than the crack of an old man’s knee when he stands, the rabbit’s eyes are open and unseeing.

Then we are to string the rabbit upside down, bleed it into a bucket and “pants” it —this is the term of art—by pulling the legs’ skin away from the muscle, repeating a similar process for the entirety of the body until the carcass stands naked save a patch of fur between the legs. The physiognomy is similar enough to a human’s that the effect is unsettling: It looks like a deeply ill-favored person with unshorn 1970s crotch, its arms in position of prayer.

The process of butchery from there is remarkably gentle. One must be attentive to the animal’s form, and trim precisely with a sharp knife. Plato’s phrase suddenly makes sense: the carving of nature at its joints. It is an act of startling intimacy.

I roasted the rabbit the next day with my family—my parents and sisters and nieces and nephews. The notion that any part of that rabbit would go to waste was frankly offensive; I winced when my 7-year-old niece left a few bites of foreleg on her plate. What was being shared was much more than meat, its price not something you could find on a tag.

But still: It wasn’t something I knew how to explain.

What Does Your Van Say About You?

Look down your street. Even if you live in the West Hills, there’s a good chance you’ve got a van or two parked nearby. Vans are everywhere in Cascadia—and some of them double as houses.

[Pete Cottell is living in a van this summer in Portland. He prefers not to say what kind.]


The van equivalent of a big loft apartment in a trendy area furnished by Design Within Reach. Complete with shore-power hookups, a fold-out bed, a built-in propane camping stove, and a handful of other optional amenities, very little is needed to convert these camper vans into livable abodes. Price, scarcity and mechanical reliability often put the Westfalia out of reach of those who are closer to the homeless end of the van-life spectrum.

Approachability: High, both literally and figuratively. Westy dwellers are generally harmless idealists who would love to share their stories of life on the road over a cup of Yerba Mate.

Buy: Older models can be found for as little as $3,000, but don’t expect to take it on a soul-searching road trip without bringing a mechanic or spending at least $9,000.


“The Egg” may be the most mechanically sound oddity ever imported to our shores. The Previa is awkward in a “this might be what the future looks like!” kind of way, but, goddamn, these things run forever. It’s more spacious than today’s Sienna without the hulking frame and mushy suspension of a full-size van.

Approachability: Few vans are unsexier than the Previa, which may lead dwellers to remain shy about the fact that everything they own is in a heap behind the front seats.

Buy: Expect to pay $2,000 for one that runs, or $800 for a project.


For those aspiring A-Team types, nothing tops the manly, no-nonsense design of the Ram. A windowless Ram cargo van suited up in black primer and outfitted with all-terrain tires is an unstoppable force. Laugh like a maniac as you fly over speed bumps at 32 mph with Ride the Lighting blasting from the tape deck. Just keep it a good 200 feet from schools and playgrounds. It’s popular among doom-metal and stoner bands with monosyllabic names that schlep thousands of dollars’ worth of Empire cabinets. And child predators.

Approachability: Unless “FREE CANDY” is spray-painted on the side, give the van a knock.

Buy: A no-frills, windowless cargo van can be yours for around $1,500, while a classy conversion can be had for $3,200.


The most diverse selection of vans under one brand, the Ford Econoline series is a common choice among thrifty van enthusiasts. Drive by a bowling alley on a Friday night, and you’re likely to find some truly haute E-150s patiently waiting for their owners to finish up their MGD-fueled debates about the ultimate Rush record. Third-party conversion companies such as Starcraft, Vanquest and Glaval were pimping Econolines back when MTV was still playing music videos, leaving van enthusiasts with some righteous relics of the ’90s that come with VHS/TV combos, power-operated fold-down seats and faux-wood accents.

Buy: If you spent $2,000 on an E-150 that an old lady had stashed away in her backyard for years, you spent $500 too much.


Why I Left a Comfy Job and Sweet Apartment in Ohio to Live in a Van in Portland

I am lying on the backseat of a busted old conversion van that reeks of oil and cigar smoke in the parking lot of a Space Age gas station near the Portland Gresham border. It’€™s not quite 6 am, and I’m trying to sleep. But a man who looks like the strung-out ghost of River Phoenix will not shut up. He’€™s posted up on the hood of an Impala parked next to my van in a dirty Detroit Pistons Starter jacket. He spends a good 20 minutes exclaiming gibberish to someone he kept calling “€œToothy”€ through a disposable flip phone. Between his fiendish chatter, phantom noises from the van’€™s diseased engine, and the skittering of other transients waiting for the nearby plasma clinic to open, it’€™s been a long night.

I have learned an important lesson: Now that I live in a van, I will no longer park
outside plasma clinics. Or anywhere near Gresham.

Van Sketch

Two weeks ago, I was living a relatively cushy life back in Columbus, Ohio. I had a decent job as an assistant manager of a local cafe, a grossly underpriced
apartment in a desirable neighborhood, and a massive constellation of friends ever-expanding since my graduation from Ohio State University in 2007. My job afforded me the liberty to show up hung over on a daily basis and skip town with just a week’s notice, luxuries that I assumed drove my attorney friends insane with jealousy. I spent the better part of five years kicking the can down the road with the assumption that “growing up” was as easy as waking up one day and declaring yourself officially an adult. My friends were running laps around me. Dread started to overtake me when I realized I was quickly transitioning from charismatically underemployed lovable fuckup to bitter, college-educated service-industry lifer.

I spent the better part of the winter showing up to work in an existential funk. My malice for yokels ordering Starbucks drinks at my non-Starbucks shop started to bubble past manageable levels. I found myself doing strange things, like pouring drinks into my empty left hand and onto the floor because I forgot to pick up a cup to serve as a receptacle for the liquid.

The president of my company took notice and urged my boss to have a chat with me. She let me know that with my long tenure and dedication to the craft of coffee making, I was just as disposable as I was the day I walked in the door a broke and confused 24-year-old. Disheartened by the reality of being a lot less important than I allowed myself to believe, I spent the slow parts of most mornings staring out the window. I watched a guy I remembered from a computer science course in college illegally park his Land Rover in front my shop and dart across the street to the Starbucks that had been burying my store, and wondered where our paths had diverged in such radical ways. Juggling an iPhone, a set of keys and a frozen brown drink covered in whipped cream and caramel, he climbed back into his SUV, made an abrupt U-turn, and sped toward downtown.

Within a few minutes, his spot was snatched by a grungy old conversion van with tan racing stripes and tinted windows. Between customers, I kept glancing at the van, becoming increasingly curious. The windows and the area behind the captains chairs were blocked out by ugly curtains, making whatever may have been happening inside the thing a complete mystery to passersby.

The van remained in the same spot for three days, lingering like the random dirty wet sock you inexplicably find on the sidewalk that everyone would rather look at with a confused grimace rather than be the person who finally tosses it in the trash. No one was seen entering or exiting the van during business hours. It became obvious that no one really gave a shit. It finally accrued a ticket for being parked for more than two hours in a zone that required a parking permit. Then it vanished.

I started thinking about the life I’d made for myself up to this point. I took careful inventory of what I had. With the exception of my computer, a closet half-stocked with plaid shirts and Levis I purchased secondhand and some camping equipment, there wasn’t a whole lot of stuff that I needed to keep me going. I threw the essentials in a heap that took up about half of the surface area of my busted queen-size bed, took a hesitant step away from the giant mess, and felt a strange, warm feeling envelop my body.

“My life can totally fit in a van.”

My head burst apart at the realization that getting stuck in a place I wasn’t in love with was soon to be a thing of the past. I rushed to my computer, googled
“how to live in a van” and dove headlong into a vagabond rabbit hole. Within just a few clicks, I stumbled upon a Yahoo group devoted to all things “€œVandwelling” that has almost 9,000 members as I write this. A massive community of radically diverse individuals have banded together for the sake of sharing tricks of the trade, as well as the story of how they chose to turn their back on conspicuous consumption.

They’re everywhere. But I had to be somewhere. Where would a weirdo with aspirations to be functionally homeless as a means of growing up go?

I first visited Portland last September, and it only took two hours to feel what so many have trouble expressing with words:  The “Weird” thread runs through the fabric of daily life in these parts. Where better to begin a journey inward undertaken while living in the back of an ugly old conversion van bought for $1,100 at a sketchy used-car lot with a doublewide for an office?

And so I drove out for Sasquatch in May, and I plan to live here in a van until MusicfestNW in September. Maybe longer.

As soon as the mechanic’s shop adjacent to the plasma clinic finished extensive repairs the van required to get up to DEQ standards, I left that filthy strip mall. Just because I live in a van doesn’t mean I need to sleep through the howls of zombified plasma donors.

So I drove into Portland proper, rolling aimlessly throughout Southeast for a good half-hour, soaking up my surroundings. This city is lousy with crusty old vans. I found a street littered with old Volkswagens and Chevy cargo vans caked in stickers from the 1996 Vans Warped Tour. I parked under one of the many tall trees that make Portland such a beautiful place to call home, and slept like a rock.

If it weren’t for the crowing of my new neighbor’s urban rooster, I probably would’ve slept until noon.

(John Stommell)

Vanifest Destiny 2: What Does Your Van Say About You?

Vanifest Destiny 3: How I Became a College-Educated 29-Year-Old Who is Technically Homeless

Vanifest Destiny 4: Buying My House/Van

Vanifest Destiny 5: First Rule of Vandwelling: Don’t Let Anyone See You Vandwelling

Vanifest Destiny 6: The Logistical Challenges of Waking Up Without a Place to Piss

Vanifest Destiny 7: Crooked Fingers leader, Ex-Archers of Loaf singer talks about his summer of vandwelling

Vanfiest Destiny 8: A Freeway Breakdown and a New Friend

Vanfiest Destiny 9: Homeless, Not Hapless

Vanifest Destiny 10: I Get Booted From a Beach Town by the Cops and Give Deep Thought to the Van Plan

Vanifest Destiny 11: Discussing Pee Jugs with Comedian Dave Stone, Who Also Lives in a Van

Vanifest Destiny 12: Happy Vanniversary