Another reporter flees the coop

Carla Axtman

Years ago when Portland Mercury news editor Scott Moore shuffled off to become the Communications Director for Our Oregon, I'm guessing he didn't know he was a trendsetter.

After Scott made it cool to dump reporting for the heady world of PR flackdom, others began to follow. Amy Ruiz jetted off to work for Portland Mayor Sam Adams. Willamette Week News Editor Hank Stern took a day job doing communications for Metro Multnomah County.

And now via Chris Lehman of public radio's Northwest News Network on Twitter:

Lehman: Cole leaves O for Gallatin

Translation: Oregonian Capitol Bureau Chief Michelle Cole is leaving the paper to go to work for Gallatin Public Affairs, presumably in their Portland office.

Another one bites the dust.

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    Hank Stern went to Multnomah County and has now been promoted to be Loretta Smith's Chief of Staff. So he must be doing something right over there. ;)

    On a more serious note. Interested to hear if the O is going to hire replacements for the exodus occurring in their political team.

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    Geez, weird timing - a week out from the election.

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    I was a newspaper reporter and editor for 13 years, and left 21 years ago. It wasn't much fun then, and it's not gotten better. I'm not surprised when anyone leaves.

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    Professional journalism is is being devalued, defunded, and disrespected. Public relations is a booming field, the boom accelerated by Citizens United.

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    The upside is that ex-reporters bring transparency and timeliness to their new job. For others: "It's not field work, but you get dental."

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      One would hope, not sure it's really true though. And the effect wears off with time, and also if there isn't journalism out there to press for the transparency.

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    Fewer and fewer publicly interested voices in the public discussion is a bad thing for democracy. Best of luck to both Cole and Ohman, both of whom did some excellent work.

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