It was great to see the local intern's byline on the front page today.
|Front page today|
Unfortunately, even after journalists themselves discussed the problem nationally, the paper tamed the story with another image of water play and fun in the heat.
|Columbia Journalism Review via Twitter|
And perhaps edited out also more on the climate context for the heat.
The third paragraph summarized things, but this could have been the center of the piece, written outward from it:
The record heat this summer had severe consequences for Oregonians. More than 100 people died due to the temperature in the June heatwave. Large portions of the state spent the summer in various phases of drought. These conditions threatened water resources and made the state more susceptible to wildfire, which has burned about 800,000 acres this year so far.
Instead, it really focused on weather rather than any larger context of climate and its costs.
But we know the writer knows about climate.
|Two years ago, in 2019|
Altogether, it was an opportunity for the paper to center climate, and the editors chose not to. This might be the downside of working for the local instance of Big
Media. Hopefully it is not too dispiriting or too much a case study in the ways the pursuit of "objectivity" in journalism actually reduces truth-telling. At the same time, the paper can redirect to expand writing on climate, and it should do so!
Elsewhere today, stories were less optimistic about climate, and suggest ways the same story about record heat here in Salem might have been shaped a little differently to give a better sense that this wasn't just some random variation with things likely to return to some "normal."
|Oregonian front page today|
|SF Chronicle front page today|