Over the years, one of the frustrations I have had as an editor and with the media industry in general is that too often news reporting is considered a binary exercise—that is, either the story is a serious piece, which usually means digging up dirt or revealing some hard truths; or, it is a feel-good fluff profile. It seems as if this tendency is particular keen with back-to-school reporting, which either runs light-fare about fashion trends, or otherwise runs scare stories about guns in schools or some piece about a wayward school official.
In this week’s issue, we attempt to run a serious story that is simultaneously positive. While, yes, there are troubling trends in public schools, with low graduation rates and the horrific number of shootings at schools, there is also good news to report. Erin Rook spoke with a few families and students who are feeling more welcome back this school year as over the summer the Oregon Department of Education issued a policy memo advising that students must be allowed to change the first name in their school records to reflect their chosen name and gender; that clerical change is important as it furthers the trend of public schools looking to curb bullying and towards inclusion.
Also, last week, the Source broke the story that the City of Bend planned to no longer lease Mirror Pond Plaza to Crow’s Feet Common. That story sparked a flurry of upset postings on our blog and letters to the editor. In an effort to share your frustrations in this week’s paper, we expanded the space for those public comments. Please tune into our blog for ongoing coverage about the still-unfolding story.
NEXT WEEK: A look at the effort to legalize marijuana