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City Club of Eugene: Can Local Newspapers be Saved?

Bank Phrom

Program date: July 8, 2022

Air date: July 11, 2022

From the City Club of Eugene:

Thomas Jefferson said “A democratic society depends on an informed and educated citizenry.” Local newspapers have always been a vital part of informing society, but papers around the country are struggling. Some are closing completely. Some, like The Register Guard, have been bought out by large chains and are cutting service. Good journalism informs the public and can help keep government honest. What is the effect of changes in ownership on good journalism that educates the community?

In this program you will learn about the state of local journalism in Oregon from three speakers intimately familiar with the day-to-day problems of running newspapers. But it is not all gloom and doom—they will speak about some of the successes, also.

We will have 2 First Questioners: Hannarose McGuiness and Molly Newhard.


George Custer is the Interim Editor and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Highway 58 Herald in Oakridge. He is originally from Cave Junction, Oregon. After two years as a smokejumper, George joined the U.S. Marine Corps, and he attained the rank of captain. Following extensive travels in the service, George founded and ran a successful construction company in Southern California before moving back to Oregon in 2007. In Oakridge, he is a member and past president of the Uptown Business and Revitalization Association and former chair of the Planning Commission and the Economic Development Advisory Committee. He earned an MBA from the US International University in San Diego and taught business and economics at Park College in Missouri.

Steve Forrester is president and CEO of EO Media Group – a family-owned print and digital publishing company with fifteen newspapers across Oregon and in Southwest Washington. Upon his retirement from 30 years of daily journalism, Steve published the book “Eminent Oregonians: Three Who Matter.” The book’s subjects are Abigail Scott Duniway, Jesse Applegate, and Richard Neuberger. Steve and his family live in Astoria. His daughter Susan joined the family business in April, as Director of Audience Development.

Jackman Wilson, is a reporter, editor, and editorial writer with 45 years of experience at newspapers in Bend, Corvallis, and Eugene. His longest-held and final position was as editorial page editor of The Register-Guard in Eugene. He left that position in 2018 and now works as a freelance writer and editor. He is a contributor to Opinion in a Pinch, a service that supplies editorials and commentary to newspapers nationwide. Wilson has been a member of the Association of Opinion Journalists (formerly the National Conference of Editorial Writers) for 35 years. He is the winner of many state and regional awards, including two Best in the West prizes for editorial writing. He is a graduate of the University of Oregon School of Journalism

Hannarose McGuinness is a native Texan who moved to Eugene in 2016. “I attended Lane Community College where I earned an honors Associate of General Studies degree with courses focused on communications and environmental science in 2021. I transferred to the University of Oregon to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Journalism with a minor in Digital Humanities. When I’m not running meetings or working on school projects, I can regularly be found hiking the buttes around town with my 14-year-old, one-eyed Chihuahua, Gracie.”

Molly Newhard is the Editor-in-Chief of LCC’s student newspaper The Torch. “I moved from Colorado five years ago after graduating from University of Colorado at Colorado Springs with a degree in Women and Ethnic Studies, and joined The Torch in Spring of 2021. As a downtown bartender and now a local journalist I have gained personal connections to Eugene and Springfield. I’ve had the honor of interviewing folks who run nonprofits such as HIV Alliance and Acorn Community Café and federal politicians like Congressman Peter DeFazio. I hope to further my career in journalism so I can help cut through the noise of misinformation and write the truth, no matter how inconvenient.”

About the City Club of Eugene:

The mission of the City Club of Eugene is to build community vision through open inquiry. The Club explores a wide range of significant local, state, and national issues and helps to formulate new approaches and solutions to problems. Membership is open to all, and Club members have a direct influence on public policy by discussing issues of concern with elected officials and other policy makers. The City Club’s mailing address is PO Box 12084, Eugene, OR 97440, and its website is cityclubofeugene.org.

Video and Broadcast

This program will be live streamed, and the videotape will be made available on the City Club of Eugene’s Facebook page and You Tube Channel, in addition to our website. It will be broadcast on Monday, July 11 at 7:00 pm, on KLCC 89.7 FM.

Contact: For more information, contact Silver A. Mogart, City Club of Eugene, Executive Director, (541) 485-7433, administrator@cityclubofeugene.org

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