Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Return of the Jedi (old Bendites).

Who would've expected hard-hitting investigative journalism pieces in both issues of Bend Business Review? The first, by Allan Bruckner about Juniper Ridge, the second about Mt. Bachelor, by Kevin Max. The rest of the articles aren't unnecessarily sugar-coated, either.

For instance, the beginning paragraph on the news item about Independent Bookstores:

"Defying the national trend of independent bookstores dying like flies, Central Oregon has indies springing up like weeds." Kind of puts it all in perspective, don't you think?

There's a look at the water resources problems, and bless them, there's even an article on local real estate that is fairly realistic.

The rest is pretty much fluff, but interesting fluff. Fluff about people and stores that actually seem to have actual substance. Not completely deluded. If Bend newcomers were all like the people profiled in these articles, I wouldn't be as worried. (Instead, this is the cream....)

Very impressive.

Especially for a magazine that depends so much on advertising from the same types of businesses that they are critical of. Bend Living, especially, needs a kind of rich, yuppie advertising. Still....when you think about it, it's kind of like the old rich looking down on the new rich. The Jedi vs. the Sith. (We're just Ewoks, I suppose.) They are the Establishment, the Man if you will, looking down in dismay at all these hustlers and scam artists.

What's interesting to me is how they invoke the sainted 'Bill Healy's dream for Mt. Bachelor.'

Make no mistake, this is old Bend speaking. Bilbobuster has a thing for Hollern, well here's some more targets for him. Kiki Cutter, publisher, is old Bend to the max, a successful Olympic skier. Allan Bruckner is a former mayor. Half the people quoted, Benji Gilchrist, Kathy DeGree, etc. are old Bend.

It's pretty clear they're not completely happy with what's happened to old Bend. Ambivalent at best. And they seem to be targeting thinking readers (rich and influential readers?) who aren't going to accept nothing but fluff.

It appears that the Jedi, like Obi-wan, were just laying low.

So interesting.

1 comment:

Bend Economy Man said...

Well if Bend Business Review survives it'll be because it isn't a Chamber of Commerce rag.

I read the "Breaking Point" article and it was good writing. Good layout and graphics too.

Just hard to believe that in a town of 75,000 there's enough market for a magazine like that, PLUS Bend Living, plus the Bend Home & Garden or whatever the other one is.

For as long as it lasts, it'll be possible to really cocoon yourself in Bend-only media.

Somehow I don't know that the glossies will ride through the slump though.