Medford Jim

Pamlin Media Group reporter Jim Redden, who grew up in Medford.

Medford Jim

I was in Medford when news broke that the EO Media Group was starting a new newspaper to replace the Mail Tribune that had recently gone out of business. I was there to attend an informal Medford High School class reunion that was organized more than two years after the original was canceled because of the pandemic. Most of the conversations naturally concerned the past. But while driving around my old stomping grounds for two days, several local stories of statewide and even national interest jumped out to me.

In fact, it had been hard to imagine the Medford area without the Mail Tribune. My parents subscribed and it was always in the house when I was growing up. I graduated from reading the comics and TV listings to the news stories and editorials as the years went by. The paper’s politics were more moderate than Southern Oregon’s reputation. It won a Pulitzer Prize in 1934 for investigating corrupt Jackson County official. And it always endorsed my father, a Democrat, when he ran three successful campaigns for the Oregon House, helping him establish the base to become one of the few politicians outside the Willamette Valley to be elected to statewide office, State Treasurer and Attorney General.

Jim Redden is a reporter based in Portland, Ore.

“I am a community journalist because that is where the greatest need is. There are many sources of information and opinion about international and national issues. But most people are more affected by what happens in their local communities. That is where they live, work and shop. That is where their children go to school. That is where their elected officials, business owners and labor leaders are most accessible. And that is why people need the most current information what is happening — or, more importantly, what is going to happen — in their communities. Providing accurate and up-to-date information that people need to make well-informed decisions on the issues they care about is what community journalism is all about.”

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