Oregonian M.E.: Willamette Week Story Is 'Sloppy Reporting'

march 24, 2006  08:48 am
Angela Valdez penned this week's WW cover story alleging that The Oregonian "manufactured" a meth epidemic by devoting at least 261 stories to methamphetamine abuse over the past 18 months, and by relying "on bad statistics and a rhetoric of crisis, ultimately misleading its readers into believing they face a far greater scourge than the facts support." Steve Engelberg, managing editor/enterprise for The Oregonian, fired back in a strongly-worded letter on Romenesko that disparaged Valdez's reporting as "one-sided," "intellectually dishonest," "built on anecdotal comments that ignore the facts" and meeting "no acceptable journalistic standard." The fundamental disagreement between the papers seems to be whether the number of meth users is increasing, and how that number should be measured.