3 Oregon Newsletters That Are Worth Space In Your Inbox

Keen observers of the media genre are probably already familiar with Substack, the newsletter platform that cuts out the middleman between writers and their potential readers.

Like the myriad mattress-in-a-box companies that deliver direct to you, or Airbnb allowing you to bypass hotels and rent directly from owners, the idea is to create a direct-to-consumer situation (which unlike blogging yesteryear, allows its creators to earn a living). Substack lets you send e-mails to thousands of people at once, for free; if writers want to charge people a monthly fee for the privilege of reading and / or listening to their thoughts, the company takes a relatively large 10 percent cut.

The dawning era of the subscription newsletter has already produced a handful of superstars, from former Buzzfeed tech and culture editor Anne Helen Peterson dissecting everything from the Portland BLM protests to the mysterious popularity of the nap dress to progressive historian Heather Cox Richardson, who has painstakingly, patiently explained the final days of the Trump administration to a disoriented nation.

Now, a handful of notable Portland / Oregon based writers / collectives have started to make inroads on the platform as well. Here are three notable local newsletters that deserve a place in your inbox.

The Oregon Way

A rational exploration of the common foundations of Oregon at a time of extreme polarities (e.g., look no further than the vaccination rates in southern Oregon compared to the metropolitan area, and the compassion fatigue that As a result, Portland area hospitals fill up with patients from far and wide the Willamette Valley.) There isn’t a lot of partisanship here; the tone is more collaborative and direct, and the list of contributors is a who’s who of the political scene in Oregon. Come for the weekly roundup of political news behind the scenes; stick around for in-depth and thoughtful analysis like longtime pollster Adam Davis’ recent ode to Portland. Cost:$ 10 per month / $ 110 per year gets you bonus content, like the full weekly newsletter and event invitations. You can, however, read all opinion pieces and the weekly summary for free.

Dear sugar

Maybe Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild and constant giver of the Wisest Advice via her longtime column Dear Sugar, belongs in the world now, but she still lives here in Portland. She paused for a bit, but Dear Sugar is back now, and in your inbox. The requests are instantly recognizable to most people – should you actually send a birthday card to the family member who is a clinical narcissist? – but the answers are, as always, what sets Strayed apart from the garden variety of the world Dear Abby wanna-bes. It gets personal, provocative, elliptical – there’s an answer in there, of course, but it needs to be unmasked, and that’s half the fun. You can also find new, more intermittent writes from Strayed.
Cost: $ 5 per month. And if you have a burning question for Dear Sugar, drop them an email at [email protected]

Blazer joke

Yes, that’s right, even in our small market everyone has their say about Trail Blazers. There is no shortage of podcasts, radio shows, and wheelchair quarterbacks to eagerly dissect Dame and her friends. So why pay for this one? Writer Erik García Gundersen, former Blazers reporter for Colombian, has real chops – he wrote about basketball for the New York Times, the Associated pressand USA today, and his approach to the team is refreshing without hyperbole or hype. Don’t miss his portmortem on the Blazers’ disappointing summer.
Cost: To free! (For now.)

Harry L. Blanchard