Kudos to Willamette Week for starting out the year with a genuinely worthy cover story: the upcoming mid-term resignation of Portland city councilman Erik Sten. Their website not only has the whole scoop, but a downloadable recording of the interview, and reporter Nigel Jaquiss managed to get the whole thing done so secretly that he caught the rest of the PDX media completely flat-footed.
It's clear in the interview that Sten wanted to shiv The Oregonian, and he did it: the morning edition on the street doesn't carry a word about one of the biggest local political stories of the year, and at the moment the paper's website carries a story containing only a confirmation from Sten's head of staff and a note that the councilman could not be reached for comment. Ouch.
WW and Sten also scooped the Portland Mercury (whose city hall reporter, Amy J. Ruiz, had the good grace and good sense to link to the competition's story on the paper's blog) and the Portland Tribune, which has a few comments from Sten outside his office in City Hall.
Not a good start to the year for The Oregonian -- which is, of course, precisely what Erik Sten and Willamette Week wanted to achieve. In any case, it's nice to see the local media competing for genuine scoops for a change, rather than just bitching at one another. (Not to mention bitching at the bloggers.)