In the name of accuracy, the digital recorder is an important news-gathering tool and comes in especially handy when on the run. Although I’d never go back to the days of only hand-written notes, there is one part of recording interviews that I don’t like — listening to my own voice.

On Thursday over the noon hour, I did a live segment on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s “Think Out Loud” news program. The host, Dave Miller, asked questions that revolved around the theme of news organizations that launched during the pandemic, which bucks the trend of publications shutting down.

I haven’t listened to the show and I may never listen to it. There’s a reason why I changed my focus in college from broadcast to print journalism. (Actually, to be honest, a dislike for my own voice was only one reason. The incident that permanently sent me to print was when I accidentally cursed on the air while doing play-by-play for a college basketball game).

Anyway, the “Think Out Loud” producer, Allison Frost, approached me earlier in the week about coming on the air to be interviewed about why I thought starting a digital news site seemed like a good idea. Since March 2020 when the pandemic started, the Poynter Institute has counted more than 70 news outlets that have sprung up around the country while more than 100 newsrooms have shut down.

The Philomath Express was one of those that shut down. And the Philomath News represents one of those that started up. Of course, I was involved with both. OPB discovered my news site through that Poynter Institute report.

In addition to my site, the OPB segment also featured the Oakridge-based Highway 58 Herald with editor George Custer. The Poynter list includes four from Oregon that were launched during the pandemic with the other two being the Oregon Capital Chronicle and 6 AM City in Portland. For Philomath News readers, you probably know that we publish Oregon Capital Chronicle stories almost daily on our site — it’s a nonprofit news effort that focuses on state government, politics and policy, and makes that coverage available to be republished by other news organizations.

Actually, I think I probably did fine during the interview, although I did fumble my way through one question. It was a live show, so there were no second takes on any of this. After being on the opposite end of the questioning as the interviewee instead of the interviewer, it renewed my appreciation for those that do their best to respond to my questions when I’m putting a story together. 

If you’re interested, you can listen to the segment here (look for the link below the Philomath Frolic & Rodeo photo).

In the end, it was a great opportunity to spread the word a little more about the Philomath News and I appreciate the OPB show for getting in touch with me for the interview.

(Brad Fuqua is publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He can be reached at