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Rebirth of Local Journalism

Pete Springer/OPB

Not too long ago we did a show about the most recent buyout packages at The Oregonian and spent some time looking towards the future of journalism in this region. As Emily noted in a blog post after the program, the discussion opened up as many questions as it answered. She wrote:

Lots of doors opened but no house tour! That’s what today’s show felt like for me. Our overriding goal was to explore what impact the shrinking Oregonian has on people who are interested in what’s happening in the state and on other Oregon news organizations… I wanted to at least sketch a blueprint of the future of journalism in this state. I walked away half-wondering whether the new architecture would look significantly different from the old.

Now the time has come to really explore that question. Next weekend there is a conference taking place in Portland called We Make the Media. The organizers, most of whom are very involved with the local journalism scene in one way or another, say:

The journalism we want and need is dying, dead – or yet to be born. The time has come for new approaches, tools, business models, and media organizations to be built and nurtured.

They also say those new approaches require good reporting, investigative journalism, and a separation of fact from fiction. What should those future models look like? How can journalism be funded? Where do you want to go to get your news? Have you found a model elsewhere (like in San Diego, perhaps) that you really like?

If you have a moment, check out the working papers created by the conference organizers and then let us know what you think. What stands out for you as the best model moving forward? Where do you want to get your news?

Please note: OPB is a sponsor, and our news director is one of the organizers, of this conference.

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