Portland Media Lab

Statement of Intent: Create a nonprofit news center for Portland, Ore.

Posted in Foundation Building by Cornelius Swart on December 21, 2008

reporter1Dedicated to the support,
and evolution of journalism

Portland Media Lab is a nonprofit news center that seeks to promote excellence, innovation and the preservation of quality news reporting in the Portland Metro Area. Portland Media Lab will provide direct support for investigative journalism, establish training and support services to citizen reporters, freelance journalists and new media producers, and establish a laboratory for innovation in emergent news media technology and its many applications.

Over the past six months Portland Media Lab has conducted a series of in- person, online, and group discussions and “salons” aimed at developing a needs-assessment study for the “journalist community” in the Portland, Ore. media market.  The following projects represent services, resources and support that PML believes the media market needs in order to sustain robust public-benefit reporting and journalism. (more…)

Quarterly Report: Two contracted PML projects in the works

Posted in Uncategorized by Cornelius Swart on July 22, 2010

Portland Media Lab continues to advance news innovation in the Portland Metro Marker and has contacted with two nonprofits this quarter on two different projects.

WeMakeTheMedia Contract

This quarter Portland Media Lab is working with the non-profit investigative news group WeMakeTheMedia to produce a Communications and Technology Strategy and website mock-up for its new non-profit news publication [name pending].  The new publication is tentatively scheduled to go-live in December of 2010.  Portland Media Lab has been hired to research best practices and make recommend a strategy for using online and social media technology to engage and attract audience to news stories and the news-making process.

Portland Media Lab is working with the creative team at the Hallock Agency to produce a mock-up website and social media tools that will produce the look and feel as well as frame work for the final WMTM news site.

The products of the PML and Hallock contract will also be used in the WMTM capital fund-raising campaign this fall.

The WeMakeTheMedia represents an exciting opportunity for members of the group to help create a new chapter in news innovation. Groups like ProPublica, The VoiceofSanDiego and the TexasTribune have advanced the story on the way 501c3 organizations preserve the vital functions of investigative news and the fourth estate in the internet era.  The PML project hopes to make a contribution to the way that technology is used to this end. (more…)

Portland Media Lab and the Sentinel’s online archive project

Posted in Foundation Building by Cornelius Swart on February 3, 2010

Portland Media Lab is now raising funds to help put all of the Sentinel’s archives online in a searchable, indexed format. These archives would do two things: preserve records of the papers from the past in their original print format, and make the information available to the public at www.portlandsentinel.com

PML is currently investigating ways in which to sustain the Sentinel’s online news service.  If you would like to make a contribution, or get involved in helping keep the Sentinel’s work alive and publicly accessible, please contact go to the Sentinel’s contact page and select “Portland Media Lab” from the pulldown menu. Or simply email portlandmedialab@gmail.com

Checks and donations can be made out to
Portland Media Lab
PO Box 3316
Portland, OR 97208 (more…)

Portland’s local non-profit investigative news org: The Lund Report

Posted in Electron Cloud by Cornelius Swart on December 15, 2009

[Guest blog by David Rosenfeld of the Lundreport]

When I heard about Portland Media Lab and the We Make the Media Conference a few weeks ago, I was admittedly a bit miffed that the organizers hadn’t reached out to a fledgling non-profit investigative news source that’s been showing promise much of this year. So to calm my hysteria, Cornelius suggested I write something here.

I edit and report for TheLundReport.org, a source of investigative healthcare news for Oregonians. Created by Diane Lund-Muzikant, who directed the Oregon Health Forum for 17 years, The Lund Report is a 501c3 non-profit with both an issue and geographical focus. We do some aggregating, but mostly original reporting and commentaries.

Since April of last year when we launched, we’ve been catching the attention of the press and many others in the way the Oregon Health News did under Diane’s leadership for so many years. For those not familiar with her work, Diane is well known as a bulldog reporter, sparking controversy from time to time with the healthcare industry. We’ve already earned the reputation, among the Oregonian editorial board at least, as a healthcare watchdog. And with the recent folding of Oregon Health Forum, our importance will only increase. I am currently the sole paid staff person. I serve as the web editor and contribute a large part of the content. We also pay for occasional freelance work. (more…)

We Make the Media conference looks at nonprofit models

Posted in Electron Cloud by Cornelius Swart on November 19, 2009

[Guest post by Abraham Hyatt of Digital Journalism Portland]

We all want quality journalism. And we’re all good at pointing fingers at news outlets in Oregon we think fail at providing that substance. But is it possible for our journalism community as a whole — not just startups or existing publications — to fill that gap? Ron Buel, who helped found Willamette Week, has turned that question into a conference: We Make The Media. Buel wants the event, which takes place on Saturday, to be a sandbox for local journalists who want to explore what it would take to create a nonprofit news entity.

The event isn’t designed to actually create a nonprofit. That will be left to the participants, says Buel. “They undoubtedly will bring in outside resources to help, but there is no “control group” who will carry this forward. Future action will only be taken by conference participants who are committed to act, to carry out the plans made at the conference and approved by the entire group.” (more…)

Portland Community Media expanding its mission?

Posted in Electron Cloud by Cornelius Swart on October 24, 2009

By Melissa Chavez, Edited by Michele Elder, Co-Posted to The Sentinel

By Melissa Chavez
Most commonly associated with programs found on cable access, Portland Community Media partners with local nonprofits and community-based organizations in Portland to bring media access to local neighborhoods, produce local programming, and offer media education opportunities.

Now PCM is using the digital media realms of Facebook, Myspace, and YouTube to encourage the public to share stories about the community. Winning a recent matching grant from Mount Hood Cable Regulatory Commission for more than $300,000 and partnering with Central Northeast Neighbors are just the first steps PCM is taking toward expanding its reach.


BarCamp Redefining J School- Oct 25th

Posted in Electron Cloud, Foundation Building by Daniel Bachhuber on October 19, 2009

[Guest Post by Portland Media Lab ‘implementer’ Daniel Bachhuber]

On Sunday, October 25th, the day after the SPJ Regional Conference, the University of Oregon is hosting the first ever BarCamp Redefining J School.

The idea is simple: to host a solid conversation about how J schools across the country can be catalysts for innovation, experimentation, and positive change in the news industry. Not that they haven’t been in the past; rather, the conversation will be about how they can be at the forefront of the future of news. We’ll cover the latest in digital tools, strategies for finding work, and ideas for how J schools can better prepare students to launch their own projects


For those who have never attended a BarCamp, there is a method to the madness. A BarCamp is an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. Another term for it is “unconference.” With a traditional conference, the sessions are planned well in advance and panels selected by the conference organizer. BarCamps give the attendees a bit different of an experience. The sessions are brainstormed in advance, but the schedule isn’t set until the morning of the event and is determined in “open-grid” fashion. If an attendee feels qualified to lead a given session, they’ll write it on an index card and post those on the grid schedule. (more…)

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