Portland Media Lab

The Laboratory



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.

Working definitions:

The Fourth Estate: The check on political power in a democracy that is created by the cumulative effect of all news media.

The News Media: Media that reports verifiable facts on current event that are relevant to the public interest.

The Reporter: (aka “an outside man”): someone who gathers and conveys information from the field to the newsrooms.

The Journalist: The investigative wing of the news media.

Participants in PML Salons
Abraham Hyatt
Organizer Digital Journalism Portland

Daniel Bachhuber
Blogging on tech and journalism

Bill Fitzgerald
Principal at Funnymonkey – Drupal developers
(winner of 2008 Knight Drupal Initiative grant)

Roger Anthony
Portland Sentinel Editorial Board

Michael Anderson
Staff reporter- The Columbian
Reporting for the Neiman School of Journalism at Harvard
Reporting on Entrepreneurial Journalism

Michele Rafter
Freelancer journalist covering workplace, media and technology

Rebecca Robinson
Freelancer journalist/editor
Online and News Editor Portland Sentinel

Ben Foote
Owner- ON Gallery
Director/Owner– pdxstump.com

Teresa Boze
Technical and Creative Writer, Social Media

Cornelius Swart
Publisher- Portland Sentinel

Melissa Chavez


Portland Media Lab is currently not a full-fledged 501(C)3. It has applied to be an incubator project under the fiscal sponsorship of North Portland Community Works.  NPCW will formalize this arrangement in June.  NPCW will act as the fiscal agent for PML until it is a fully incorporated 501(C)3.  The following is a list of foundation projects that it must achieve to meet that goal:

Foundation building projects to complete by December 2009

  • Select a working board pro tempore, seeking board members with backgrounds in one or more of the following: grant writing, bookkeeping/accounting CFO, managing editor, IT/Web development, print journalism, broadcast television and radio journalism, marketing
  • Annual and Start-up Budget Creation, to include board insurance, $1,000 (annually); administrative expense, $3,000 (monthly); initial CMS website build $6-10,000 (one time); incorporation legal expense, $2,000 (one-time); staff expenses (master editor, executive director/development director), $100,000 (annually); project budgets and other operating expenses (pending)
  • Partnership agreements/letters of intent with other publishing and broadcasting operations
  • Grant and revenue source identification—business models
  • Website development including: CMS platform, e-commerce capacity, crowd-sourcing mechanism.

3 Responses

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  1. […] to empower people and build democracy. In Susan’s opinion, this is a bit different than the mission of the Portland Media Lab, but both Cornelius and I agree that tools training is at least a half of what we’d like the […]

  2. Michelle Rafter said, on June 17, 2009 at 8:20 PM

    Until we figure out another mechanism for sharing news of interest to the PML community, I’m going to assume it’s OK to post random bits of information that I think are pertinent to our efforts here – starting with this first-person account from @digidave for what’s on top for Spot.us for the next three months. There’s a lot to be learned what what they’ve already done, what they aspire to do and the open process they’re using to making it happen.


    Michelle Rafter

  3. Michelle Rafter said, on June 17, 2009 at 8:21 PM

    er, that should have been “..what’s on tap for Spot.us…”


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