Interview with Cornelius Swart of the Portland Media Lab

Cornelius Swart, Publisher of the Portland Sentinel, talks about the takeaways from this morning’s journalism sessions at BarCamp Portland, introduces the ideas behind the Portland Media Lab, and presents one reason why he’s optimistic for the future of news and journalism in Portland. Learning about the Portland Media Lab on Thursday personally made my day. The skeleton of what Cornelius is proposing seems very similar to the type of community empowerment work Jackie Hai and Richard Caesar are doing with the Amherst Wire, and I can very easily see the Portland Media Lab becoming an incubator for the type of journalism Portland needs.

BarCamp Portland and the future of news

There’s talk on the town about adding a journalism session to BarCamp Portland. This should be a time to brainstorm and collaborate on the future of news in the Portland-area, instead of just being a space for journalists and bloggers to come together and try and resolve their issues. Let’s have an idea-generating session on what the journalism needs of Portland are, how we’ll be able to fill those news from the grassroots if/when The Oregonian implodes because of their terrible CMS, and then, in turn, how we’ll be able to monetize that. This is something where perspectives from both camps, the journalists and the bloggers, would offer value to the conversation.

To provide fodder for this discussion, listen to the most recent installment of Dave Winer and Jay Rosen’s Rebooting the News. One of the ideas that I think will “save journalism” is the digital assignment desk Jay starts talking about near the end. His part of the idea is this: a tool to map out all of the particulars that might need to be reported on in the coverage of any given issue. Once the editorial team has this laid out, they can then decide what resources they want to apply and where.

I’d like to take this two steps further.

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