Public Media Collaborative != Portland Media Lab

Both, however, are highly complementary projects to increase media fluency that will be able to build off each other in many ways.

On Friday afternoon, I had the chance to connect with Susan Mernit of Many Hats, Inc. for the very first time and Cornelius Swart of the Portland Sentinel and Portland Media Lab. I’ve been invited to work with Cornelius on the Portland Media Lab; our very first meeting is tomorrow, Monday the 15th, and I thought it would be worthwhile to talk with Susan about what they’ve learned in the several months the Public Media Collaborative has been developing in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The goal of the Public Media Collaborative is to educate local communities, non-profits, and grassroots movements on how to use a lot of the social media and publishing tools that are now available 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 media incubator to be.

Our conversation with Susan about both projects is the first thirty minutes or so of the audio. We cover the origins of the Public Media Collaborative, what type of training it has accomplished thus far, and Susan’s community news startup of the very new future, Oakland Local. After she leaves, Cornelius and I talk a bit about ideas for the Portland Media Lab and what the future of journalism might hold in general.

As a note, I started editing the first fifteen minutes of audio before I realised how much I want to be a production engineer. If you find any major kerfuffles, let me know and I’ll update the production value.

[audio:http://danielbachhuber.files.wordpress.com/audio/db20090612swartandmernit.mp3]

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.