Culture Win: Northwest Stories Heralds Age of Cooperative Journalism in Oregon

In the world of competitive journalism where publishing first is everything and newspapers will go to great lengths to get the scoop, a glimmer of light has pierced Oregon’s omnipresent cloud layer. Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) is in the process of bringing together the greater part of our state’s news publications in a new breed of cooperative, Northwest Stories. Media partners in the cooperative will be able to use content shared by other participating media outlets, both in print and on the web, to deepen their own local offerings. Partner media reporters will have access to OPB radio to discuss particularly significant, high-impact news stories on-air and to broaden Oregon’s awareness of important issues.

Still in its fledgling stages, Northwest Stories is expanding rapidly. It will include The Corvallis Advocate along with a plethora of other news publications statewide. Additional Corvallis- and Albany-based news sources are also currently in the process of becoming part of the cooperative, which is supported by a community journalism grant awarded to OPB.

“Our intention is to pull in a diverse array of contributions from all around Oregon and the border cities in Washington,” said Julia Silverman, director of Content Partnerships at OPB, “and to contribute to a better-informed and more engaged citizenry.”

Northwest Stories will be of enormous benefit to Corvallis’ news readers and radio listeners, who will now have access to a wider variety of curated news and information sources. With more statewide and regional content available to local news outlets through the cooperative, Corvallisites will find keeping up with statehouse news, for example, simpler than ever before.

OPB anticipates that within the next six months a wide variety of Oregon news publications will begin contributing to Northwest Stories. Such publications will include not only traditional daily news sources such as The Medford Mail-Tribune, The Daily Astorian, The East Oregonian, The Columbian, and The Salem Statesman-Journal, but also weekly papers, magazines, digital-only publications, collegiate papers, and even radio and television news outlets.

Keep an eye on your local news outlets as we implement aspects of Northwest Stories—and celebrate the enhancement of your access to the news that matters most to you!

by Genevieve Weber