Portland media, community partners collaborate to tell housing stories

PORTLAND, Ore. – The housing crisis has settled into Portland, creating a multitude of issues for people across the income spectrum and contributing to the region’s rising homeless population.

It’s one of the most pressing issues facing the metro area and proposed solutions are complex. At the same time, journalists are struggling to cover stories of the crisis.

Now, a partnership between the University of Oregon, local media outlets (including KGW) and other community partners has resulted in Open: Housing, a platform that’s collecting housing stories, facilitating collaboration among partners and providing a forum for discussion.

The University of Oregon’s Agora Journalism Center in Portland officially launched the project Oct. 12.   

“The media landscape is fractured, public-interest journalism is under-resourced, and coverage and conversation about important issues don’t always reflect the diverse perspectives of our communities,” said Andrew DeVigal, the UO School of Journalism and Communication’s Chair in Journalism Innovation and Civic Engagement. “In the face of these challenges, we’re bringing the community together to create cross-sector public conversations that are inclusive, informed and oriented toward real solutions.”

One part of the project is the website, OpenHousing.net. It features stories from media outlets including KBOO, KGW, KOIN, OPB, Pamplin Media Group, Portland Business Journal, Street Roots, and Willamette Week, as well as contributing bloggers Mike Anderson of Portland for Everyone and Thacher Schmid of Poor for a Minute.

Other partners include Journalism that Matters, Oregon Humanities, Portland State University’s Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies, Portland Community media and The Jackson Foundation.

Plans for collaborative storytelling, data resources and community events are underway. 



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