The Skanner News Group is partnering with the Oregonian and AmericanUniversity's J-Lab Institute for Interactive Journalism to create the Oregonian News Service, a new way for readers to catch up on news around the entire state of Oregon.
Other partners include The Lund Report, a public health blog; BikePortland, which covers cycling news and public policy around transportation; Oregon Capitol News and more.
"Not only does this project give The Skanner News a wider platform to reach readers within our community, but it also gives the wider readership of The Oregonian a chance to find out more about our community issues," said The Skanner News Publisher Bernie Foster.
"We applaud the Oregonian for providing this opportunity," he said.
"This is about literally sending our reader to other small news sites for the full story," said ONN project coordinator Cornelius Swart.
"The Oregonian is dedicated to professional reporting," he says.
"We'd also like to become a trusted source in referring readers to quality local reporting done by other folks as well."
The project places a 'hub' page on the Oregonian's website, Oregonlive.com, with links to the partner websites.
In addition, where Oregonian staff may cover specific issue relating to its media partners, OregonLive will post links to related stories on its partner media websites.
"The idea is when you come to OregonLive you're going to find quality, whether we're doing it or whether we're pointing you to someone else."
Media partners are: BikePortland; The Lund Report, a healthcare "watchdog" site; Oregon Capitol News , produced by the Cascade Policy Institute; and community sites from around the state including Neighborhood Notes , Clark County Blog , MyEugene, North Coast Oregon, and The Yaquina Wavelength.
The pilot phase of the program is funded in part by a one-year grant from American University's J-Lab Institute for Interactive Journalism.
"The pilot partners represent a cross section of folks who typify the kind of new online reporting that's changing traditional definitions of news," Swart says. "This is a unique opportunity to see if we can create a cooperative model that will help us all to flourish."
He says getting new and old media to work together is not without its challenges.
"Many of these sites could be considered competitors, some are advocates for their communities, others don't easily fit the traditional definition of journalism," said JoLene Krawczak, The Oregonian Managing Editor for Features and Communities. "But that's really the whole point.
"The digital age has changed how and from whom people get their news," she says.