Announcing the East Portland Media Equity Project

The 72 bus near the 82nd Avenue MAX stopGetting around East Portland isn’t easy. Getting information about how to make East Portland better? That’s even harder.

Thanks to a $5,000 grant from the Meyer Memorial Trust, Portland Afoot will be working to fix this.

Today I’m proud to announce the East Portland Media Equity Project, our initiative to beef up our coverage and deepen our knowledge of the part of town that needs low-car information most.

We’re teaming up with OPAL, the city’s leading transit advocates, to offer Portland Afoot subscriptions to politically engaged East Portlanders. We’ll be producing a smaller, free, East Portland edition of our newsmagazine to distribute at 20 east-side locations. We’re even hiring a paid (!) intern to focus on regular East Portland coverage this fall, and teaming up with the Oregonian News Network and other groups to get them training and connections in Portland’s rapidly growing entrepreneurial journalism community.

This is a big event for Portland Afoot, too. It’s our first private grant. We’re trying to build the sort of journalism enterprise that can sustain itself without charitable support, but growth is expensive. If Portland Afoot is going to keep getting better and serving more of Portland’s low-car households, grants like this one are exactly what we’ll need.

I’m especially grateful to OPAL’s Jon Ostar, who proposed a partnership and took time from his insane schedule to mentor a young organization through its first grant cycle. And to the board and staff of the Meyer trust, who are taking a chance on a new group with some crazy ideas.

Know an aspiring journalist of any age whose ideas are crazy enough to fit in here? Application deadline is July 31 for the part-time, three-month, $500-a-month internship, with details on our new EPME project page. Know an east-side location that’d be a good spot to offer our free edition? Drop Michael a line at michael@portlandafoot.org. Looking forward to East Portland having a louder voice in its own future? Yeah, us too.

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