Oregon Capital Insider was launched in February 2015 to provide a convenient source of specialized news for individuals and businesses that require a deeper understanding of the trends, issues and personalities in state government.
Two family-owned newspaper companies created Oregon Capital Insider to counter a disturbing decline in independent news coverage of state government. Pamplin Media Group and EO Media Group combined their resources to form a team of experienced journalists in Salem.
The goal: To produce regular watchdog coverage of state government and provide timely intelligence and in-depth reporting to subscribers.
Three full-time reporters produce Oregon Capital Insider:
They are joined by an independent columnist Dick Hughes.
This new venture comes at a time when the ranks of news reporters assigned to state capitals have declined significantly.
A Pew Research study found that the number of newspaper reporters assigned full time to state capitols nationwide had declined 35 percent in the past 11 years. The ranks of capitol reporters are even thinner in Oregon, which, according to Pew, has one of the smallest statehouse reporting contingents when compared with the state’s population.
Oregon Capital Insider bureau brings together two companies with a wide geographic footprint in Oregon. Pamplin Media Group owns 25 twice-weekly, weekly and monthly newspapers covering Portland and its suburbs, as well as communities in the Willamette Valley a
nd Central Oregon. EO Media Group includes 9 daily, weekly, bi-weekly and monthly publications serving communities in Eastern Oregon and the Oregon Coast. It also owns the Capital Press, which covers agricultural issues in the Northwest, and the Chinook Observer on the southern Washington coast.
Through their printed and online publications, the two companies reach about 1.5 million Oregonians each week — a number equivalent to roughly half of the state’s adult population.
“While statehouse news coverage is diminishing in Oregon and across the nation, our media groups have chosen to invest in increased scrutiny of state government,” said Steve Forrester, president of the EO Media Group.
Mark Garber, president of the newspaper division for Pamplin Media Group, added: “The Pamplin Media Group and EO Media Group are quite different in many respects, including the markets they serve, but they have several strengths in common. Both companies are owned by long-time Oregonians who care very deeply about this state. That’s why they are willing to invest in better coverage of state government even while other news organizations are cutting back. Both companies also have a strong tradition of balanced and responsible journalism.”
Adam Davis, founder of DHM Research in Portland, says his firm’s research over a period of many years has shown that Oregon residents want and need more information about how state government operates.
Said Davis: “Oregon Capital Insider represents an opportunity to start turning the tide of this negativity and low awareness with more coverage of the legislative, administrative, and judicial branches of our state government. This is so important considering Oregon is at a crossroads in so many ways and needs all three sectors of our economy — private, non-profit and public — working together with good information.”
A Partnership of: