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Oregon political stories all in one place

The Oregon State Library offers one stop to read all of Oregon's political and state government news stories.

OREGON STATE LIBRARY - Oregon State Library sign in SalemSALEM — If you're interested in news about state government, staff members at the state Library provide a service that makes it easy to get all of Oregon's political scoops in one place.

Jerry Curry and his team of librarians compile a feed of online newspaper articles about state politics and government Monday through Friday. The daily news digest — called eClips — contains an average of 30 to 45 articles, from publications ranging from the Washington Post to the Argus Observer in Ontario.

The online service has been around for about 13 years but previously sent out the news digest in automated email blasts only to state lawmakers and employees, until last year. In February 2017, the state Library migrated the news compilation to a blog format on a WordPress website. The general public can now subscribe to the email blasts and visit the website free-of-charge.

Curry devised eClips to keep state employees informed about what was happening in state government. After he launched the service, the Legislature quickly abandoned its archaic newspaper-clipping service and subscribed to eClips instead.

Legislative Committee Services had offered the newspaper clipping service, called Capital Clips, and made paper hard copies of a compilation of political stories for distribution only to legislators. Within a couple of months of eClips's launch, lawmakers transitioned to the digital service by the state Library staff.

Staff members compile stories from local newspapers, Google alerts and their subscriptions to Pew Charitable Trust publications related to the business of state government.

"I tend to like to put think pieces in," Curry said. "Sometimes, I'll put in a national story from Stateline or the Washington Post on how states are dealing with a particular problem. The vast majority of the content is Oregon stuff, but they also get awareness of what's coming down the pipe. This might be an issue Oregon will be dealing with."

Oftentimes, he said, he sees Oregon mentioned in trend pieces about marijuana legalization, assisted suicide and automatic voter registration.

The automated email blast has 1,650 subscribers, Curry said. About 90 percent of those are public employees, but readership by the general public is growing, he said. Those statistics don't account for visits to the website. Curry also tracks clicks on each story he includes.

"If it bleeds, it leads," Curry said. "If it says PERS (Public Employees Retirement System), it's hot."