This week we officially named the J-Lab project The Oregonian News Network. Yes, yes, the acronym is ONN, which makes me think of the Onion News Network, but nothing’s perfect. There’s a new official ONN blog, where I’ll be posting program updates and announced today that we’ll be awarding the first seven Pilot Partners $2,500 a piece to take part in the program.
“The ONN will first work to organize a strong and consistent group of initial partners. To help do that, we are awarding $2,500 to up to seven Pilot Partner bloggers. These Pilot Partners will be a combination of hyperlocals and beat bloggers from around the region and state. The cash will serve a number of purposes. First, it’s part of J-Lab’s mission to support existing indie news producers. Second, we’ll still be working out the kinks on the program, and Pilot Partners will be live beta testers. Lastly, we’d like to have the freedom to do something experimental, a-la Pipeline, at later stages in the program. So if that put some demands on partner time, we want them compensated.”
The program is moving along merrily. I hope to have things in place next week so we can start working with our very first pilot partner. I’ve been at the job a month and we’re only now getting a pilot partners up and running. Things sometimes move slowly at the O. It’s a large organization and one of the largest papers to try this J-Lab experiment.
Still everyone is very nice and easy to work with. The reporters seem supportive of the project when I get the chance to explain how it will actually work. In general, folks are very cool, even if you do have to wait behind this guy if you want to get something in the break-room.