Why this blog? It’s mostly a showcase for some of my favorite stories and a place where I ruminate on what news innovation projects I’ve been working on. In 2008, I started up an informal group called PortlandMediaLab dedicated to exploring news innovation. I’ve been working on cracking the code ever since.
What is you doing?
I’m currently Director of Digital Content and contributing reporter at the new web-based magazine GoLocalPDX.
From September 2013 to August 2014 I was a digital producer at KGW.com NewsChannel 8, the NBC affiliate station in Portland. I produce breaking news, online content, social media, engagement strategies and coordinate the newsrooms partnerships with niche bloggers.
Before that I was with The Oregonian/OregonLive’s online team, doing much of the same. But at the Oregonian I occasionally reported on transportation planning and North Portland.
For six years I was the publisher of a hyperlocal newspaper and online news site known as The Sentinel. The news service covered North and Northeast Portland Ore. I owned and operated the paper as managing editor from August 2004 to August of 2010.
I’ve produced a number of low-budget independent documentaries on political subjects including TV coverage of the California Recall Election of 2003, a feature documentary on gentrification in Northeast Portland released in 2002, and an account of radical group Earth First! and the California Redwoods that I produced in 1997.
I am a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts (TSOA UGF&TV ’95). I studied participate-observer style documentary filmmaking and community media under George Stoney.
Where you be from (because people ask me all the time)?
I grew up in typical American suburb in Northern New Jersey. I’ve lived in Oregon since 1995.
My mother, was from Barranquilla Colombia. They fell on hard times and the entire family fled the country in the early 1960s. I’m told this was due, in part to their poverty, but also because my grandfather’s leftist political affiliations had made it dangerous for the family to remain in Columbia.
My father, was born in New York City and descends from a Dutch family that migrated to the colony of New Netherlands in 1690s. The name Cornelius Swart, is an old family name that first belonged to ancestor and original settlers of the town of Schenectady NY.