Well, I overslept the 10:00 AM target time we had all set for making this announcement, and I see that Noah Brimhall and Michael Hall have already beaten me to it.
After the strange series of miscues, misunderstandings, and miscommunications which led to my being barred from a recent Portland Police Bureau news conference (all of which was, of course, written up here), Michael Hall made the suggestion that some sort of local "independent media consortium" might be necessary.
And so, we announce the beginnings of the Portland Association of Independent Journalists, otherwise known as PAIJ, whose mission statement reads as follows:
The Portland Association of Independent Journalists (PAIJ) is meant to serve local independent reporters by raising awareness of the issues and concerns they face as they exercise their right to maintain a free and open press. We seek to do this in the following ways:
? Establish a set of ethical guidelines endorsed by all of our associates.
? Issue press credentials to serve as an indication that their bearers agree to comport themselves in a manner consistent with the guidelines.
? Work with local independent reporters to resolve issues of access or any conflicts that arise as a result of the use of PAIJ credentials.
? Educate members of the local independent press and interested members of the public through sponsorship of talks and discussions.
For starters, interested local independent journalists should subscribe to our discussion list, where we will be working out the statement of ethical guidelines for PAIJ and planning for an initial meeting.
In addition, both for those involved and those merely interested, the PAIJ weblog will be launched soon. Watch the PAIJ website for it.
So, if you're part of the local independent press, strongly support the local independent press, or are part of the more established press but support independent journalism, join the conversation.