“I hope it has the intended impact of making Oregonians aware of the problem of suicide in our state,” said John Schrag, executive editor of Pamplin Media Group, which owns the Portland Tribune and 23 other papers. “It’s a problem that our industry has really possibly made worse by not reporting it and reporting it badly.”
Oregon has seen its suicide rate on the rise and now ranks 14th nationwide. The numbers are especially alarming for young people: suicide is the second leading cause of death among Oregonians ages 10 to 24.
Still, the Oregon collaboration is notable. News organizations had to face up to their past mistakes and then find a way to work with long-time rivals to forge the partnership.
“There isn’t a scoop or need to be out in front of everybody,” said Morgan Holm, senior vice president and chief content officer at Oregon Public Broadcasting. “There’s more strength in numbers here to show that all of us are trying to learn together, and all of us are learning from each other, and all of us collectively recognize the impact of this issue on the community, and are trying to deal with it.”
Therese Bottomly, editor of The Oregonian/OregonLive, said: “I really want to raise awareness. And, if I’m honest, we hope to reduce deaths.”
Collaborations among news rivals have become more common in the past decade as budgets shrink and journalists struggle to demonstrate their relevance. News organizations in both Seattle and San Francisco joined together
Read more here: https://www.poynter.org/business-work/2019/heres-what-it-looks-like-when-30-media-entities-from-one-state-work-together-on-a-noble-cause/