The Roundhouse Foundation Supports Authentic Story-Telling through Rural Journalism Programs


(University of Oregon students from the School of Journalism and Communications’ Science Story class visit an art exhibit at Pine Meadow Ranch Center for Arts and Agriculture | Photo courtesy of the Roundhouse Foundation)

Sisters Organization is Involved in Several Oregon Programs that Amplify Community Voices

The Roundhouse Foundation, which supports innovative programs in Oregon’s rural communities, is proud to support and spotlight several rural journalism programs throughout the state. These programs include University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communications (SOJC) Science Story class with professors Torsten Kjellstrand and Dennis Dimik; funding for Oregon Public Broadcasting’s (OPB) Impact Journalism Fund; support for Underscore’s independent journalism program for expanding indigenous programming and coverage in Oregon’s marginalized areas; and more.

“One of the best ways to create awareness and support for our rural and indigenous communities is to tell their stories in an authentic, accessible way,” said Erin Borla, executive director and Trustee of The Roundhouse Foundation. “The journalism world has changed drastically over the past couple of decades, and we know that these important stories, and the voices from the community to best tell these stories, could easily get lost in the shuffle. That’s why it is so important to us to provide ongoing support and funding for journalism programs that want to change this dynamic.”

Students from Kjellstrand and Dimik’s course at the University of Oregon course visited Pine Meadow Ranch Center for Arts and Agriculture, which serves as headquarters location for The Roundhouse Foundation. The SOJC and the Roundhouse Foundation are partnering to raise awareness around scientific stories, specifically through student projects covering climate change and wildfires in rural Oregon.

“We aim for our graduates to be compassionate, thorough and expressive professionals who can be entrusted with the stories of others,” said Juan Carlos Molleda, dean of students at the SOJC at the University of Oregon. “As vigorous as our programs are, it is critical that students hone their skills in real-life experiences, such as through our project with the Roundhouse Foundation. Through this partnership, students connect with rural Oregon communities to tell their stories, teaching the students how to conduct respectful interviews with communities of diverse demographics.”

The Roundhouse Foundation’s support of other programs has furthered the goal of authentically telling Oregon’s rural stories. A grant to the OPB Impact Journalism Fund funded key reporting positions and coverage in areas such as equity, race and identity; science and discovery; rural communities; and more. Support for Underscore has helped this organization increase coverage of Indigenous communities in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest.

The organization has also provided funding through the Society of Environmental Journalists for the Women’s Work podcast with Ashley Ahearn, part of National Public Radio’s (NPR) podcast directory. Ahearn visited working ranches across the West to meet the women who are reimagining ranching and how they show up in the face of climate change.

About Roundhouse Foundation
The Roundhouse Foundation is a private, family foundation, based in Sisters, Oregon since 2002. The Foundation believes that solutions to the unique challenges of Oregon’s rural communities can be found through creative thinking and problem-solving, innovation and collaboration. We partner with community organizations to develop, implement and sustain creative, place-based approaches and programs that strengthen and celebrate rural Oregon.

In addition to providing grant services to rural communities and tribal regions throughout Oregon, the Roundhouse Foundation operates Pine Meadow Ranch Center for Arts and Agriculture in Sisters.


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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