Author Archive

Phil Busse

Phil Busse

Phil Busse has spent the past 20 years as a journalist, attorney and educator—and doing his tour of duty with alt-weeklies.

He has served as the Editor for the Source, a popular weekly newspaper in Bend, Oregon and was the founding Managing Editor for the Portland Mercury. While in law school, he wrote crime and legal stories for the Eugene Weekly and started his writing career as the first environmental beat reporter for San Francisco Weekly.

In 2006, Phil started the Media Institute for Social Change (, an educational non-profit. Based in Portland, Oregon, the organization hosts college students each summer to teach them how to produce public interest film and radio documentaries—and, in 2013, helped launch XRAY.FM, a talk and music radio station that won Willamette Week’s readers choice for Best Local Radio Station in 2015.

Phil is truly surprised that he ended up as a newspaperman; as a kid, he believed that he would grow up to be a spy, and has spent a lifetime acquiring the proper skills—he is certified SCUBA diver, knows how to tie a bow tie and can mix (shake) a mean martini.

Phil graduated from Middlebury College in 1992 and earned his law degree from the University of Oregon in 1997.

Even if you don’t recognize his name, you have seen Mike Royer’s art work. Born in Oregon, Mike Royer left for LA in his early 20s and started a career as a comic book illustrator, for some of the most recognizable characters and strips in history, like, oh say, Tarzan,

Earlier this month, the esteemed Pulitzer Prizes were handed out for excellence in journalism. Mixed in with the big dogs and usual suspects is a small newspaper, The Storm Lake Times, a twice-weekly newspaper in Iowa. The circulation for the newspaper is smaller than the Messenger. The editor won the

  With a sense of deja-vu, the liquefied natural gas (LNG) is back for its third attempt at placing a pipeline that will run diagonally all the way from the California border near Klamath northwest to Coos Bay. Construction permits have been rejected twice before by Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

The middle of April is a mix of emotions—with Easter, Tax Day and the beginning of NBA playoffs—events that bring a basket full of joy, financial frustration and cheers and jeers. Last week also marked the mid-point for the Oregon legislative session, another event that brings a mix joy, financial

Few dance companies are able to host a resident choreographer. Sure, Oregon Ballet has one, but they also have a massive budget and dozens of dancers. Most other dance companies hire out performance to performance, or borrow blueprints from already performed dances. But NW Dance is not like many dance

Starting the day after terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center in 2001, and as the American psyche reeled from the attacks, reporter Alex Tizon set out across America to gather individuals’ stories. Along with a photographer, Tizon collected stories and viewpoints—each adding an important puzzle piece to the

With fewer than half of the public schools in Josephine County offering arts program, a Grants Pass-based filmmaker Antonio Melendez saw a gap he could fill. Along with collaborator Abram Katz, in early April, they opened the Heartisan Youth Center, a space to offer media production and entrepreneurship classes. The

Two days after the recent presidential elections, after Donald Trump’s surprising victory, Richard Herskowitz was in Texas for the Houston Cinema Arts Festival. Many of artists and filmmakers were floored and the mood, says Herskowitz. Likewise, about that same time in New York, the cast of “Hamilton” addressed then-Vice President-elect

To gain a better insight to director Jennifer Kroot’s most recent film, The Untold Stories of Armistead Maupin, it is instructive to consider another recent film she directed, To Be Takei, a charming profile of George Takei. Best known as Sulu on the original “Star Trek” series, Takei was imprisoned

Nobody Speak: Hulk Hogan, Gawker and Trials of the Free Press While other media outlets treated the Hulk Hogan sex tape and ensuing lawsuit against the online tabloid Gawker as a salacious affair, delivering courtroom updates about the $100-plus million lawsuit with a wink and a smirk, filmmaker Brian Knappenberger