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.

It is a storyline more common to monster movies than political and environmental fights: The monster that the townsfolk thought was vanquished returns from the dead for its lumbering revenge. Yes, be afraid, the so-called LNG Pipeline is back! After a decade-long fight to deny a pipeline proposed to carry

With this issue, the Messenger turns four years old. We started publishing in March 2014 and, now with three years under our belts, I can honestly say that some years are better than others. This past year was our “best” year yet. Why? For so many reasons—but each which is

In late January, a few fliers—simple black text on a white background—showed up on utility poles around Ashland. They read “a storm is coming,” and featured the silhouette of an army man, with a swastika emblazed into his helmet. Some of the posters also included a Twitter handle, and police

Just 20 years ago, the 10,000 radio stations in America were owned and operated by some 5000 different organizations, creating an eclectic patchwork of talk, music and what-not. But since 1996, radio increasingly has been consolidated into the hands of just a few corporations, with nearly 90 percent of radio

Without Lex Luther, Clark Kent was just a mild-manner newspaper reporter (although we’d like to think that a mild manner newspaperman is something powerful as well). And, with that in mind, as America has adjusted to a new president over the past several weeks, we have been encouraged and impressed

Alan Journet, Co-facilitator, Southern Oregon Climate Action Now (SOCAN)  RVM: Has the election of Trump changed priorities for your organization? AJ: Not really changed them, but the presence of a science denier in the White House who promotes ignorance over evidence has diminished further the likelihood of anything meaningful happening

Pat O’Scannell, Founder and Director, Musica Matrix A relatively new nonprofit, Musica Matrix “brings history to life”; namely, the instruments and music of the Renaissance and Medieval era. The Messenger caught up with long-time musician Pat O’Scannell to talk about her new organization. Rogue Valley Messenger: Your background is with

The average age of a farmer in Oregon in 1982 was a moderate 50. Twenty years later, it had risen to 55, according to a report co-released late last year by Oregon State, Portland State University and Rogue Farm Corps; and disturbingly, by 2012, had risen to 60. The change

Before holiday break, a student at Ashland High School posted a message on Facebook that she had been sexually assaulted, and alleged that there were other “multiple” cases and a “rape culture” at the high school. The message set off a tense debate about the extent of sexual assault within

Rogue Valley Messenger: It seems as if CTP is governed by a group. Is there a process for making group decisions? What challenges to having a group make decisions are there? What advantages?  Susan Aversa-Orrego: CTP is structured so that the artistic board works together to make season plans and