The Columbia Journalism Review commends The Oregonian for reporting the myth that Portland is a sex trafficking center. In 2009, when the FBI organized a nationwide sting operation to rescue victims of sex trafficking and arrest their pimps, Portland had the nation’s second highest number of arrests and underage victims. The next year, The Oregonian ran a story on a human trafficking conference, headlined HUMAN TRAFFICKING INDUSTRY THRIVES IN PORTLAND METRO AREA.
When another conference was held this year, The Oregonian did an in-depth story “every single statistic that advocates and politicians had used to justify Portland's label as a ‘hub’ of child sex trafficking fell apart, the Journalism Review said. The Oregonian then did a story this year headlined STORY OF 'PORNLAND' IS A MYTH. The Journalism Review also lauded Village Voice Media for showing that statistics from the Women's Funding Network on the number of underage girls trafficked through adult-services ads on websites were faulty.