Beat Reporter

Underscore News + ICT (Portland, Oregon)

Posted 2 months ago

In journalism, few issues are more troublesome than invisibility — not being seen or heard. The great majority of Americans get their news and information from the media, which is why amplifying the voices of Alaska Natives and American Indians in legacy and rural media is critical. This reporting position will not only cover current events but write about context and history, sovereignty, treaty rights and the power and culture in Indigenous communities. We are looking for a reporter to identify stories about Indigenous peoples and communities in the Pacific Northwest and amplify them through thoughtful writing, as well as audio and video. Is this the job for you?

About ICT + Underscore News
Underscore News is a growing nonprofit reporting team based in Portland, Oregon. Our mission is to produce collaborative journalism framed by justice to promote civic engagement and a fair-minded society. We aim to produce impactful, revelatory stories that might otherwise go unreported and unheard, focused exclusively on Indigenous peoples and communities in the Pacific Northwest.

Our independent, public-service journalism is funded by grants and donations. We share our work with other outlets and distribute it throughout the Pacific Northwest and nationally, including regular publication in tribal newspapers, rural outlets and metro dailies such as The Oregonian, as well as public radio.

ICT (formerly Indian Country Today) is a nonprofit, multimedia news enterprise. Our digital platform covers the Indigenous world, including American Indians and Alaska Natives. ICT is also a public media broadcast carried via public television stations, including FNX: First Nations Experience and Arizona PBS World channel.

ICT covers tribes and Native people throughout the Americas.

ICT is an independent news organization owned by IndiJ Public Media, an Arizona nonprofit company that sustains itself with funding from members, donors, foundations, and supporters. We also sell advertising in a variety of formats.

The Job
Are you interested in writing stories of all types — long form, enterprise, in-depth, spot coverage — about Indigenous communities? Are you able to identify a good story and bring it to life with words? Are you vested to learn from tribal leaders and tribal citizens alike on issues in Indigenous communities? Are you willing and interested to listen closely and learn from the communities you’ll cover? If so, this is the job for you.

In this shared reporting position, you’ll report daily news and enterprise stories for ICT and enterprise and longer-form stories for Underscore News. Areas of daily reporting will include making extra phone calls for wire stories, writing breaking news stories, and/or reporting on a spot story while pulling back the lens to look at the bigger picture. Your feature and in-depth stories will often delve deeply into historical context, sovereignty and treaty rights.

You may write a single story or a reporting series that focuses on reservations, urban Native people, tribal government and national issues relevant to the Pacific Northwest. Your reporting will be shared with Pacific Northwest tribal, rural and metro news outlets, regionally and nationally. You’ll cover Indigenous communities primarily in Oregon and Washington.

This role is a fit if you …

  • Seek out scoops and embrace enterprise reporting.
  • Are committed to building relationships with Native American communities and know how to build and engage a representative source list.
  • Can work independently but are an enthusiastic collaborator.
  • Are as comfortable writing news briefs as magazine-length investigative stories.
  • Strive for accuracy and truth in reporting.
  • Are a skilled writer and storyteller.
  • Have a working knowledge of data reporting and enthusiasm for finding stories buried within reports.
  • Can relate Indigenous issues to the well-being of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest.
  • Are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion — throughout your work and as it relates to your beat.
  • Enjoy engaging with readers and responding to their tips.
  • Can spot trends and understand how they will play out.
  • Can explain complicated issues clearly and simply.
  • Can see the big picture in ways that perhaps government and business do not.


  • Writing multiple stories each month for both publications.
  • Pitching ideas that result in ground-breaking stories.
  • Working collaboratively with editors and fellow reporters.
  • Cultivating diverse and representative sources.
  • Working with the editing team to ensure stories are accurate and fair.
  • Meeting deadlines set by you and your supervising editor.
  • Effectively and professionally communicating verbally and in writing with colleagues, sources and readers.
  • Listening intently to others and valuing others’ opinions.
  • Communicating openly and promptly sharing information and ideas with others throughout the organization.

Location: Portland, Oregon
Start date: January 2023

You would work out of the Underscore News office located along the beautiful waterfront of the Willamette River near downtown Portland, walking distance from excellent restaurants and coffee shops and surrounded by the city’s famous trail and park networks. The office is 20 minutes from the Columbia River Gorge, 1.5 hours from the coast and 3 hours from Seattle. Underscore offers the option of hybrid workweeks in which employees can split their time between working from home and the office.

HOW TO APPLY: Please upload a resume and up to three samples of your work and answer a series of questions using this form. We use resumes primarily as a summary and will focus our attention on responses to our questions. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis through the end of December. 

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