Reporting & Writing

Words have always shaped who I am, from writing stories in elementary school to winning statewide poetry awards as a middle schooler to working as a student journalist in high school. The potential to merge my desire to learn about events happening around me with my compulsion to write is what brought me into that first journalism class four years ago. Even as I explore other aspects of journalism and newspaper work, I am truly a writer at heart. Here are some of the best stories I’ve written during my time at the Clypian, with others embedded throughout my portfolio. You can access all the articles I’ve written, which have been published online, through my profile on the Clypian.

News

From writing breaking news stories to longer exposés, I am passionate about telling people what is happening in their community. I strive to inform and educate through my newswriting.

Scandals, Special Interests And Dysfunction Plague School Board

NEW ADDITION: I have been working on this extensive exposé about the finances and actions of the Salem-Keizer School Board for months now and it was just published on March 21. The idea for this article came to me a little while ago when the board was embattled in yet another scandal. So, to write the article, I spent hours and hours combing through the Oregon Secretary of State website, checking and double-checking financial campaign information. I watched school board meetings, monitored community conversations and social media, and more. With a school board election coming up in May, this article is the first in several installments relating to the board that we are working on at the Clypian. In the first 24 hours after publication, the story had more than 50,000 impressions on Twitter. I also spoke about it on Oregon Public Broadcasting.


Attacks On Instagram Target SSHS Students

When an anonymous user on social media began targeting students at my high school with racist and ableist messages, I realized that I needed to balance being a community member and a reporter. The first thing I did was contact district leadership to alert them to the harassment. I next contacted those being targeted to make sure they were okay. Only after taking those steps was I comfortable working on an article about the attacks. I talked to school officials, students, and the principal until I had written an article that captured what had happened and provided resources for victims of cyber bullying to use in the future.

An Oregon Man’s Violent Road To DC

Photo by Eddy Binford-Ross

In the wake of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, I could not stop thinking about the parallels between what happened in DC and what had been happening in Oregon for months. I had watched as Oregon’s alt-right got more angry and bold, an inarguably dangerous combination. I documented violent events at the Oregon State Capitol where one man, Tim Davis, was involved. I then saw feeds of him in Washington, DC, in December and January. I did a deep dive into his recent background tracking his involvement in protests that became violent across the state, saw how the pattern was extending to the U.S. Capitol, and knew I needed to write about it.

Wall Of Moms Faces Off With Federal Officers Sunday

Photo by Eddy Binford-Ross

Over the summer, I wrote dozens of protest recaps, detailing what had unfolded at each event. These stories were often written at 3 or 4 a.m., after I returned from the protests and before I went asleep, so they were as timely as possible. For each of the articles, I made a point to embed some of my photographs to help tell the story in the most powerful way. I strive to both tell an accurate recounting of what happened and provide a larger context to highlight the importance of certain facts. The Wall of Moms, detailed in this article, remains one of the most iconic symbols of the Portland protests.


Historic March Against Police Brutality Draws Thousands To Capitol

Photo by Eddy Binford-Ross

Out of the dozens of protests I have covered, this is one of the events that I will remember most vividly. The events of that day illustrated a dramatic shift in relations between racial justice protesters and Salem Police, with a peaceful, collaborative event coming a week after the two groups had violently clashed. The size and energy of the protest was unlike any other I had witnessed at the Oregon State Capitol. The day marked a crucial moment in Salem’s Black Lives Matter movement in which there was hope for reconciliation as a community.


Opinion

As someone who is undoubtedly opinionated, I have always enjoyed contributing to the editorial page. From writing our staff editorials to creating a column about the Oregon Legislature called “Eye on the Pioneer,” opinion writing has proven to be one of my favorite forms in my explorations as a student journalist.


Police Must Recognize Public Perception Of Actions

Photo by Eddy Binford-Ross

One of the most important parts of a journalist’s job is holding those in power accountable. That can be difficult, especially for a student journalist, and people do not always like you for it, however, it is undoubtedly necessary. When a state trooper used a hand gesture associated with white power to communicate with a counter-protester at a racial justice protest, I proposed this editorial to our Editorial Board. With everyone in support, I drafted the editorial with our content editor. Our feature editor suggested revisions, and we published it when the police concluded an investigation a couple days after the rally.


Eye On The Pioneer: Should The President Be Elected By The Popular Vote?

Photo by Eddy Binford-Ross

During my sophomore year, I created a column about the Oregon Legislature, as I have always had an interest in politics and wanted to investigate state level proposals. I did extensive research into various proposed legislation and shared my opinions on bills such as this one, which proposed that Oregon’s presidential electors be chosen by the national popular vote, regardless of who wins the state. As Oregon’s legislature is on a bi-annual schedule, the column is not year round.


Feature

Feature writing has given me the opportunity to explore the stories of others, get to know people that I would not normally interact with, and attend events that I would not normally experience. Although feature writing has not been the bulk of my publication, I have always enjoyed writing these articles.


In The Room Where It Happens: Marion County’s Ballot Counting

Photo by Eddy Binford-Ross

When the Marion County Clerk invited me to tour his office and the ballot counting process right before the 2020 election, I was ecstatic. I have always been passionate about civics education and, because so few people understand the process, it seemed especially important. The County Clerk walked me through the entire process, showing me the work that dozens of volunteers were doing to begin ballot counting. From there I wrote a story for the public, detailing the lengthy undertaking involved in protecting the integrity of this core democratic process.


South Welcomes Exchange Students

South Salem High School has a robust exchange student hosting program, with several students visiting each school year. So, it is a tradition to interview each of the year-long exchange students and write an article introducing them. In 2019, we had nine students join us. One of my reporters and I teamed up and split the interviews. I wrote about five of the students and she wrote about four. I then edited and merged the profiles to create one cohesive story. This story was particularly fun because I got to meet all of the students and I’ve even stayed in touch with a couple of them.


Sports

In my time at the Clypian, we have always had several people who wanted to write exclusively sports stories. Thus, I only wrote for that section occasionally, mostly writing recaps or previews when no one else could.

Saxon Cross Country: Running Into The 2019 Season

Photo by Jasmine Chitwood

In 2019, I did a series of articles about the Fall Sports season. This piece about our cross country team was the first of those. They were about halfway through their season when the article was published and I tried to capture a holistic look at the team. I interviewed several members and looked at the team’s current and previous stats. The article was an exclusive to our print edition and was never published online, so I have included a PDF of the article below.


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