Good news: The Portland Mercury is hiring!
We’re looking to add a full-time staff writer to our small, dynamic team—known locally for smart, deep, and accessible journalism and culture writing. This position will be primarily focused on breaking news, short-form reporting, and news roundups, but would also provide opportunities for culture writing and more in-depth reporting.
The Mercury transitioned from printing a bi-weekly newspaper to publishing online-only a year ago, and we’re seeking applicants who can keep up with the quick pace of digital reporting. We want to hire someone with a natural curiosity that drives their reporting on virtually any subject—including but not limited to the COVID-19 pandemic, Portland City Hall, the Oregon Legislature, protests, racial inequity, and local angles on national news stories.
We also want someone who strives to cover how different issues affect all Portlanders, and who can bring their own lived experiences to their reporting.
Ideally, we’d like applicants to possess the following:
• Experience working on a news team—this can include internships and college newspapers.
• A body of work published within the past three years.
• The ability to write clean, concise news copy on a deadline.
• An enthusiastic, can-do attitude and a comfort level with interviewing anyone, from a fast-food worker on strike to the mayor of Portland.
• Flexibility to move from one story to the next, and time management to juggle multiple stories at once.
• Familiarity with major social media platforms.
• The ability to pitch stories that are unique and relevant to our readers.
• Exceptional grammar and style skills, and the ability to proofread your colleagues' work.
• An interest in different forms of writing, from film and music reviews to features and opinion columns—though experience in these genres isn’t necessary.
• Basic photography or video skills, social media management experience, and familiarity with data journalism are all bonuses, but not required.
Note: We know that not everyone receives the same professional or educational opportunities, so if you don’t meet all the above qualifications but still think you’d be a good fit, please apply! We especially encourage people of color, members of the LGTBQ+ community, and women to apply.
Again, this is a full-time position with a starting annual salary at $37,000. You will be working remotely, at least for the foreseeable future, and we will provide you with a laptop and WiFi stipend. Other benefits include health insurance, dental, vision, paid vacation, paid sick leave, IRA matching, and annual salary review. Applicants should live in the Portland metro area, or have the ability to relocate for the job. Ideally, you'll have a familiarity with the area. Our general work schedule is Monday-Friday, but you will be asked to work some evenings and weekends.
Interested applicants should send us a résumé, a cover letter, links/PDFs to at least three published pieces, and four story ideas.
Email everything to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Staff Writer Application.”
Deadline for applications: 11:59 pm Sunday, March 28
We are an equal opportunity employer.