Contact Christen McCurdy

Professional experience

News editor, The Skanner News, May 2015 – present

I oversee all aspects of producing a weekly newspaper covering Portland’s African American community. I assign and edit news and entertainment coverage by staff and freelancers, curate wire and local stories and write one to two news stories per week, shoot and edit photos and video, update the website (Joomla-based CMS), manage social media accounts and produce six special-edition tabloids per year. I also assist with the planning and execution of events, including The Skanner Foundation’s annual fundraising breakfast and screenings of The Wake of Vanport documentary series.

Freelance writer, Feb. 2006 – May 2015

I wrote news and tech articles articles, marketing copy and essays, juggling multiple clients and deadlines. I had bylined pieces in Pacific Standard, Bitch, Know Your City, The Oregonian, Street Roots, The Portland Mercury, Rewire (then RH Reality Check), Microsoft and others.

Editorial intern, Key Publishing Group, Nov. 2014 – March 2015

I assisted with launch of the redesigned makeupmag.com, the online home for a trade publication for professional make-up artists. I reviewed and addressed editorial and formatting problems in site archives, tracked press coverage of the company’s trade shows and proofread and edited new content.

Reporter, The Lund Report, Oct. 2009 – April 2014

I wrote two stories a week about the health care system in Oregon and beyond. I told patient stories, wrote about Oregon’s effort to overhaul its Medicaid program, explained the ramifications of the Affordable Care Act, discussed the ways policyholders are addressing the social determinants of health and I covered the ups and downs of the insurance industry. I was also responsible for updating our WordPress site, sending out weekly e-mail newsletters and managing social media accounts, and worked closely with design and technical staff on the site’s relaunch in February 2014.

Public relations representative, Tripwire, Inc., Jan. 2008 – Jan. 2009
I wrote press releases, coordinated meetings with B2B and local press as well as industry analysts, wrote the company’s first social media plan and coordinated content for a virtualization security blog.

Recycling and community outreach coordinator, Free Geek, Inc., Portland, Ore. June 2005 – Feb. 2006
I helped create a press kit and public relations strategy for a small, scrappy computer reuse and recycling nonprofit on top of supervising warehouse operations, training and managing volunteers and negotiating pickup and sales with scrap vendors.

Lifestyles editor and general assignment reporter, Argus Observer, Ontario, Ore. Sept. 2003 – May 2005
I wrote five to seven stories per week and coordinated freelance content for the arts and entertainment section of a rural daily newspaper. I took photos, did layout and design and executed special edition tabloids several times a year. I also covered hard news, including crime, city government and business.

Editorial intern, Daily Courier, Grants Pass,Ore. Summer 2003
I wrote four to five stories per week covering vacationing reporters’ beats.

City news editor and reporter, Daily Barometer, Corvallis, Ore. Academic years 1999 to 2003
I trained, managed and assigned stories to student staff, copyedited and assisted with layout and design. I covered a variety of beats including crime, higher education, scientific research and arts and entertainment.

Awards and Honors

2013 Winner, Best Feature (for “A Level Playing Board,” Chess Life, July 2013), awarded by Chess Journalists of America

2012 Second Place Award for Comprehensive Coverage (for Lund Report series on lead poisoning), awarded by Oregon Society of Professional Journalists

2003 General Excellence Award, Argus Observer staff, awarded by Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association

2002 General Excellence Award, Barometer staff, awarded by Oregon Newspaper Association

2000 Best Collegiate Editorial Writing Award, Barometer editorial board, awarded by Society of Professional Journalists

Education

Bachelor of arts in English (with coursework in copy editing, reporting, digital photography and creative writing), Oregon State University, Summer 2006.
Recipient, Jim Poore Scholarship, Pepsi Scholarship, OSU Provost’s Scholarship.

Attended Michael Smart’s PR Power Writing and Pitching Workshops, June 2008.

Community involvement
Board secretary, Oregon Society of Professional Journalists, Oct. 2014 present.

I help organize annual conference and awards banquets, assist with overhaul and streamlining of annual conference, record meeting minutes and sent meeting agendas. I also co-manage the organization’s social media accounts.

Volunteer, Portland Fruit Tree Project, Planned Parenthood of the Columbia Willamette.

 

References available upon request.

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