Natalie Pate is the education reporter for the Statesman Journal in Salem, Oregon. She is also a coach and co-lead for the newspaper’s Salem Storytellers Project.
Born and raised in Colorado, Natalie moved to Oregon to attend Willamette University where she earned her B.A. in Politics and French/Francophone Studies. She lived briefly in Washington, D.C. in 2014 before returning to the Pacific Northwest and began reporting for the Statesman Journal in 2015.
As a watchdog reporter, Natalie works to hold educational leaders and institutions accountable, but also seeks to highlight stories of students, families, educators and other community members.
Natalie covers preK-12 school districts, higher ed institutions and education-related policies at the Oregon State Capitol. She largely focuses on Salem-Keizer Public Schools — the second largest district in the state — and frequently covers how subjects such as disability rights, immigration, race, equity, homelessness and mental health intersect with schools.
Natalie cares deeply about journalistic ethics and the importance of transparency with the communities she covers. She’s published stories and essays with such outlets as Ozy, USA Today and the Associated Press. In her first three years at the Statesman, she wrote more than 1,000 articles.
Natalie has received awards from the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association and Oregon Newspapers Foundation for educational coverage. In 2018, she received an award within USA Today for coverage by Natalie and co-workers Connor Radnovich and Capi Lynn on Salem’s homeless crisis.
In her free time, Natalie can be found performing with local theatre and dance companies, as well as teaching ballet to university football players. She volunteers regularly with Start Making a Reader Today and Fences for Fido.
She loves exploring the outdoors, reading and writing for fun, traveling, playing her guitar and spending time with her family, friends, fiancé and furry companions.
Her website includes some of her news articles and photographs, as well as academic writings, personal essays and more. More of reporting with the Statesman Journal can also be found at www.StatesmanJournal.com.