About Natalie

Photo by Brian Hayes / Statesman Journal

Natalie Pate is a freelance journalist based in Salem, Oregon. From 2015-22, she served as the education reporter for the Statesman Journal. She was also the lead and co-founder of the daily newspaper’s Salem Storytellers Project. Her byline can be found in such publications as the Oregon Capital Chronicle and Eater PDX. In 2023, she is hosting and launching a storytelling podcast with the Salem-based Youth with Incarcerated Parents Project.

Natalie is also the author of the bilingual children’s book Bandito the Puppito Dreams of a Home /Bandito el Perrito Sueña con un Hogar, released in the summer of 2020.

Born and raised in Colorado, Natalie moved to Oregon to attend Willamette University where she earned her B.A. in Politics and French and Francophone Studies. She lived briefly in Washington, D.C. in 2014 before returning to the Pacific Northwest and reporting for the Statesman Journal.

As a watchdog and investigative reporter, Natalie works to hold leaders and institutions accountable, while also highlighting the stories and perspectives of students, families, educators and other community members.

In her role at the Statesman, Natalie covered early childhood education, K-12 schools, higher education and education-related policies at the Oregon State Capitol. She largely focused on Salem-Keizer Public Schools — the second-largest district in the state — and frequently wrote about how socioeconomic topics such as immigration, disability rights, race, housing, health and language intersect with education and who gets to access it.

Photo by Abigail Dollins / Statesman Journal

Natalie also has experience as a general assignment reporter. She has covered breaking news, food-related legislation and city and economic development, among other things. In 2022, Natalie published an in-depth series with the Statesman Journal and USA TODAY on the importance and lack of literacy education for adults in state prisons via a reporting fellowship with the Education Writers Association (EWA). She presented the findings of that series at the World Literacy Summit at Oxford in 2023.

Natalie cares deeply about journalistic ethics and the importance of transparency with readers and listeners. She is a member of and freelancer with EWA, as well as a mentor for Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE).

Natalie has received awards from the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association and Oregon Newspapers Foundation for her educational coverage. In 2018, she received an award within the USA TODAY Network for her and her co-workers’ coverage of Salem’s homelessness crisis. In 2021, she was named a Godfrey Wells Stancill Fellow with IRE.

Natalie with her husband and their dog at Oregon’s Painted Hills.

In her free time, Natalie can be found performing or teaching at local theatres and dance companies. She works part-time at her favorite bookstore, The Book Bin, and volunteers with Marion County Dog Services. Natalie loves exploring the outdoors, reading and writing fiction and poetry, learning new languages, traveling, playing the guitar and spending time with her loved ones.

Her website includes some of her news stories and photographs, as well as academic writings, personal essays and more. More of her reporting with the Statesman Journal can be found at www.StatesmanJournal.com.

To stay updated on Natalie’s reporting, like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nataliepatejournalist and follow her on Twitter @NataliePateGwin.

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8 thoughts on “About Natalie

  1. Natalie Pate….YOU ROCK!!! Thanks for always looking out for the UNDERDOG… your reports on HOMELESS YOUTHS in SALEM really really opened EYES!!!!!


  2. I will not support a teacher raise til PERS is fixed. I agree with Phil Knight that we are going broke and too many self servicing policies in place. Add more money wouldn’t improve graduation rate ! Leadership would and we don’t have it !!


  3. Just for consideration.

    A large increase in the state school budget has been proposed. My 2-part question is: Is there an actual plan to justify the increase, or does the plan have to follow the funding? Secondly, what quantified results are being promised for 2 billion dollars?


    1. Hey, Wallace. Apologies for the delay. As I’m sure you’ve seen, the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Student Success has released its policy recommendations and funding plan via HB 3427. They have an accountability structure factored in, outlining what they expect to change in Oregon’s education system, should they make the investment. If you still have questions, let me know!


  4. May 8 is not a strike, it is a walkout. They are two different things. It is irresponsible and damaging to the movement to call it a strike.


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