Underscore is committed to in-depth, Indigenous-centered reporting in the Pacific Northwest. We aim to produce impactful, revelatory stories that might otherwise go unreported and unheard, with a focus on tribal communities. We are funded by grants and donations from organizations and individuals who believe in the importance of independent journalism.

Mission Statement

Underscore produces Indigenous-centered journalism that illuminates the intersections of sovereignty and justice and portrays the rich diversity of Native communities in the Pacific Northwest.

About Us

Underscore News is a nonprofit, public-service news team based in Portland, Oregon. We seek to amplify the voices and perspectives of Indigenous communities, who have historically been underrepresented in media, both through coverage and in newsrooms themselves.

We publish original and independent reporting about Pacific Northwest tribal communities and the issues impacting them, while disseminating our work at no cost through tribal and non-tribal news networks. Our reporting is framed by equity — who is not being heard and why. This philosophy guides our coverage.

Underscore is committed to providing the greatest amplification of Indigenous people and issues by partnering with other regional media and making our work available for republication so that our stories are shared widely and broadly. This model helps to bridge gaps between Indigenous communities and the diverse audiences of rural, tribal and metro newsrooms.

When possible, we approach our work from a position of strength, power and solutions, rather than deficit. Our reporting is grounded in historical context and aims to provide a better understanding of sovereignty and treaty rights, as well as the ways in which those rights have historically been — and continue to be — infringed upon.

Newsrooms are closing at an alarming rate, leaving many communities without the news and information they need to thrive. Underscore’s stories focus on elevating underrepresented voices to foster conversation, interrupt stereotypes, untangle complex issues and promote a better understanding of one another.

We seek to live by the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion in both our coverage and operations, including recruitment and hiring. We are proud to be a BIPOC-led organization with a dedicated staff of Indigenous journalists and non-Indigenous allies, and are equally proud of our Underscore Indigenous Journalism Fellowship, launched in 2022 to encourage and equip a new generation of Native journalists by hosting and training Indigenous journalism students each summer.

In 2022 and 2023, Underscore earned 19 honors at the National Native Media Awards, held by the Indigenous Journalists Association (formerly Native American Journalists Association), the nation’s premier professional Indigenous media organization, in addition to five awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and other awards. We're both honored by the national recognitions and motivated to continue improving our ability and capacity to do this important work, guided by the belief that journalism has the power to contribute to a more equitable, fair and just society.