Journalism Shelly Strom Communications

Need a journalist who finds the story behind the story? I'm a seasoned newspaper reporter with passionate curiosity that always puts me on a path to an interesting story.


My career in newspapers started in one of Oregon’s high desert towns—Prineville, where I produced the features section of the Central Oregonian. Next stop: Whidbey News Times in the Navy town of Oak Harbor, Wash. I covered the City Hall and business beats at this twice-weekly paper. From there, I had stints at the West Linn Tidings and Vancouver Business Journal before heading to Portland Business Journal as a staff writer. Peruse my PBJ work.  After six years at PBJ, I became a freelance writer working with a variety of clients.

Recent journalism:

Portland sex trafficking lawsuit involving local hotel serves as cautionary tale
by Shelly Strom, for Portland Business Journal
March 25, 2019

A judge recently settled legal sparring in a case that serves as a cautionary tale for the hospitality industry. The lawsuit involves sex trafficking, online classifieds, a local hotel and the murder of a young woman. Read more.


Shared Hope keeps up fight against sex trafficking
By Shelly Strom, for The Columbian
Jan. 30, 2019

Linda Smith could not have predicted the turn her life would take one night in November of 1998. She was wrapping up the final months of her term in the U.S. House of Representatives and wanted to see with her own eyes what until then she’d only heard about in Congress.

“I was told children were for sale in cages on the street corners of India,” Smith said. “I thought it was mostly hyperbole.”

Within hours of arriving on Mumbai’s notorious Falkland Road, Smith learned what she heard had zero hyperbole. Read more.


Trafficking victims may have legal recourse
By Shelly Strom for The Columbian
Nov. 23, 2018

While general awareness of human trafficking — which globally involves upwards of 40 million victims in a $150 billion industry — is growing, victims often don’t realize they can pursue legal recourse.

Oregon attorney Joel Shapiro, however, is on a mission to change that. He wants to help people stuck in trafficking become aware that they may be able to take legal action, get their financial due and get on with their lives. Read more.


Bank security specialist, buoyed by post-crash innovation, readies new Portland HQ
By Shelly Strom – Contributing writer 
Oct. 26, 2017

Sometimes it takes a big crash in the economy to set a company on a new course.

At least that’s what happened a decade ago for Milwaukie-based Cook Security Group when the 2007 melt- down of financial markets disrupted the way banks do business.

“We were installing cameras and other security components at the rate of three to five new bank branches per month,” said Brian Cook, CEO of Cook Security. “It freaked us out because at the time, we were a physical security company. And banks started shrinking their branches and using more technology instead.” Read more.


My award-winning journalism includes:

"Diverse Perspectives," Portland Business Journal 
2005, First Place, Social Issues Reporting, Oregon Society of Professional Journalists

"When Wal-Mart Comes to Town," Whidbey News-Times
1997, First Place, Washington Newspaper Publishers Association

"Tide Pools," Whidbey News-Times
1997, Second Place, Best Environmental Story, Washington Newspaper Publishers Association

Oak Harbor City Hall coverage, Whidbey News-Times
1996, Second Place, Best Government Affairs Coverage, Washington Newspaper Publishers Association

"Getting better with age: State's maturing wine industry continues rapid growth," Portland Business Journal
2006, Second Place, General Features, Oregon Society of Professional Journalists

"Absolut competition: On the heels of beer and wine, liquor entrepreneurs look to spirits," Portland Business Journal
2005, Second Place, News Features, Oregon Society of Professional Journalists

"Reser's plants organic roots," Portland Business Journal
2006, Honorable Mention, Consumer News, Oregon Society of Professional Journalists