The Northern Light, Opinion Writer

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  • Job Number:523667
  • Classification:Student Assistant 2
  • Grade:Student Assistant 2
  • Work type:On Campus, Student Employee
  • Administrative Unit:University of Alaska Anchorage
  • School/Business unit:UAA VC Student Affairs
  • Location:Anchorage
  • Categories: Communications/Public Relations/Marketing, Student Affairs/Services

Position Summary:

The Northern Light, the student newspaper at the University of Alaska Anchorage, is currently recruiting for the Opinion Writer position. This student staff position is 20 hours/week and starts at $11.34/hour.


The Northern Light is the University of Alaska Anchorage’s student newspaper, funded both by student media fees and advertising sales. The publication is primarily text based and strives to be digital-first, publishing stories, audio and video content online in a timely manner. Stories are also published in a printed edition. Copies of The Northern Light are distributed throughout the UAA campus and the Anchorage community. Total distribution is around 2,000 copies per print. The Northern Light’s website is 

Job posting summary: 

Opinion Writers will gather information and actualities necessary to produce assignments for The Northern Light. This includes, but is not limited to, writing, collecting audio, video, and still photographs. Opinion writers are responsible for creating content for the opinion section. The opinion writer will compile, edit and write two opinion pieces each week. They will also prepare, develop and repackage content for use in a variety of media. 

The opinion section of The Northern Light strives to publish well researched and well argued columns from The Northern Light staff, the public and experts. A well written opinion includes an interesting and timely subject, quality research, rebuttals to counterarguments, and an engaging structure or narrative. The tone of opinion pieces can vary widely, some being a table-pounding polemic, and others a cool-headed assessment of facts. Opinions can also include lived experience, advice and open letters. The opinion writer is expected to help bring a variety of perspectives to the paper by writing on subjects they may not feel strongly about.

The opinion writer works under the supervision of the opinion editor. Opinion writers will work with the opinion editor to develop unique and interesting stories that engage audiences. They will collaborate with the multimedia editors, graphic designer, photographer, layout editor and web managers to prepare, develop and/or repackage content for use in social media, the website and print. They will work cooperatively with editors and writing teams to improve reporting, writing, and editing skills.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities: Knowledge/Skills/Abilities:
• Possess excellent verbal and written skills.
• Ability to write and edit publishable articles or columns with attention to grammar, The Associated Press style, spelling, clarity, accuracy and thorough reporting.
• Ability to meet deadlines and work cooperatively with others.
• Ability to prepare, develop, and/or repackage features content for use in other media.
• Possess familiarity with word processors, Google Drive, Windows and Macintosh computers.

Preferred knowledge/skills/abilities:

• Familiarity with preparation and development of other media, such as audio, video and photography.
• College level courses in journalism and public communications.
• Experience working on a newspaper.
• Possess knowledge of information gathering techniques, the First Amendment, the Freedom of Information Act and media ethics.
Typical Experience:
Required Experience:
No prior experience is required for this position.
Required Education or Training:

Typical Education or Training:
To be eligible for student employment, an applicant must:
a. Be enrolled in the University of Alaska system with a minimum of six credit hours in the current semester of employment; or
b. Have been enrolled the preceding semester for six or more credit hours and demonstrate plans to enroll for six or more credit hours in the next semester for employment between semesters; and
c. Have at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) or approval from the MAU Senior Student Services officer or his/her designee.
d. Students enrolled in non-traditional programs of study will be considered eligible for student employment with the approval of the Senior Student Services officer.
e. An applicant must provide evidence of enrollment as outlined above to substantiate employment eligibility.
f. Position reappointment is contingent upon successful progress toward degree completion and performance evaluation.

Students must have successfully completed a college-level writing classes, in addition to possessing strong English language skills.

Salary Information:

This student staff position is 20 hours/week and starts at $11.34/hour.

Special Instructions to Applicants:

Please attach a resume, cover letter, and the names and contact information (email address and phone number) for three (3) professional references with your application.


The University of Alaska (UA) is responsible for providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities throughout the applicant screening process. If you need assistance in completing this application or during any phase of the interview process, please contact UA Human Resources by phone at 907-450-8200.

UA is an AA/EO employer and educational institution and prohibits illegal discrimination against any individual:

The successful applicant is required to complete a background check. Any offer of employment is contingent on the background check.

Your application for employment with the University of Alaska is subject to public disclosure under the Alaska Public Records Act.

If you have any questions regarding this position, please contact Micah Perino, Student Media HR Coordinator, at or (907) 786-1203.

Advertised: Alaskan Standard Time
Applications close: Alaskan Daylight Time

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