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Social Justice Watchdog Reporter

Staunton, VA 24401, USA Req #11022
Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) is an innovative, digitally focused media and marketing solutions company committed to strengthening communities across our network. With an unmatched reach at the national and local level, Gannett touches the lives of nearly 140 million people monthly with our Pulitzer-Prize winning content, consumer experiences and benefits, and advertiser products and services. Gannett brands include the USA TODAY and more than 260 daily local newspaper brands, digital marketing services companies ReachLocal, WordStream, and ThriveHive and U.K. media company Newsquest. There's never been a better time to join our talented team. Visit to learn more about our opportunities, and visit Gannett Privacy Policy to understand our privacy policy.

Social Justice Watchdog Reporter


The News Leader/, in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and part of the USA TODAY NETWORK, is looking for a social justice watchdog — an ambitious, self-starter who is passionate about making a difference and examining the effects of systemic racism that have shaped our communities.


This search is about finding the right high energy, hard-news journalist who produces given dedicated time and help to publish enterprise work.


In this role, you will focus on chasing special work — with an editor — and making it sing. Because we’re a small newsroom, you also will do a bit of everything: videos, breaking news, short profiles. But investigative journalism is the driver of the beat — and you will find that we’re an experimental and highly ambitious bunch, especially for a small site.


We have the resources to help you learn to do the work well, and we consider ourselves a farm team for USA TODAY Network — with a path to building a strong career. The News Leader has been honored five of the last seven years as the national Network’s best small newsroom, as judged by a panel of outside industry experts in an annual journalism contest.


Come join us to improve your craft building ambitious, highly polished stories within a newsroom that prioritizes investigative reporting, writing coaching and human storytelling.


Our Staunton office features easy access to the Blue Ridge Parkway, Charlottesville and world-class hiking and outdoor activities. We also have a national arts attraction in our preserved downtown full of Victorian architecture: the American Shakespeare Center.



  • Creates storytelling that accurately informs and engages specific audiences and platforms through the use of metrics. 
  • Illuminates the complicated system mechanisms and political and organizational choices that have led to current racial, income and immigration status injustice.
  • Learns and writes with good new reporting about the history of Staunton and how we got here.
  • Listens to people sometimes overlooked by the media.
  • Connects with the community through storytelling and outreach (social media, on camera, forums, community leadership, etc.) Provides thoughtful analysis of complex issues. 
  • Works with content coach to evaluate what's working and what's not and develops ongoing plans to better satisfy audience needs.
  • Captures photos and video as needed. 
  • Promotes personal brand, the brands of colleagues and the institutional brand. 
  • Helps readers find answers and solutions.  


  • Bachelor's or master’s degree in communications, journalism or related field preferred or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • 1+ years of professional experience; strong data or investigative internship will be considered.
  • Experience with public records is required. Database or computer-assisted reporting skills will set applicants apart from others.
  • Speed and fluency with digital platforms and content management systems. This is a must.
  • Understanding of how to use social media platforms.
  • Experience shooting and editing photos and video on a phone.
  • Strong communication skills, news judgement and headline-writing ability.
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize, self-start, multitask, contribute and excel under pressure.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and efficiently.
  • Strong writing, spelling and grammar skills; familiarity with AP style.
  • A curious mind and conversational approach to writing. This is a role that prizes communication, so clarity is key.
  • Fast at writing and ability to take coaching well. We will coach for writing style and tone.
  • Organizational skill.
  • This role requires a valid driver’s license, reliable transportation, and the minimum liability insurance required by state law.
  • Employment is contingent on passing a pre-employment, post-offer drug screen and background check. 

We are eager to learn more about you and how you fit this role. When you apply, don’t limit your upload to a resume; show us what you’ve done. To do so, put together a single document file that includes the following, in this order:

  1. Your resume – one to two pages.
  2. A cover letter that outlines how you would approach the job.
  3. Links to 3-6 online samples of your work. Show us what you’ve produced or had a hand in that best reflects what you can do in your desired role.

It is important that these items be assembled into a single document and uploaded in PDF format. Completing these steps will ensure that your application receives the highest consideration.



Here's what we have to offer: 

We offer a competitive base salary and career growth opportunities. We also offer you a comprehensive benefits package which includes medical, dental, vision, life insurance, short-term disability, long-term disability, Paid Time Off, Company Paid Holidays, employee discount program and domestic partner benefits. Our 401(k) is topnotch and the contributions you make, up to the first 5% are eligible for a 100% Company match!

Gannett Co., Inc. is a proud equal opportunity employer. We are a drug free, EEO employer committed to a diverse workforce. We will consider all qualified candidates regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity, family responsibilities, disability, education, political affiliation, or veteran status. 

Other details

  • Job Family Columnist and Journalist
  • Job Function Consumer
  • Pay Type Hourly
  • Required Education Equivalent Experience
  • Staunton, VA 24401, USA