Social Justice Watchdog Reporter
Social Justice Watchdog Reporter
The News Leader/newsleader.com, 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:
- Your resume – one to two pages.
- A cover letter that outlines how you would approach the job.
- 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!
- Job Family Columnist and Journalist
- Job Function Consumer
- Pay Type Hourly
- Required Education Equivalent Experience
- Staunton, VA 24401, USA