Arizona, USA • Phoenix, AZ, USA Req #20225
Wednesday, December 15, 2021
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The Arizona Republic/ azcentral.com , part of the USA TODAY NETWORK, is seeking a digital-first crime reporter to be part of the breaking news team, finding and reporting on breaking crime stories.
We're reimagining crime reporting to be a more community-centered, people-first beat, and this position is important in that transformation. We want someone who wants to report on daily crime in a different way, highlighting the people affected by crime, crime trends and how they impact the community, and the context readers need to understand crime in Arizona.
This reporter could spend one day out at the scene of a double homicide, the next at a high-profile sentencing, the next looking through public records for trends and interesting stories and the next talking to people who are impacted by a police shooting. You'll need speed, curiosity, and a knack for spotting the through line between disparate events.
Our reporters seek out stories that are of interest to our audiences, and interact with them in the reporting process, through social media and other means. Video, visuals, and new storytelling forms are also important components of what breaking news reporters work with every day.
A great breaking news reporter is interested in a little bit of everything and has an insatiable curiosity about the community around them. The position demands initiative, accuracy, urgency, and insight. You'll spend a typical workday doing everything from filing open records requests to heading out to cover a breaking story. You should be comfortable taking photos and video, as well as using social media to cover stories in real time.
This position demands strong news judgement and the ability to find and identify stories and trends that are immediate, important, and influential. Quick writing and reporting skills are also important in the Republic's multi-platform newsroom.
Our 130-person newsroom is mission-driven and passionate about storytelling. Our goal is to have editors, reporters and producers who ensure that we have news that is important to our audiences as soon as they are looking for it and to create community-centered news and information.
Our Daily Focus desk covers breaking news, and the stories Arizonans are interested in each day with three editors and three other full-time reporters. We also have interns year-round, who reporters work closely with and often mentor.
While you will not be the only reporter covering breaking news, you will be responsible for logging cases into databases, tracking cases and trends over time, and pitching follow-up stories ranging from humanizing narrative to month-over-month analysis.
This position will work as a bridge between breaking news and the criminal justice desk, which has an editor, one reporter covering policing and one covering the criminal justice system. It will also work in tandem with other reporters and newsroom producers.
Traits we are looking for:
- Comfort with flexing different skillsets (and learning new ones), like writing, reporting, and using multimedia.
- A keen interest in how crime and breaking news affects everyday people.
- An insatiable curiosity that leads you to be a little bit of a generalist about many topics.
- A love of finding stories no one else is telling.
- An interest in new ways of informing and engaging audiences on social platforms and alternate story forms.
- A love of serving information needs with stories but also solutions and conversation.
- A mindset of growth and change, and a willingness to try, be wrong, and learn from failure.
- The ability to grow and cultivate sources from all walks of life - whether police, activists, or everyday citizens.
- A passion for empathetic, compassionate storytelling, and the ability to report on difficult, often traumatic, and emotional topics.
- Report quickly, clearly, and accurately and deliver news, via stories, video, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other methods available to reach our audience.
- Use metrics to inform story choices and shape beat strategies.
- Identifies top crime stories of the day, based on analytics and audience potential.
- Cultivates a beat, knowing the ins/outs of the beat and its key players. Has a genuine interest in people and ability to build trust.
- Writes and/or produces multimedia content that appeals to key audience targets and maximizes user experience on digital and social platforms to reach readers where they spend their time and attention.
- Jump on breaking news. Research, write, report, photograph, video and/or voice a variety of stories.
- Engage on social media with sources and audience.
- Experiment with new ways of informing and engaging audiences on social platforms and alternate storyforms.
- Monitor real-time news and sniff out the most important and fascinating stories important to our audiences in addition to pursue enterprise/investigative work to uncover stories that no one else is reporting.
- Demonstrate fast news judgement on an ongoing basis.
- Collaborate with others and work with a team on the biggest stories.
- Bachelor's or master's in communications, journalism or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
- Some amount of experience in journalism.
- Strong command of AP style and grammar.
- Strong copy-editing skills and the ability to produce content that is clean, accurate and "publication ready."
- Comfort using social media such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to enhance reporting and promote stories.
- Understands reporting ethics and sourcing.
- Able to work occasional late nights as needed by the news cycle.
- 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 post-offer pre-employment background check, motor vehicle record check & drug screen.
- 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.
Gannett Co., Inc. is a proud equal opportunity employer committed to building and maintaining a diverse workforce. As such, we will consider all qualified applicants for employment and do not discriminate in connection with employment decisions on the basis of an applicant or employee's race, color, national origin, ethnicity, ancestry, citizenship status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, marital status, personal appearance (including height and weight), sexual orientation, family responsibilities, physical or mental disability, medical condition, pregnancy status (including childbirth, breastfeeding or related medical conditions), education, genetic characteristics or information, political affiliation, military or veteran status or other classifications protected by applicable federal, state and local laws in the jurisdictions where Gannett employs employees. In addition, Gannett Co., Inc. will provide applicants who require a reasonable accommodation, as a result of an applicant's disability or religion, to complete this employment application and/or any other process in connection with an individuals' application for employment with Gannett Co., Inc. Applicants who require such accommodation should contact Gannett Co., Inc.'s Recruitment Department at Recruit@gannett.com.