Local Government/Watchdog Reporter
- Palm Springs, CA
Palm Springs, CA, USA Req #9910
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
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Local Government/Watchdog Reporter
The Desert Sun/ desertsun.comin Palm Springs, California, part of the USA TODAY NETWORK, seeks a watchdog reporter who is fluent in Spanish to cover the eastern Coachella Valley, including the cities of Indio and Coachella.
This area east of Los Angeles is bursting with amazing stories to chase or conceive, ranging from farmworker issues to environmental concerns at the Salton Sea and the development of "surf clubs" in the middle of the desert.
We are looking for a reporter who will hold public officials accountable and help our audience make informed decisions about their communities--from the spending of tax dollars, to the quality of their schools and the safety of their neighborhoods. Although your first task is to serve the local community, we want someone who will strive to use this local beat as a launching pad for stories with statewide or national impact.
This job is well suited for a reporter who can think critically and creatively and write with clarity and impact on complex issues. We will expect you to break important news and develop stories that engage our audiences on multiple platforms.
You must build trust with sources and have an eye for important details buried in local government agendas, budgets and public records. You should have work samples that demonstrate an aptitude for data-driven stories and familiarity with FOIA requests, and a track record of producing compelling, timely, well-sourced stories. We expect that you can recognize compelling, socially shareable stories and that you will be quick to jump on them.
In addition, we will ask you to connect with the community not just via social media, but on camera, and through community forums and events.
- Creates storytelling that accurately informs, entertains and engages specific audiences and platforms through the use of metrics.
- Works toward becoming the community's leading voice in area of expertise.
- 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 strategist to evaluate what's working and what's not and develops ongoing plans to better satisfy audience needs.
- Collaborates with content team to provide all appropriate elements for stories (i.e. photos, videos and graphics). Captures basic photos and video as needed.
- Promotes personal brand, the brands of colleagues and the institutional brand.
- Provides great customer service, helping readers find answers and solutions.
- Bachelor's or master's degree in communications, journalism, marketing or related field preferred or equivalent combination of education and experience.
- Two to five years of reporting experience. Experience with datasets and/or retrieving public records through the FOIA process.
- Candidates fluent in Spanish will be given preference.
- Work samples that demonstrate storytelling techniques on multiple platforms.
- Proven experience producing accurate reports under deadline pressure, in a style that resonates with mobile and social audiences.
- Proficiency on social media platforms including, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Reddit.
- Effective communicator; able to get along with diverse personalities.
- Ability to shoot basic photos and videos in a breaking news situation.
- Strong news judgement and ability to multitask.
- Strong writing, spelling and grammar skills; familiarity with AP style.
- Must be able to work occasional night and weekend shifts.
- 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 and drug screen (for all driving roles only).
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.
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.
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