Multimedia Journalist - UT/Higher Education Beat

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The Knoxville News Sentinel is looking for a multimedia journalist for its University of Tennessee/higher education beat. UT-Knoxville is the state's flagship university, with some 27,500 students. Nationally ranked programs include supply chain management, nuclear engineering, law, and social work. The university jointly manages the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and its football team was in the Associated Press preseason top-10 this year.

As a news beat, the University of Tennessee in Knoxville has many dimensions. It is a community of some 35,000 students, faculty and staff, with issues involving housing, traffic, safety, health and culture. It is an engine of innovation and entrepreneurship generating stories of progress and discovery. It is a huge government operation, demanding watchdog scrutiny. It is fount of expertise ready to add context to broader news. And it is one of Tennessee's most dynamic hubs of ideas and discourse, attracting controversy and excitement.

Covering the beat involves maintaining a lively mix of stories reflecting the richness of the environment. Often there will be breaking news, good and bad. There should also be a steady stream of weekend enterprise, including quarterly in-depth take-outs. Ultimately, people make up the university, and the best storytelling will convey what's happening on campus through the experiences of individuals. Visual journalism will be an important part of these stories, and video should accompany nearly every significant piece. Engagement is an important part of the beat, too, and the reporter should build connections through direct interaction and social media, especially on the platforms preferred on campus. The School of Journalism and Electronic Media, where students and instructors are natural allies, should be an occasional touch point for monitoring campus trends and concerns.

Typical job duties/requirements include:

  • Bachelor's degree in journalism or related discipline
  • At least three years of reporting experience
  • Aggressive, relentless reporting, seeking to break news and illuminate complex and nuanced issues.
  • Bright, engaging writing.
  • Using diverse multimedia tools and techniques, especially smartphone video and photography.
  • Building audience through social media, SEO, use of analytics, and direct community engagement.
  • Developing sources, mining social media and understanding market data to find and develop relevant and impactful content.
  • Producing a mix of daily stories, weekly take-outs and quarterly analytical projects.
  • Expertise with all major social media platforms


Our news organization is part of the USA TODAY NETWORK - Tennessee, a statewide team with other newsrooms in Memphis, Nashville, and several smaller cities across the state. Our journalists work in close collaboration, and strong communication and teamwork skills are essential. As part of the Tennessee and larger USA TODAY NETWORK, this journalist's responsibility includes producing state and national content as news dictates.

The News Sentinel is committed to quality journalism. It is the 2017 winner of the Online News Association's breaking news award, and its accountability reporting has won the national APME First Amendment Award twice in the past 10 years.

Knoxville lies at the center of one of the most beautiful parts of the country, with the Great Smoky Mountains as the metro area's backyard. In the most musical of states, the region holds its own with local stars such as Dolly Parton and a deep tradition of blue grass and Appalachian roots music. Downtown is experiencing a lively renaissance, and an urban wilderness offers a natural haven nearby. SEC football is played in a stadium that seats more than 100,000.

The area's scientific and academic community is anchored by the world-class Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee, flagship of the state's higher education system. Also, headquartered in the city are the Tennessee Valley Authority, the nation's biggest utility; and the operations of Discovery Inc., the cable giant that includes HGTV, the Food Network, Animal Planet and TLC.

Interested candidates should apply with a cover letter, resume and web address to samples of your work.

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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