The Ventura County Star/vcstar.com part of the USA TODAY NETWORK, is seeking an ambitious reporter with 3 to 5 years of experience to cover the city of Ventura. With a population of about 110,000, Ventura is a busy, highly engaged community, and there is no shortage of stories to be told.
This beat covers everything from city government and finances to homelessness, water, coastal issues, education and the arts scene. The ideal candidate should be able to identify local stories of interest and explain how issues affect the community. This reporter will be able to juggle short-term stories with longer enterprise pieces.
Candidates must be willing to occasionally cover stories outside their beat and collaborate with colleagues on larger projects. This position will include some coverage of two smaller cities in the county. Some night work will be required. Spanish speaker is a plus. Candidates must have some experience covering a city or government beat.
The Star is an award-winning daily newspaper with a primary focus on digital. We cover all of Ventura County, which includes 10 cities and unincorporated areas. We are part of the USA Today Network, which has more than 100 newsrooms across the United States. Reporters often have opportunities to collaborate with journalists across California and the nation on enterprise projects and breaking news.
We are located on the Southern California coast, within easy driving distance to Los Angeles, Malibu, Santa Barbara and the Central Coast. We have beautiful beaches and mountains, with sunshine and mild temperatures most of the year. It's the perfect location for someone who loves the outdoors.
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 news 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.
Bachelor's or masters in communications, journalism or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
Minimum of 3-5 years reporting experience.
Experience covering government, working with datasets and/or retrieving public records through the FOIA/CPRA process.
Experience shooting photos and videos is required and will file quickly across platforms: mobile, desktop and social media.
Strong command of AP grammar and style.
Strong copy-editing skills and the ability to produce content that is clean, accurate and "publication ready."
Is passionate and enthusiastic about news and content that will work well with audiences on social platforms.
A desire to grow and develop a key beat in our newsrooms.
Is comfortable using social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to enhance reporting and promote stories not only to share information but also to listen for what the community is talking about.
Understands reporting ethics and sourcing.
Excels in a fast-paced news environment and understands the digital first mission.
Collaborates well with others and can work with a team on the biggest stories.
Ability to speak Spanish is preferred.
This role requires a valid drivers license, reliable transportation, and the minimum liability insurance required by state law.