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  State Politics Reporter
Employer: The Des Moines Register Job Posted: 10/23/2019
Location: Des Moines, IA Job Status: Full Time

Job Description:

The Des Moines Register/desmoinesregister.com, part of the USA TODAY NETWORK and a Pulitzer Prize-winning news organization, is seeking a State Politics Reporter who can balance digital-first issues coverage with quick turnaround analysis and explainer pieces.

This reporter will produce quick-turn and in-depth enterprise that examines the impact of government policy and politics as well as work that holds public officials and state government accountable. The reporter will be based in the Capitol during the 2019 legislative session and work with the politics team on elections and coverage of the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses. We’re looking for someone who can develop a deep network of sources, has a skill for storytelling across platforms and enjoys working on a team.

The Statehouse role is a 10-month assignment while another reporter is on a fellowship. The successful applicant would then move into another reporting position at the Register.

The Des Moines Register has a long history of results-driven political coverage that helps set and shape the discussion of issues facing our state and country. You would join a talented roster of journalists who make up our team.

The Des Moines Register is a 17-time Pulitzer Prize winner. We reach readers across the state with our daily Des Moines Register editions, our award-winning DesMoinesRegister.com website and various nondaily publications.


• Handle daily assignments and provide daily coverage of key events and issues.
• Help cover the legislative session at the start of each year.
• Focus on local, regional and statewide politics and issues.
• Be a key member of the 2019 and 2020 election coverage team.
• Provide quick analysis that helps readers know “what this really means.”
• Create storytelling that accurately informs, entertains and engages specific audiences and platforms through the use of metrics.
• Work toward becoming the community’s leading voice in area of expertise.
• Serve as a public ambassador for our brand through community outreach and connecting with the community through storytelling and outreach (social media, on camera, forums, community leadership, etc.).
• Provide thoughtful analysis of complex issues.
• Work with content strategist/editor to evaluate what's working and what's not and develop ongoing plans to better meet audience needs.
• Collaborate with content team to provide all appropriate elements for stories (i.e. photos, videos and graphics). Capture basic photos and video as needed.
• Promote personal brand, the brands of colleagues and the institutional brand.


• Bachelor's or master’s in communications, journalism, marketing or a related field or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
• 3 years’ journalism/newsroom experience is required; even better if you've covered a political beat or have previous state Capitol or congressional reporting experience.
• Advanced Excel, coding language and mapping skills are preferred.
• Proficiency on social media platforms, including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Reddit.
• Experience shooting and editing photos and producing video as needed on an iPhone and using live chats, social media and other digital tools to present news in novel ways.
• Ability to use metrics to understand what’s resonating with readers and will shape coverage to steadily increase target audiences.
• Energetic self-starter and a fast thinker who can spot stories that matter.
• Strong communication skills, news judgment and headline-writing ability.
• Ability to multitask and excel under intense deadline pressure.
• Ability to work collaboratively and efficiently with a team of journalists.
• Strong writing, spelling and grammar skills; familiarity with AP style.
• Command of media law and principles of ethical conduct.
• Ideal candidate will possess knowledge of SEO, analytics, digital tools and production, and public records.
• 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 background check.

Req #9100

To Apply:


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