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  Pharmaceuticals Correspondent
Industry: Radio - Digital Job Posted: 10/11/2019
Location: Northeast Region Job Status: Full Time
Experience Level: TBD

Job Description:

A thriving, mission-driven multimedia organization, NPR produces award-winning news, information, and music programming in partnership with hundreds of independent public radio stations across the nation. The NPR audience values information, creativity, curiosity, and social responsibility – our employees do too. Innovators and leaders in diverse fields, from journalism and digital media to IT and development. Every day, our employees and member stations touch the lives of millions worldwide.

The award winning Science Desk of NPR is looking for a seasoned Correspondent who is well-versed in the intricacies of the health-care system, drug pricing and the business of health care. This new role will focus on the pharmaceutical industry and related forces that have a substantial impact on health care spending.

With the support of NPR’s Science, Business and Investigations Teams, the Correspondent is expected to create nothing short of groundbreaking, original journalism of distinction covering the pharmaceuticals and health care industry and how complex financial incentives affect patient access and care.

Reporting must be sophisticated not only in its depth and complexity but also in the quality of its storytelling on all platforms. One of the most vital elements of NPR’s public service mission is its commitment to holding powerful institutions to account, and the Pharmaceuticals Correspondent is accountable for fulfilling that goal. While the emphasis is on in-depth reporting, the correspondent will be expected to initiate and develop medium and short-term stories as well as cover breaking news when warranted.


• Report and write original and consequential investigative stories about health care that live up to NPR’s standards for accuracy, fairness and newsworthiness.
• Write text-focused stories, often in long-form, with the same ambition, creativity and high editorial standards as NPR’s audio projects.
• Record, gather or identify sound elements to turn each investigative piece into a rich and memorable audio experience.
• Take responsibility for the success of investigative projects on all editorial platforms, including digital and visual media, social networks and various audio platforms, with the goal of reaching the largest audiences with the biggest impact.
• Work collaboratively with editors, reporters and researchers on NPR’s Investigations, Science and Business Desks to pursue reporting threads.
• Cultivate sources and make use of reporting tools like FOIA, financial filings, database acquisition and analysis and data mining to uncover original stories that matter.
• Work on major, long-term projects, as well as medium- and short-deadline pieces, sometimes simultaneously.
• Work with other NPR employees, member station reporters and editors and external editorial partners in developing reporting projects.
• Prioritize and manage time well; meet deadlines; remain responsive and flexible in the face of the demands of programming and the news cycle.
• In pitching, identify essential elements and anticipate issues of balance or fairness. Explain why the story is worthy of attention and why a listener/reader should care.
• Take the necessary steps to update, gain and sharpen the skills and knowledge required by a fast-evolving topic area.
• Fulfill administrative obligations arising from assignments, such as filing prompt and accurate expense records and program information/summaries; maintaining contact with editors and appropriate producers; keeping editors and appropriate producers informed about assignments.
• Ensure that all content complies with NPR’s editorial standards.
• Represent NPR in public forums and gatherings as needed.
• Assume other duties as assigned by the Senior Supervising Science Editor.


Bachelor's degree or equivalent.


• At least 5 years’ experience as a reporter covering the business of health care.
• At least 5 years’ experience in a daily or weekly news organization.
• Demonstrated knowledge of:
• federal and state health systems and issues;
• the health-care industry, including pharmaceuticals, insurance and providers
• Demonstrated track record in:
• Writing for the Web and use of social media;
• Producing original, compelling stories that break news and advance coverage
• Anticipating, recognizing and responding swiftly to news;
• Analyzing scientific studies quickly and presenting clear and compelling explanations in written and oral reports;
• Reporting on issues in clinical medicine.
• Strong sourcing with leading medical and health policy experts.
• Working knowledge of key sectors of the health industry.
• Thorough knowledge of news, feature and investigative reporting techniques.
• Ability to handle multiple and complex projects simultaneously under stringent timeframes and changing priorities/conditions.
• Ability and willingness to work varied shifts.
• Proven ability to consistently work well with others, demonstrating at all times respect for the diverse constituencies at NPR and within the public radio system.
• Ability to relocate. In the future, NPR may choose to transfer employees to other geographic locations. Severance provisions of the AFTRA collective bargaining agreement may apply should you choose not to accept a transfer.



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