The Evansville Courier & Press, part of the USA TODAY NETWORK, seeks a watchdog reporter to cover public entities, including the city and county government. The reporter will be responsible for coverage that holds public officials accountable and helps readers make informed decisions about their community, from the spending of their tax dollars to the safety of their neighborhood. The watchdog reporter must consistently gain/build trust with sources and demonstrate a keen eye for important details found in local government agendas, budgets and other public records. The reporter instinctively seeks documentation and data yet understands that the best stories are about people. The reporter also must recognize compelling, socially shareable stories and be quick to jump on them.
We are looking for an experienced reporter who can cover the complexities of city and county government in a way that not only resonates with our readers but also attracts a new audience who may not typically be interested in traditional government reporting. The reporter must be a newshound, writer and able and willing to shoot video. They need a competitive edge and must be self-driven toward success. We want a smart and ambitious reporter who wants to contribute daily but is constantly seeking compelling long-term enterprise pieces and has the discipline and organization to pull off them both.
The ideal candidate is dedicated to watchdog journalism and can tell stories that go beyond meeting coverage. Were looking for someone who breaks big news and holds public officials accountable. This reporter must think beyond the daily reaction story, instead thinking how to develop the issue of the day into an explainer that boils down what people need to know.
We want a reporter who sees the big picture, knows what measures will gain traction and why, then is able to explain them in a digestible way. We want a watchdog reporter who will tell readers how their money is being spent and who is pulling the strings to get that money. The successful candidate will talk with people about issues that matter to them, then find out what the city and county is doing about those issues. In short, we want someone who writes for readers, not city and county officials.
This beat requires a reporter who can juggle multiple assignments and work on breaking news as well as short- and long-term enterprise. You must understand analytics and how to use that information to your advantage.
Here are some other requirements:
At least three years of experience at a daily news organization covering government
Strong understanding of city/county government
Familiarity with digital storytelling tools and techniques
Outstanding core journalism skills, including writing, spelling, grammar and AP style
Must thrive in a competitive news market while possessing a collaborative spirit
Deep understanding of journalism ethics
Experience with social media, online metrics, third party tools and content management systems
We offer a competitive base salary and career growth opportunities. We also offer you a comprehensive benefits package which includes medical, dental, vision, life insurance, short-term disability, long-term disability, Paid Time Off, Company Paid Holidays, employee discount programs and domestic partner benefits. Our 401(k) is top-notch and the contributions you make up to the first 5% are eligible for a 100% company match.