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Children & Education Reporter
The Clarion-Ledger/clarionledger.com, part of the USA TODAY NETWORK is looking for a Children and education reporter to cover the unprecedented challenges facing K-12 education in Mississippi. This reporter should explore inequities through both short-term and longer-term reporting, and through explanatory, watchdog and storytelling pieces.
This beat begins with K-12 education, but it should be considered much, much broader and thought of in a fundamentally different way. It includes topics ranging from young families, the socio-economic well-being of kids, access to health care, access to internships and jobs, drug abuse, obesity, food deserts, high-achieving students, third-grade reading achievement, dropout and graduation rates, rural issues, access to arts education, internet access, teacher development and quality, safety – anything and everything that impacts the well-being of Mississippi’s children and their futures.
It should move away from day-to-day coverage of the school board, superintendent and district employees. Those topics remain an important component but should not dominate daily coverage decisions unless warranted. Think more in terms of shorter enterprise with mobile-first focus, including spotlighting trends and providing accountability.
Video must be top of mind and filed with virtually every story. This digital journalist should be regularly filing weekend enterprise as well, including about one in-depth project a quarter. In addition to serving his/her local market, this journalist will occasionally work across the south region with other Children and Education reporters to brainstorm and potentially collaborate on broader region-wide topics.
The ideal candidate has the proven ability to tailor storytelling to social, video and digital platforms.
Candidates should have a track record of covering these issues on a regular basis and a portfolio that reflects deep reporting and examples of strong storytelling.
- Researches, reports, writes and helps create compelling text and multimedia journalism delivering benefits to families and the broader community on how well teachers, coaches, caretakers and policy makers are educating and supporting the development of the region and state’s children and young adults.
- Reports on the protection of children, including issues such as violence (school, relationship, etc.), drugs, technology and mental health in concert with other reporters on the investigations and enterprise team or elsewhere in the newsroom.
- Makes it a mission to inform and engage readers through a combination of breaking news, mobile-friendly explainer stories, live chats and other non-traditional story forms as well as watchdog reporting and narratives. This requires answering from the get-go how a story can deliver benefits to our target audiences.
- Uses data, records and source development to provide deep and thoughtful analysis of complex issues.
- Acts as a public ambassador through community outreach and connects with influencers and engaged readers through social media.
- Is comfortable and enthusiastic about using multiple and appropriate social media channels to enhance reporting and promote stories.
- Collaborates with other education reporters in the network as assigned.
- Bachelor's or master’s degree in communications, journalism, marketing or related field or equivalent combination of education and experience.
- Candidates should have at least three years of reporting experience and working at a news organization.
- Advanced knowledge of social media and customer feedback tools, including how to engage customers on digital platforms in the public space.
- Deep understanding of and curiosity about competition for our audience's time and money.
- Proficiency on social media platforms; including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Reddit.
- Energetic self-starter and a fast thinker who can spot stories that matter.
- Experience shooting and editing photos and video on an iPhone.
- Strong communication skills, news judgement 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.
- This position involves an early start to the day and occasional weekend work.
- 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 post-offer pre-employment background check and drug screen (for driving roles only).
How to Apply:
We are eager to learn more about you and how you fit this role. When you apply, don’t limit your upload to a resume; show us what you’ve done. To do so, put together a single document file that includes the following, in this order:
1. Your resume – one to two pages.
2. A cover letter that outlines how you would approach the job.
3. Links to 3-6 online samples of your work. Show us what you’ve produced or had a hand in that best reflects what you can do in your desired role.
It is important that these items be assembled into a single document and uploaded in PDF format. Completing these steps will ensure that your application receives the highest consideration.
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.