Politics Reporter

California, USA ● Palm Springs, CA, USA Req #14033
Monday, 22 February 2021

Politics Reporter
 

The Desert Sun/desertsun.com , the award-winning daily newspaper in Palm Springs, California and part of the USA TODAY NETWORK, seeks an experienced reporter to cover politics.


This is a high-impact beat, as it is responsible for ongoing coverage of local, regional and state politics and public policy of high interest to Coachella Valley readers, local public officials, and other local agencies. Good candidates have shown they can see through government spin, develop sourcing to scoop the competition and write in-depth reports that hold agencies accountable to the public.

 

In addition to writing about city and county politics, this reporter is key to our coverage of California state government, including state ballot initiatives and gubernatorial recall drives. This reporter will collaborate frequently with our local city government watchdog journalists at The Desert Sun as well as reporters at other USA TODAY Network newsrooms across the Golden State.

Our ideal candidate has a deep interest in politics and the mechanics of influence, and a gift to connect the dots and spot trends before others do. This reporter should relish digging through campaign finance reports, sleuthing through records and developing sources at all levels of government. Although we expect you to break news and produce quick turns on deadline, we do not just want to be stenographers for what politicians say or Tweet.

 

We are looking for a savvy, curious journalist who takes an enterprise approach. This reporter should generate profiles, analyses and investigations that hold people in power accountable for whether they’re serving our communities’ best interests. A knack for data journalism — or a willingness to learn — is a plus, as are Spanish-language skills. Engagement with social media is a must.

The Coachella Valley includes 9 city governments, 3 school districts, multiple water agencies and a variety of government associations and boards. It is situated in Riverside County, the nation’s 10th-largest county by population.

 

Responsibilities:
 

  • Creates storytelling that accurately informs, entertains and engages specific audiences and platforms through the use of metrics. 
  • Works toward becoming the community’s leading voice in area of expertise. 
  • Connects with the community through storytelling and outreach (social media, on camera, forums, community leadership, etc.) Provides thoughtful analysis of complex issues. 
  • Works with content strategist to evaluate what's working and what's not and develops ongoing plans to better satisfy audience needs.
  • Collaborates with content team to provide all appropriate elements for stories (i.e. photos, videos and graphics). Captures basic photos and video as needed.
  • Promotes personal brand, the brands of colleagues and the institutional brand. 
  • Provides great customer service, helping readers find answers and solutions. 

 

Requirements:

  • Bachelor's or master’s degree in communications, journalism, marketing or related field preferred or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • This is not an entry-level position. Applicants should have a few years of experience in covering city or state government.
  • Work samples that demonstrate storytelling techniques on multiple platforms.
  • Proven experience producing accurate reports under deadline pressure, in a style that resonates with mobile and social audiences.
  • Proficiency on social media platforms including, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Reddit.
  • Effective communicator; able to get along with diverse personalities.
  • Ability to shoot basic photos and videos in a breaking news situation.
  • Strong news judgment and ability to multitask.
  • Strong writing, spelling and grammar skills; familiarity with AP style.
  • 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, motor vehicle record check & urinalysis drug screen (for driving roles only).

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.

 

#Content 

Other details

  • Job Family Columnist and Journalist
  • Job Function Consumer
  • Pay Type Hourly
  • Required Education Equivalent Experience
  • California, USA
  • Palm Springs, CA, USA