State Government Watchdog Reporter

Columbia, SC, USA ● Greenville, SC, USA ● South Carolina, USA Req #14059
Monday, February 22, 2021

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State Government Watchdog Reporter


The Greenville News/, part of the USA TODAY NETWORK is seeking an aggressive, enterprising reporter to cover state government in Columbia, SC.


This reporter will cover the South Carolina Legislature with a focus on how the issues it deals with affect residents of Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson and the rest of the Upstate. That means you’ll need strong connections to the state legislative delegation, but also a thorough understanding of the Upstate’s culture and people.


Additionally, we’ll ask you to build relationships with key members of the South Carolina congressional delegation so we can report on their activities when it makes sense for our audience and for the USA TODAY Network.


This job is about connecting the people in the Upstate to the work that’s being done on their behalf in Columbia. We care far less about obscure subcommittees then we do about how important legislation will impact families and businesses in Greenville, Spartanburg and Anderson counties. That means your stories will be based as much on the people in our communities as on the official voices in Columbia.


Our Legislature meets for five months of the year. Which means in the summer and fall your focus will shift to enterprise reporting on statewide issues with local impact, such as broadband access, highway infrastructure, educational access, the state foster care system and others. Often, we’ll ask you to partner with reporters in our Upstate newsrooms on the investigative and watchdog work we publish.


The Greenville News is the largest of three USA TODAY Network newsrooms in Upstate South Carolina. The position will provide content to all three – Greenville, the Spartanburg Herald-Journal and the Anderson Independent Mail.


Columbia, SC, is in the heart of the state, due south of Charlotte, NC, and about an hour and half drive from Greenville. It’s a short drive to the mountains of North Carolina and the coast of South Carolina as well as places such as Charleston, Savannah and Atlanta. It’s also the home of the University of South Carolina, the state’s largest public university.


The ideal candidate will:

  • Be an independent worker who is good at connecting with people.
  • Be able to develop a strong source network among both elected leaders and the people in our communities.
  • Know how to tell a government story through the eyes of the people affected.
  • Be able to connect state news to our local communities.
  • Have an eye for audience development and growing subscribers.
  • Recognize stories that have the potential to grow audience.
  • Have an understanding of digital metrics and analytics.
  • Believe in a subscriber-based model for digital journalism.


  • 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.
  • Use digital analytics to guide content decisions. 


  • Bachelor's or master’s degree in communications, journalism or related field preferred or equivalent combination of education and experience.  
  • 2 years’ experience covering local communities and/or state government
  • Proficiency on social media platforms; including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit and Snap Chat.
  • 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.
  • Strong writing, spelling and grammar skills; familiarity with AP style.
  • This position will be based in Columbia, SC, although some travel to Greenville will be expected.
  • 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.



Other details

  • Job Family Columnist and Journalist
  • Job Function Consumer
  • Pay Type Hourly
  • Required Education Equivalent Experience
  • Columbia, SC, USA
  • Greenville, SC, USA
  • South Carolina, USA