Cops/Courts Reporter

Asheville, NC, USA ● North Carolina, USA Req #14068
Monday, February 22, 2021

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Cops/Courts Reporter


The Citizen Times/, part of the USA TODAY is seeking a reporter to produce enterprise and watchdog work focusing on issues and trends affecting Asheville/Buncombe law enforcement, as well as the court system.


This reporter develops enterprise and watchdog work on the cops/courts beat, including coverage of trends, social justice issues, financial issues and noteworthy cases. This reporter would jump into Asheville issues, such as firings of law enforcement officers, as well as cases that include officers in criminal cases.


This reporter also will be expected to write quick turnarounds on the news of the day, and he/she will also be expected to tackle police defunding and budgets. Understanding NC’s public records laws is key.

This position could include a Saturday shift.


Asheville, North Carolina is a vibrant community in the heart of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and is home to some of the nation's best mountain biking, hiking and kayaking. It's also known as a top restaurant destination and boasts dozens of craft breweries.




  • Staying abreast of court dockets for Asheville/Buncombe, as well as monitoring federal courts for occasional stories.
  • This reporter is expected to consistently break exclusive news, staying ahead of the competition on daily and enterprise work.
  • Source development will be critical, cultivating contacts among judges, attorneys and court staff.
  • The cops/courts reporter also will work breaking news and general assignments as necessary.
  • The cops/courts reporter must identify, produce and post stories, photos and video across platforms: mobile, desktop and social media.
  • Clear, fast writing is essential, along with the ability to turn coverage of court proceedings into readable storytelling.
  • This reporter will use live chats, social media, video and other tools to replace or supplement traditional story forms.
  • He or she will use metrics to understand what’s resonating with readers and will shape coverage to steadily increase the audience. 




  • Bachelor's or master’s degree in communications, journalism, marketing or related field or equivalent combination of education and experience. We will also consider candidates with strong internships.
  • Minimum of 2 years’ professional reporting/newsroom experience.
  • Adept at taking photos and video and will file quickly across platforms: mobile, desktop and social media.
  • Strong command of AP grammar and style.
  • Strong copy-editing skills and the ability to produce content that is clean, accurate and "publication ready."
  • Is passionate and enthusiastic about news and content that will work well with audiences on social platforms.
  • Comfortable in fluid, fast-breaking, stressful situations.
  • A desire to grow and develop a key beat in our newsrooms.
  • Is comfortable using social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to enhance reporting and promote stories.
  • Understands reporting ethics and sourcing.
  • Excels in a fast-paced news environment and understands the digital first mission.
  • Collaborates well with others and can work with a team on the biggest stories.
  • Able to work occasional late nights as needed by the news cycle.
  • 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 a motor vehicle record check & 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
  • Asheville, NC, USA
  • North Carolina, USA