PolitiFact Wisconsin/Local Government Reporter

Milwaukee, WI, USA ● Wisconsin, USA Req #15029
Friday, April 9, 2021

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PolitiFact Wisconsin/Local Government Reporter

We are seeking a reporter with experience producing smart, sharp and pointed fact-checks to join our PolitiFact Wisconsin team and be part of a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel team focused on rethinking and refocusing our coverage of local government.

This reporter will anchor our PolitiFact Wisconsin operation, the leading state site within the PolitiFact national network. The job requires a strong familiarity with state political figures and issues, a curious and critical mind for analyzing claims, a willingness to ferret out research reports and to identify and interview independent experts, and an unflagging commitment to precision, accuracy and fairness.

Most importantly, he or she will be responsible for thinking like a reader, and identifying timely, interesting and relevant fact-checks for us to pursue. The successful applicant must be able to write clearly and concisely, with an eye toward making factchecks relevant to our time-pressed readers. In addition to writing, the reporter will be responsible for identifying potential fact-checks and, when necessary, helping other reporters with sourcing and general pointers. He or she will load them into the PolitiFact content management system, so attention to detail is a must.

The job of a fact-checker, of course, requires a thick skin – but also an openness to criticism, and a willingness to consider and evaluate all information in a quest to be consistent, accurate and fair.

In addition, the reporter will be part of a team covering city and county government, partnering with an existing reporter to help readers understand what their government is up to, from how tax dollars are being spent to how services are delivered and problems tackled. In short, at City Hall and the County Courthouse, we want to continue our shift from institutional and incremental stories to coverage of how government is working for all its residents. That could mean investigating heavy-handed moves by regulators, or bureaucratic snafus that create problems with tax bills. Those stories could grow from tips, but also from a determined effort to stay on top of what is happening on the beat.

The successful candidate will be familiar with the workings of local government, able to turn daily stories as well as strong enterprise pieces, and be adept at identifying the best format for stories (straight news, Q&A, takeaways, etc.), always with an eye toward growing our audience – particularly busy readers who are not political junkies.

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.
  • Previous work in fact-checking or government coverage is a preferred for this position.
  • 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.
  • Strong news judgement 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 and drug screen (for all 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 

 

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. 

Other details

  • Job Family News
  • Job Function Consumer
  • Pay Type Hourly
  • Required Education Equivalent Experience
  • Milwaukee, WI, USA
  • Wisconsin, USA