National Politics Reporter

Editorial Washington, DC


The McClatchy Washington Bureau is looking for an aggressive, news-breaking journalist to join our national politics reporting team, serving our 30 news organizations nationwide. The requirements of this job are straightforward: break news on the 2020 campaign and deliver original reporting that is not only competitive but dominant on the stories that matter most to our readers and viewers. This reporter also will be the team lead on a curated newsletter that captures the best politics coverage produced by McClatchy reporters from coast to coast.

This is not a typical DC politics job. While the ideal candidate will excel at building deep networks of well-placed sources inside campaigns and committees, and among donors and activists, she or he will be serving readers far beyond the bubble — in communities as diverse as Miami and Sacramento, Kansas City and Fort Worth, Raleigh and Fresno. The successful candidate will have a solid understanding of McClatchy’s markets and know how to use data to inform story selection so that we are always thinking first of the needs of our audience.

This reporter will work as part of a core team that includes reporters and editors in Washington as well as other political writers in newsrooms throughout our organization, including the Miami Herald, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Charlotte Observer, News & Observer in Raleigh, the Sacramento Bee, and others.

Specific responsibilities:

  • Breaking news and advancing storylines on candidates and campaign issues important to McClatchy’s audience.
  • Writing the top to a weekly newsletter of the best political enterprise and investigative coverage produced by McClatchy’s large network of political reporters nationwide. Experimenting with political content delivery on new audio and video platforms.
  • Driving coverage and pitching ideas that put McClatchy and our 30 newsrooms nationwide ahead of the competition. The majority of the coverage should come from the reporter's notebook, as she/he works the beat.
  • Maintaining an open, frequent and collaborative line of communication with various reporting teams in the Washington Bureau and other newsrooms within McClatchy.
  • Writing with a digital-first mentality. That includes thinking about shareable headlines, meta heads and SEO, using links in text and embedding videos, podcasts and other assets. The reporter will be responsible for creating packages in our content management systems.


  • 5 years of reporting experience in a news organization
  • A track-record of breaking news and delivering exclusives
  • An understanding of audience metrics and social media trends, and the ability to respond to them
  • Fresh writing style, with an engaging, conversational voice
  • Ability to work with and process data
  • Solid understanding of the current political/economic/social themes driving coverage and a track record of delivering new and original approaches to these coverage areas.
  • Collaborative approach that prioritizes getting the best story for our audience