Public Safety Reporter
The Sun News is looking for a versatile, committed and deeply intentional journalist to join its three-person public safety/breaking news reporting team to cover Horry County and The GrandStrand.
This reporter will require a level of narrative writing and ability to pivot from daily breaking and spot news to enterprise and some investigative work using digital tools, databases, archives and FOIAs. This position needs someone who relishes in digging deep and wants to shift daily police coverage to specifically connecting how police, prosecutors and judges use their power and what is gained or lost. And in some cases, news may require this journalist to sit on the windowsills of tragedy and capture the emotions of those dealing with a horrible experience in a humanistic and compassionate way. The reporter must also be able to take stories of national importance and tell our communities how it impacts them.
Clear, fast writing is paramount along with the ability to write enterprise off-spot and breaking news and to do so in an interesting and compelling way. Building authentic and true sources in the community and in law enforcement agencies is crucial. This reporter is digitally sound and mobile-focused and is comfortable capturing iPhone videos and photos.
This position is far-reaching. One day, may require something quick on a shark sighting or attack, and jump back into an investigation on ocean drownings, policing in America, court fees and ticketing. There are no shortages of stories that are intriguing, nuanced and thought-provoking for this public safety reporter to write.
While days and hours can vary, this reporter will work Tuesday through Sunday.
- Conduct research, interview sources and write stories that inform, captivate and grow the audience. Most stories will be short-term in focus and execution; however, may participate in a long-term assignment.
- Use social media, Google Trends and other tools to identify and report stories that are essential to our communities and build an audience for our journalism.
- Develop sources that are relevant to beat assignment and that reflect the diversity of the community - in race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, occupation and other identifiers.
- Meet all deadlines as assigned by the editor.
- Stay up to date with the latest current events related to beat topics.
- Meet audience goals established by the editor.
- Write stories using proper grammar and following AP style guidelines. Revise stories as requested by the editor.
- Take simple photographs and videos as needed.
- Sets agenda on beats and assignments with direction from the editor.
- Abide by McClatchy’s ethics policy.
- Valid driver’s license.
- Reliable transportation.
- Vehicle insurance required (at least minimum insurance required for the state in which the employee works).
- Research, writing and reporting skills and the ability to navigate online search engines.
- Strong grounding in journalism ethics, and an unwavering Commitment to accurate and ethical journalism.
- Ability to write ethical, honest, accurate and objective stories, exhibit solid news judgment.
- Understanding of how to use analytics such as: subscriber conversion, page views, time on site and referral sources to help determine which stories resonate with which audiences.
- Ability to use social media platforms to reach and engage with audiences.
- A strong understanding of audience trends and digital media. Ability to correctly identify audiences for selected stories.
- Ability to prioritize and meet short- and long-term deadlines in a fast-paced, data-driven work environment and to accurately fact-check information.
- Ability to work a flex schedule including nights and weekends. Must be able to work remotely while contributing to a team environment.
- Excellent interpersonal, problem solving and teamwork skills.
- Excellent communication and active listening skills.
- Ability to interact professionally and build relationships and develop sources with a diverse array of people.
- Ability to work well, be professional and courteous with a variety of editors, staff at all levels and the public.
- Computer proficiency (Google for Enterprise, web search, databases)
- Basic knowledge and an aptitude to report on Twitter with the ability to report short, accurate, ethical facts on Twitter post as a story is unfolding and the ability to interact with the public on Twitter in a professional and courteous manner
- Regular and reliable attendance.
- Bachelor’s degree in journalism or related field; or, the equivalent education, experience, skills and knowledge needed to do the job
- 2-5 years of full-time reporting experience.
Ability to report on specialized fields such as medicine, technology, environmental issues, science, politics, sports, arts, education, etc.