Early Childhood Reporter
The Fort-Worth Star-Telegram is looking for an Early Childhood Reporter. This reporter will focus on challenges and solutions around issues that affect the welfare of young children in our fast-growing and diverse region of North Texas, including topics around parent engagement, access to daycare, preschool, kindergarten preparedness, early childhood development and gaps in elementary education in our public school systems. These are all critically important issues that frequently intersect with other key beats, including politics, growth, government accountability and economic development.
The position will primarily target communities in Tarrant County and schools that serve the city of Fort Worth, including the Fort Worth Independent School District. Only 38 percent of third-grade students in the district are reading at grade level, a statistic that raises serious questions about the future prosperity of our children.
This reporter will focus on raising community awareness about challenges related to the critical development that occurs early in a child’s life (birth through third grade), while also focusing on solutions and highlighting the programs, agencies and people who are invested in improvement. The reporter’s work will hold those institutions and the community accountable for improvement while also celebrating success.
This reporter will provide deeply reported enterprise and accountability stories, along with daily beat reporting. The reporter’s work will help make the community aware of opportunities to engage, and the reporter may help arrange and participate in community engagement events.
This position is designed for a reporter who understands or has the demonstrated ability to quickly understand, public education systems and factors related to early childhood development. The reporter should have a track record of presenting issues in a way that connects with broad audiences.
The Early Childhood Reporter is part of the Fort Worth Star-Telgram’s philanthropically funded Crossroads Lab. The Lab’s work primarily centers around challenges related to education, healthcare, social services and racial equity. It strives to raise awareness and spark community engagement around these issues, to find new and innovative ways to tell these stories, and – most importantly – to drive change.
Fort Worth is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country and is the 13th largest city in the United States. Its population is diverse, with about 35% of the population Hispanic or Latino, over 18% Black and about 5% Asian, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The Star-Telegram is committed to better representing the diverse North Texas communities we cover and to building an inclusive newsroom for staffers of all backgrounds. We encourage members of historically underrepresented communities to apply, including women, people of color, LGBTQ people and people with disabilities.
- Fluency in English and Spanish preferred.
- Strong writing and reporting skills and excellent news judgment.
- Unwavering commitment to accurate, ethical journalism.
- Fluency in the science of readership and engagement, including an understanding of metrics/analytics programs and development of story ideas derived from data.
- Understanding of SEO and other optimization opportunities and a demonstrated ability to learn new skills in social and digital.
- Strong interpersonal skills, including empathy and the ability to take and give constructive criticism.
- Understanding of open records law and ability to file, manage and oversee requests pertinent to beat work.
- Ability to engage with readers and develop sources on social media platforms including but not limited to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
- Ability to develop a breadth and variety of sources.
- Ability to understand audience lenses and correctly identify audiences for selected stories.
- Ability to work on both daily and enterprise stories concurrently, delivering both with consistency.
- Ability to meet deadlines.
- Ability to capture video and edit it (using phone).
EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE:
- Bachelor's degree in journalism or related field
- Two years of experience in a digital-first news environment preferred.
What we’ll bring: As a journalist at McClatchy, you will join a supportive, flexible, collaborative team. McClatchy strives to be an employer of choice, and our benefits package is made with this goal in mind. With a focus on health, well-being, wealth and daily life, our package options include healthcare coverage for employees and their families, financial protection from expected and unexpected expenses, multiple no-cost wellness resources and even coverage for four-legged friends.
Our overall benefits package also includes a 401(k) with employer match, competitive paid time off and corporate holidays, and a variety of mental health benefits. With an excellent support team and with focus on your well-being as a top corporate strategy, McClatchy provides benefits to support you and your family in achieving your health and wellness goals. For more information on McClatchy's benefit plan, please visit McClatchyLivewell.com.
About McClatchy: Our impact is growing every day. 30 growing markets. Over 65 million monthly readers. 56 Pulitzer Prizes. A strong portfolio of dynamic partnerships and smart investments. Our award-winning journalism, digital reach, and commitment to innovative growth have never been stronger.
As a member of the McClatchy family, you are part of a flexible, empowering, and exciting culture dedicated to creating a work/life balance and consistent opportunities for growth—a place where you have a voice and the ability to impact our future. It’s an exciting time to be here. Our company is experiencing the most transformative period in its history. We’re growing rapidly in the digital space and delivering award-winning journalism in innovative ways.