Accountability Reporter

News Merced, California


The Merced Sun-Star is seeking an accountability reporter to cover the city of Merced and the central San Joaquin Valley communities it serves.

This position is remote work from home in Merced.

The reporter will focus on publishing breaking news urgently as well as creating essential enterprise. At the Sun-Star, we consistently hold institutions accountable and helps our readers understand impactful issues and events. This requires a keen understanding of what’s important to people in our community, developed through reporting on and familiarity with the region as well as a thorough understanding of the metrics that drive audience growth.

The successful candidate will understand the need for speed when necessary and will be able to tell stories through words, video and photos -- and determine when it’s best to use each format. Social media skills -- including the ability to write compelling share-worthy headlines and familiarity with SEO -- are essential, as is familiarity with analyzing data and accessing public records.

Merced is a newsy city of more than 80,000 people in the state’s agricultural heartland. It’s home to UC Merced, the University of California’s 10th and newest campus. The coverage area offers an abundance of meaty storylines -- environment, education, poverty, growth. It’s a rich tableau for an enterprising journalist who wants to leave a mark.

Though not required, the ability to speak Spanish is a significant plus.

Applicants with experience are preferred, but recent college graduates who have professional internship or college newspaper experience are encouraged to apply. Must have an acceptable driving record, proof of insurance and dependable transportation.

This position reports to the editor of the Sun-Star and you will also work closely with colleagues at the Fresno Bee and Modesto Bee, which in addition to the Sun-Star are owned by McClatchy.

The anticipated base pay range for this position is between $20.20 and $23.00 per hour.  Individual base pay may vary within that range depending on job-related knowledge, skills, experience, relevant education, training, geography and local wage and hours laws.  

Minimum requirements:

  • Strong writing and reporting skills and excellent news judgment
  • Unwavering commitment to accurate, ethical journalism
  • Demonstrated ability to use social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to reach audiences
  • Fluency in the science of readership and engagement, including an understanding of how to use analytics such as pageviews, time on site and referral sources to help determine which stories resonate
  • A demonstrated ability to tell stories using a variety of tools and platforms, including video
  • Experience in learning new skills and technologies, including content management systems; social media platforms; video editing software; Omniture, CrowdTangle and other analytics tools; and emerging storytelling tools and platforms
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including empathy and the ability to take and give constructive criticism. Our workflows require constant conversations between reporters and editors as well as between reporters and their audience as a story evolves.
  • Demonstrated ability to work comfortably in a job that will be fast-paced, data-driven, shaped constantly by feedback and experimentation and always evolving.


  • College degree.
  • 1-3 years of reporting experience.
  • Must have reliable transportation. Must have valid driver’s license and vehicle insurance required (at least minimum insurance required for the state in which the employee works).

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  

To apply
, include a persuasive cover letteryour resume and four to six examples of your best work.

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.



McClatchy is committed to providing equal employment opportunity (EEO) for all applicants and employees. McClatchy considers all candidates without regard to basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, sexual orientation, ancestry, medical condition, family care status, pregnancy or physical disability (except where physical fitness is a valid occupational qualification), or any other basis protected by state and federal laws.