Civic Accountability Reporter

Editorial Macon, GA


Description

The reporter understands what is important to readers and holds the government and other leaders accountable for response, resolution, and solutions. 

The accountability reporter should regularly use open public records laws to find potential stories and inform the stories they write.

It’s critical that reporters on this beat build sources in government and throughout the community to understand the issues that our readers care about. 

While the accountability reporter will cover some government meetings, he or she is focused on matters of wider interest that impact readers, not on government processes.

 Duties and responsibilities:

  • Conceive compelling enterprise story ideas, with a clear focus on information that will be of interest and relevance to local readers.
  • Develop a broad range of sources on beat.
  • Be a master of social media – both as a news-gathering tool and as a way to push the news out quickly and build our audience, as well as your own brand.
  • Understand audience metrics – which stories are resonating with readers and which are not. Working with your editor, regularly mine this data for takeaways about how we can build our audience.
  • Produce basic video and photos in the field. Work with visuals team to add more sophisticated visuals as a fundamental story-telling tool.
  • On tight deadlines, write stories that are complete, fair and provide context for readers.
  • Write and report on a continuous news cycle, publishing to digital platforms as well as print.
  • Use judgment in determining best digital tools for conveying news to readers in varying circumstances.
  • Engage the public: Present events, news coverage and enterprise/public-service reporting in a manner in which readers understand the need for action/involvement.
  • Use social networks to seek story ideas, report in real-time and connect with the community.
  • Meet departmental goals: Help formulate goals and actively seek to meet them.
  • Participate in training sessions and seek learning opportunities to keep skills updated in a continuously evolving industry.

Education and knowledge: College degree required. Minimum of two years of digital journalism experience required. Extensive background in journalism, video and online media preferred. 

Skills:

  • Creativity and independence in identifying concepts and ideas for news stories that are exclusive to The Telegraph and relevant to readers.
  • Command of grammar, spelling and AP style, as well as clear skills in story organization and clear writing.
  • Strong story-telling ability and excellent news judgment.
  • Fluency in both the art and science of readership and engagement.
  • Ability to tell stories using a variety of tools and platforms.
  • Enthusiasm for learning new skills and technologies.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including empathy and the ability to take and give constructive criticism.
  • Comfort with a job that will be demanding, fast-paced and constantly evolving.
  • High level of skills at developing and maintaining source networks on a beat.
  • High level of writing skills in multiple formats – short form, long-form, narrative, hard news, and features.
  • High level of research skills in using digital research tools to find information.
  • High level of knowledge in the use of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, among others.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with colleagues in developing and executing long- and short-term projects.
  • Has extensive background in a wide variety of issues, beats and topics.
  • Spot local, regional or national trends and find ways to make them relevant to our  readers.
  • Commitment to accurate, ethical journalism.