NASCAR/breaking sports news reporter
The Observer’s NASCAR reporter will focus on finding the best beat enterprise that’s not available from other sources. In the home of NASCAR, our mission is not covering races and other news that’s widely available from other sources — it’s finding smart enterprise and telling stories that are only in The Observer.
About half of this reporter’s time will be focused on real-time sports reporting — being a first responder on breaking news as it’s on the rise in sports fans’ conversations. A significant part of this position will be proactively looking for opportunities to tap into what’s trending by localizing a national viral story of the moment, for example, or curating national reaction to a story of intense Charlotte or North Carolina interest. The real-time reporter will smartly use social media both as a news-gathering tool and as a means to get our news and enterprise in front of readers.
Duties and responsibilities:
- Develop a source network that helps identify unique NASCAR enterprise and analysis.
- Publish breaking sports news as it happens – be fast and first, without sacrificing accuracy and clarity.
- Curate breaking news from other sources as appropriate.
- Be ready to back up colleagues on all beats for our NC sports team — pro teams and major colleges.
- Be alert to news from all avenues – sports sites, email, TV, CrowdTangle, Twitter, Facebook.
- Proactively look for opportunities to tap into trending topics in the moment.
- 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 your audience metrics – which of your 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, with a primary focus on digital subscriptions.
- Regularly enhance your stories with video, third-party video, embedded tweets and links to related stories.
- Find enterprise stories that call for a deeper reader and use story-telling techniques to engage readers.
Education and knowledge: College degree required. Background in journalism, video and digital media preferred.
- Strong reporting skills, including asking smart, persistent questions.
- Speed with breaking news. Push out the news quickly and accurately.
- Ability to develop strong sources on a beat.
- Flexibility to juggle multiple news priorities on a single day.
- Ability to shift priorities in a flash, as the news dictates.
- Ability to work independently, drawing on solid news judgment, while maintaining timely communication with editors.
- Demonstrated mastery of social media – both as a reporting tool and as a way to push out news, build our audience and enhance your own brand.
- Exceptional track record with accuracy – built on strong work habits geared toward double-checking facts, names and figures.
- Ability to produce exceptionally clean, clear, concise copy every time.
- Strong skills as a collaborator, able to work constructively with editors and reporting colleagues in a deadline-driven environment.