The Tribune in San Luis Obispo, California, is looking for an energetic, versatile journalist to cover education and local government in SLO County.
We’re seeking someone who can balance the fast pace of breaking news and quick-turnaround stories with in-depth, longer-form journalism that connects with our communities and holds government leaders accountable. The primary function of this beat is covering K-12 education and Cal Poly, the California State University campus in San Luis Obispo. This is a juicy beat that’s always ripe for great headlines. This position also has some regional coverage, keeping tabs on local governments and businesses in our South County area, as well as some breaking news as needed.
The ideal candidate for this position is a person who loves building relationships, is highly organized and is a strong communicator and collaborator. We have a cohesive newsroom of journalists who look out for each other and are always willing to pitch in. Each of our reporters rotates on a one-day-a-week breaking news schedule that keeps them sharp and up-to-date on all the processes of creating, posting and promoting stories so that they reach the widest audience in a timely manner. We’re looking for an independent, self-motivated person who can spot and report stories without waiting for the assignment and who can cultivate reliable sources. The qualified candidate can quickly and accurately report live stories using video, social and other digital tools.
The importance of headlines, SEO and strong visuals cannot be underestimated, and the best candidate knows this. You understand how to grow readership because you’ve tracked the performance of your stories in the digital space, using analytics tools such as Chartbeat or Parse.ly. You are eager to learn new skills that will enhance your reporting, such as creating Google Forms and polls to engage with our readership and learn about their needs as news consumers or using data visualization tools to add richness to your storytelling.
Most of all, we are seeking a team player who respects the talents of their coworkers and understands we are strongest when we work together.
The Tribune is one of 30 news organizations in the McClatchy Company. We’re a Central Coast news and information company, with our newspaper, website (sanluisobispo.com) and other products on different delivery platforms.
We primarily serve San Luis Obispo County, covering important issues like government accountability, education, the coastal environment, major industries like tourism and wine, Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant and more. We have won the California News Publishers Association’s top award for general excellence twice in recent years, and we have a reputation for accuracy, fairness, credibility and civic purpose. Our investigations bring about change. Our community involvement touches readers. Our news imperatives bring them information fast and truthfully, while our opinions spur action. And we do all of this while having fun, working in a newsroom full of lively and passionate journalists.
San Luis Obispo is a vibrant college town located minutes from the beach. It has a temperate climate that makes enjoying the outdoors a year-round opportunity. In fact, San Luis Obispo itself was once named the Happiest City in America.
- Bachelor’s degree in journalism or relevant field.
- At least one year of professional journalism experience preferred, although new college graduates will be considered.
- Strong writing and reporting skills and excellent news judgment.
- Unwavering commitment to accurate, ethical journalism.
- Understanding of analytics to chart story success and identify candidates to make subscriber-only.
- Demonstrated ability to set and meet measurable goals.
- Demonstrated ability to use social media platforms to reach and engage with audiences.
- Demonstrated ability to access and analyze public records, including campaign finance data, court records, property records and salary information.
- Eagerness to tell stories using a variety of tools and platforms, including capturing and editing video and data/graphics.
- Openness to learning new skills and technologies, including content management systems; social media platforms; video editing software; analytics tools; and emerging storytelling tools and platforms.
- Strong interpersonal skills with an emphasis on respecting others’ opinions, including the ability to take and give constructive criticism. New workflows require constant conversations between reporters and editors and 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.