National Politics Reporter -- West Coast

Editorial Sacramento, CA


McClatchy is looking for an aggressive, news-breaking journalist to join our national politics team as a West Coast-based senior writer II. The requirements of this job are straightforward: break news on the 2020 campaign and deliver original reporting that is not only competitive but dominant on the stories that matter most to our readers and viewers, primarily in California but certainly beyond.

This is not a typical 2020 politics job. While the ideal candidate will excel at building deep networks of well-placed sources inside campaigns and among donors and activists, she or he will be serving readers far beyond the Washington bubble. California will play a critical role in the 2020 contest, from the primary through the general, and this reporter will be expected to build a network of West Coast sources and to look at the campaign, candidate tactics and policy positions through a West Coast lens. 

The successful candidate will have a solid understanding of McClatchy’s markets and know how to use data to inform story selection so that we are always thinking first of the needs of our audience. This reporter will work as part of a core team that includes reporters and editors in Washington as well as other political writers in newsrooms throughout our organization, including McClatchy’s California newsrooms as well as the Miami Herald, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Charlotte Observer and the News & Observer in Raleigh.

Specific responsibilities:

  • Breaking news and advancing storylines on candidates and campaign issues important to McClatchy’s West Coast and national audiences.
  • Driving coverage and pitching ideas that put McClatchy and our 30 newsrooms nationwide ahead of the competition. The majority of the coverage should come from the reporter's notebook, as she/he works the beat.
  • Experimenting with political content delivery on new audio and video platforms.
  • Maintaining an open, frequent and collaborative line of communication with various reporting teams in newsrooms throughout McClatchy.
  • Writing with a digital-first mentality. That includes thinking about shareable headlines, meta heads and SEO, using links in text and embedding videos, podcasts and other assets. The reporter will be responsible for creating packages in our content management systems.


  • 5 years of reporting experience in a news organization
  • A track-record of breaking news and delivering exclusives
  • Prior experience in digital focused writing, including meta heads and SEO, using links in text, embedding videos, podcasts and other digital assets
  • An understanding of audience metrics and social media trends, and the ability to respond to them
  • Fresh writing style, with an engaging, conversational voice
  • Ability to work with and process data
  • Solid understanding of the current political/economic/social themes driving coverage and a track record of delivering new and original approaches to these coverage areas.
  • Collaborative approach that prioritizes getting the best story for our audience