Crime/Public Safety Inv. Rep.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram is searching for a talented, high-energy investigative/watchdog journalist who will focus on crime and public safety.
The ideal candidate is curious, challenges conventional thinking and meets roadblocks with a dogged determination to get the story.
This reporter will know how to acquire and analyze documents and yet will be a storyteller who can explain his or her findings in a way that makes the impact clear to readers. A familiarity with data analysis, including a proficiency in Excel, is needed.
Critically, this reporter will be passionate about serving as the voice so many do not have. The best accountability reporting begins with a state of mind - the knowledge that you are a surrogate for the public.
This beat makes sense of the criminal justice system and public safety issues through a mix of stories: quick, but deep, follows on breaking news; short-term (one- to two-week) projects and longer-term investigations; they will be thoughtful stories that hold leaders accountable and help people understand social and socioeconomic dynamics in North Texas. This reporter will rely on a wealth of sources, open records access and requests and data analysis to answer key questions for his or her audience.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
This reporter will use public records requests, data analysis (searchable databases) and in-depth reporting to help our audience make sense of our changing community and the dynamics that are driving that change. This reporter will bring an insatiable curiosity, a desire to tell that great “true crime” story, will write with authority when appropriate and will share his or her work (stories, databases, interactives, etc) across multiple platforms and outlets.
Video will be a priority and the ability to tell a story independent of words – using it and other alt story forms – is critical. Social distribution channels must be used effectively. A review of metrics and what can be learned from them will be part of this reporter’s regular routine.
-Strong writing and reporting skills and excellent news judgment
-Unwavering commitment to accurate, ethical journalism
-Experience accessing and using public records law to gain understanding of complex stories
-Ability to acquire and analyze data
-Fluency in the science of readership and engagement, including an understanding of metrics/analytics programs including Parsley, Crowdtangle and Omniture and development of story ideas derived from data.
-Understanding of SEO and other optimization opportunities and a demonstrated ability to learn new skills in social and digital.
-Strong interpersonal skills, including empathy and the ability to take and give constructive criticism. The new workflows require constant conversations between reporters and editors and between reporters and their audience as a story evolves.
-Understanding of open records law and ability to file, manage and oversee requests pertinent to beat work.
-Ability to engage with readers and develop sources on social media platforms including but not limited to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
-Ability to develop breadth and variety of sources.
-Ability to understand audience lenses and correctly identify audience for selected stories.
-Ability to work on both daily and enterprise stories concurrently, delivering both with consistency.
-Ability to meet deadlines.
-Ability to capture video and edit it (using phone).
-Ability to work collaboratively on projects ranging from podcasts to video to enterprise stories.
-Ability to work comfortably in a job that will be fast-paced, data-driven, shaped constantly by feedback and experimentation and always evolving
-A way with headlines and an understanding of what works well on different platforms
-An interest in telling stories using a variety of media, and an enthusiasm for learning new skills and technologies
-An understanding of AP style
Bachelor's Degree in journalism preferred, with at least three years of experience in a digital-first newsroom. This is not an entry-level position.