Breaking News Reporter

News Charlotte, NC


The Charlotte Observer is looking for a versatile, driven journalist who thrives on jumping on breaking news of the day. This is a fast-paced beat for a reporter who can spot breaking news that’s compelling to readers and can identify narratives that will engage a digital audience. We’re looking for a reporter who is excited to run with news across a wide range of topics including weather, crime, major public events, entertainment and more. You’ll also tackle trending stories, and develop strong follow-ups that engage readers and hold officials and institutions accountable. 

The job requires an ability to juggle several stories at once and to spot the right stories to go deeper on. Often the person in this position works in conjunction with desks to deliver coverage with multiple points of entry for our audience.

We’re looking for a self-paced reporter who can find stories without waiting for an assignment and who can cultivate reliable sources. 

Strong headlines, conversational writing and good storytelling abilities are all important parts of this job. It’s also critical to have strong skills at using social media to find story ideas, promote our journalism and engage an audience. 

This reporter should also understand successful SEO and know how to grow readership by using metrics to see how stories resonated with readers — and be comfortable using analytics tools to develop a deep understanding of our audience and what types of stories interest readers. 

This reporter must be comfortable interviewing a wide range of sources, such as crime victims, politicians and celebrities, and be ready to get out of the office to pursue stories and find sources. The breaking news reporter works closely with a team of reporters to help ensure we’re continuously publishing stories that are timely and accurate. 

Education and experience:
  • College degree is required.
  • Prior internship in a daily newsroom required.

Duties and responsibilities: 

  • Regularly and consistently write news stories that are clear, accurate, engaging, and of high interest and relevance to local readers.

  • Identify and tell stories about issues and people in communities that are underrepresented in The Observer.

  • Work with editors to assure that stories are complete, fair, and in context. 

  • Handle deadline demands on breaking news.

  • Learn to develop a broad range of sources and build strong relationships with key people to identify stories relevant to them and important for our broader readership to understand.

  • Use audience metrics to determine which stories are resonating with readers and which are not. Work with editors to mine this data for takeaways about how we can build our audience.

  • Produce basic video and photos in the field. Work with our visuals team to add more sophisticated visuals as a fundamental storytelling tool.

  • Write and report on a continuous news cycle in a digital-first newsroom. 

  • Use judgment in determining the best digital tools for conveying news to readers in varying circumstances and formats.

  • Use social networks to seek story ideas, report in real-time, and connect with the community.

  • Participate in training sessions offered and seek out learning opportunities.

  • Must have reliable transportation.  Must have a valid driver’s license and vehicle insurance required (at least minimum insurance required for the state in which the employee works).


McClatchy is committed to providing equal employment opportunity (EEO) for all applicants and employees. McClatchy considers all candidates without regard to basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, sexual orientation, ancestry, medical condition, family care status, pregnancy or physical disability (except where physical fitness is a valid occupational qualification), or any other basis protected by state and federal laws.