Banking / Finance Reporter
The banking/finance beat is a critical, high-profile one for The Charlotte Observer. It requires both a daily presence as well as enterprise work to help our community follow and understand a sector that has an extensive reach and impact in the city. The beat needs to connect with readers on multiple levels.
This involves covering some of the nation’s biggest banks in the second-largest U.S. banking center, which is home to a Federal Reserve branch, Bank of America and Truist, and is Wells Fargo's largest employment hub. The banks are among the biggest employers in the region, and identifying workplace stories in addition to customer-impact stories is vital.
The beat requires monitoring the banks’ securities filings (including compensation disclosures), banking regulators’ actions, court filings, quarterly earnings and changes that affect customers or employees. It also requires getting to understand the working conditions and practices at local banks.
In addition to banking, this beat encompasses business and economy trends in Charlotte, including how businesses are handling COVID-related issues; the impact of federal laws on local employers; outsourcing, automation and offshoring of jobs; and wage and benefit changes affecting employees in the metro area.
This is a competitive beat that involves landing scoops, building sources, using public databases, spotting evolving trends and talking to real people.
This reporter should be excited about telling stories along a wide spectrum: stories that break news that’s exclusive to The Observer; explanatory journalism that tells readers how something works or what it means; analysis that goes deeper behind a current news event; alternative story forms that help readers understand an issue or event; narrative storytelling that’s compelling and engages readers more deeply with our journalism; and watchdog reporting that holds leaders, institutions or systems accountable.
This Banking / Finance Reporter will:
- Write news and enterprise stories that are clear, accurate, engaging and of high interest and relevance to local readers.
- Learn to develop a broad range of sources on the beat and build strong relationships with key people to identify stories relevant to them and important for our broader readership to understand.
- Be able to juggle daily, short-term enterprise and long-term enterprise stories.
- Work with editors to ensure that stories are complete, fair and in context.
- 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.
- Use judgment in determining the best digital tools for conveying news to readers in varying circumstances and formats.
- Collaborate with visual journalists to develop video and still photos that help tell stories effectively.
- Use social networks to seek story ideas, report in real time and connect with the community.
Education and knowledge:
- College degree required.
- At least 2 years of beat reporting experience in a daily newsroom preferred.
- Prior internships in a daily newsroom required.
This reporter will need to have:
- Command of grammar, spelling, Observer and AP style, as well as the ability to write clearly.
Strong news judgment.
- Ability to learn both the art and science of readership and engagement.
- Strong interpersonal and collaborative skills.
- Comfort with a job that will be demanding, fast-paced and constantly evolving.
- Ability to develop source networks on a beat.
- Skill at writing well-organized news and enterprise stories.
- Knowledge in use of social networks such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
- Ability to learn how to obtain, sort and analyze public documents, such as property records and court records.
- Commitment to accurate, ethical journalism.
- Fundamental understanding of research tools.