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Education Reporter

Belleville News-Democrat   Belleville, IL   Full-time     Writing / Editing
Posted on April 26, 2022
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The Belleville News-Democrat, a McClatchy news organization located in southwest Illinois near St. Louis, is seeking an enterprising, reader-focused education reporter who will break news and provide deep coverage of local issues that connect with parents, educators and other taxpayers in our region. Accountability reporting is a key part of this beat.

We’re looking for a reporter with the ability to build a diverse network of sources and generate high-impact coverage with input from people in communities across our region and other stakeholders in our K-12 education system. 

This reporter must be able to use social media, SEO and storytelling tools and techniques to generate additional story ideas and ensure that our education coverage reaches a wide audience.

Journalism is a team sport in our newsroom. The ability to collaborate and communicate well with colleagues on a daily basis is essential. 

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS:

  1. Cover education news, mostly focusing on K-12 but also higher ed and broad education topics as well.
  2. Develop daily, mid- and long-term enterprise stories and cover breaking education news. Consistently deliver accountability coverage, which is at the core of our beats.
  3. Build reader-focused beat coverage using all available resources, including engaging with residents and other stakeholders in education, social media and sources.
  4. Focus on diversity and fairness in sourcing, story ideas, interviews. 
  5. Routinely use social media to disseminate news and information and cultivate audience on Twitter or other accounts.
  6. Be comprehensive, contextual and complete when reporting.
  7. Demonstrate interest and continuous learning about audience building tactics like SEO, social media, headline writing and other skills. 
  8. Demonstrate interest in growing other digital skills and trying new tools, including data visualizations and interactives.
  9. Think visually when covering a story of any type, including partnering with our staff photojournalist and making your own stills and videos as needed.
  10. Must be a team player, able to collaborate across departments and roles.
  11. Work weekends and nights as needed, including as part of a weekend rotation team.

Qualifications: 

  • College degree.
  • At least one year of full-time reporting experience.
  • Must have reliable transportation and valid driver’s license
  • Strong and reporting writing skills, excellent news judgment and a demonstrated ability to “see the story” that is going to matter to readers.
  • Commitment to ethics and diversity.
  • Ability to prioritize and to work under and meet short- and long-deadlines in a fast-paced, data-driven work environment
  • Willingness to work weekends, nights and other times, as needed.