State Affairs, Politics Reporter

Belleville News-Democrat   Belleville, IL   Full-time     Writing / Editing
Posted on August 2, 2022
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The Belleville News-Democrat is looking for a versatile, energetic reporter who thrives on accountability journalism and can deliver compelling, exclusive state government and political coverage through a Southern Illinois lense. 

This reporter is expected to act as our readers’ watchdog, breaking news that holds our region’s legislators, other public officials and state agencies accountable. You’ll tell readers whether elected representatives are doing their jobs and keeping their promises and whether the region is getting a return on its tax dollars. You’ll also track legislation relevant to Southern Illinois and write about whether it has had its intended impact. 

Our state affairs and politics reporter deeply explores issues from a Southern Illinois perspective, explains how they directly affect our readers’ lives and where appropriate, writes about possible solutions to problems. A key element of this coverage is to regularly engage readers to find out what’s important to them.

Most of this reporter’s politics coverage focuses on state legislative and congressional races. We aren’t interested in ``horse race” political coverage. Rather, this reporter asks readers to identify important issues and shapes most of our campaign coverage around those topics.

We count on The Associated Press and Capitol News Illinois to provide nuts and bolts daily coverage of the legislature and statewide politics, while the BND’s reporter focuses on producing compelling enterprise stories that are essential to Southern Illinois readers.

The state affairs and politics reporter is based in our Belleville newsroom. Our region, known as the metro-east, is a great place to live and work. You get the benefits of small-town life with access to all the amenities of St. Louis, just minutes away on the interstate and across the Mississippi.

Other job requirements, qualifications and responsibilities: 

  • A commitment to accuracy and journalism ethics

  • Strong writing and reporting skills and excellent news judgment

  • A commitment to regularly include readers in your reporting, from identifying story ideas to being part of a diverse network of sources

  • Knowledge and demonstrated use of digital tools that help tell stories, including video, embedded tweets, links and other methods.

  • The ability to use social media as a tool for engagement, story idea prospecting and pushing stories out to readers

  • Database reporting skills a plus

  • A hunger for learning new moves to deepen your reporting enhance and expand your reach

  • A collaborative, positive work style

  • Willingness to work occasional weekends and nights, jump in on breaking news and perform other duties as needed in a small newsroom.

  • Prior experience working a beat in a professional newsroom. (We would consider new graduates if they have extensive experience working in their college newsroom and have completed an internship in a pro newsroom.)