The RequirementsTo be a good fit for this opportunity you will have:
- Solid experience in digital journalism, including a track record of success in crime reporting.
- Proven experience building, maintaining and engaging an active audience.
- Demonstrated reporting, writing and organizational skills.
- Solid understanding of news writing, journalistic ethics and story structure.
- Experience with search engine optimization (SEO) practices.
- A demonstrated ability to capitalize on high-value topics by engaging audiences frequently and with urgency.
- An understanding of the methods and tools used to deliver content across a variety of platforms such as Moveable Type CMS, SCC Budgeting and Archiving System, smartphones and more.
- An understanding the imperatives of multiple platforms -- print, mobile, Internet, etc.
- Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to interact effectively with users and readers.
- The ability to leverage relationships with sources to deliver content that differentiates the organization from its competitors.
- The ability to work independently and remotely under deadline pressure and prioritize tasks appropriately.
- A bachelor's degree, preferably in journalism, communications or other relevant field, or equivalent experience.
The RoleYou will report and produce news stories on high-value topics about and around law enforcement, firefighting, investigations and public policy regarding policing. You’ll listen to your scanner, be connected in the community as well as to police, sheriff and fire departments and always be ready to respond to what you hear. You'll know people in emergency management and understand plans and responses. It’s crucial that you’re adept at writing breaking news stories, but you should also be able to identify and cover non-emergency stories.
It will be your mission to develop ideas and interesting ways to cover all public safety topics, and then identify related stories to maintain interest. We're not looking for someone to be a "pal" to police, but for a professional who can bring a balanced, objective approach. You'll also need to be innovative in developing sources.
More specifically, you will:
- Gather information and write journalistically sound news for use in all existing and future media platforms. Your stories should be balanced and factual, timely and topical, and well-sourced and contextually correct.
- Learn and employ all techniques for effective digital reporting across all platforms.
- Frequently and incrementally post to the Web throughout the day.
- Engage in story aggregation and topical link-posting.
- Monitor and engage in reader comment streams; elevate comments into new posts when appropriate.
- Interact on social-media platforms by using story shares and objective commentary to promote the news organization’s content initiatives.
- Effectively employ various means of monitoring audience interest and competitors' posting on your topic, including setting up Google alerts, Twitter and RSS feeds.
- Maintain operational communication with the editor and production center, when appropriate.
- Learn and understand audience traffic tracking systems and analytical reports.
- Develop and maintain relationships with other reporters, creating mutually beneficial partnerships, and working as a team when needed.
Keys to SuccessTo excel in this role, you will be a driven, dynamic reporter and writer with the ability to deliver a high volume of content every day. You'll need to be assertive about going where the stories are breaking and getting "into the thick of it." That will require strong confidence and resilience so you are not easily intimidated by police or agitated bystanders. At the same time, you'll need the interpersonal skills to interview people who may be in extreme circumstances.
You'll need to be able to proactively identify stories and respond quickly, keeping the quality of content consistent and engaging. More than just being comfortable in a fast-paced environment, you should be the kind of person who thrives under pressure and can produce quality work regardless of the deadline.
Additionally, in order to be an outstanding reporter, you will be autonomous and enjoy working independently. You will have a great deal of autonomy in this role, from choosing your content topics to posting your own articles online -- so you should be at ease in a self-directed environment and eager to hit the ground running and make an impact right off the bat.