Engagement Reporter, Local Reporting Network

We are not currently accepting applications for this position.

As our Local Reporting Network grows, we’re looking for an engagement reporter to join our award-winning team, starting on July 1, for one year.

Like everyone on the engagement team, you’ll think about how to find and reach the people we need in order to tell important stories, how to pull them into the process and how to maximize the resonance of the project after publication. Here are examples of that kind of work.

This position will help us scale up our efforts in local markets. Our expanding Local Reporting Network means we’re thinking about how to both scale our community engagement while customize our efforts in each place.

We’re looking for an organized, strategy-minded person to help us learn about engagement across projects: What works in Florida that might not work in New York City? How do you reach people in rural West Virginia? What’s the best way to learn about the conditions inside of California jails versus correctional facilities around the country? Who’s actually responding to our tweets?

In other words: How can we track and grow our engagement efforts in ways that let us build upon our knowledge over time? We want someone who likes designing engagement projects and also likes analytics and metrics — and can help us figure out how to do more projects that work.

You’ll work closely with the local reporters and their news organizations, as well as the senior editors overseeing the project. Some of the partner newsrooms will be bigger than others; in some instances, you might be in a more advising or consulting position.

Excited? Us too. You should apply if:

  • You use data and analytics (you know, actual evidence) to do things better. You love to talk strategy.
  • You’re an order Muppet but can handle a few chaos Muppets.
  • You have experience organizing communities and activating people around civic issues either digitally (think Facebook groups, social media, web forms) or in real life (events and forums). Ideally, this would be in a journalistic context, but we’d love to hear about any work you’ve done along these lines.
  • You have journalism experience, either locally or nationally, especially doing stories that shed light on injustices. You don’t need fancy bylines, but you will want to have baseline reporting chops.
  • You’re a thoughtful writer who can adjust your style to the occasion. You understand the difference between messaging the moderator of a Facebook group and emailing a PR person for comment.
  • You’re creative and proactive. You’re energized by the potential of using crowdsourcing to do revelatory, vital journalism.
  • You believe in the power of inclusiveness. You think it’s important to collaborate with communities and your colleagues. You’re committed to being a respectful human being.
  • You like the internet. You think it can be fun. This isn’t a traditional social media job, but social media is part of the job.

Above all, we’re looking for somebody who is excited about helping us expand this initiative and make hard-hitting, great investigative journalism resonate in local communities.

We know there may be great candidates reading this who may not fit into what we’ve described, or who have alternative skills — for example, rural community organizers or subreddit mods or town hall note takers — who could bring a lot to this position. There also may be candidates who psych themselves out of applying even if they would be great at this job. If any of that describes you, please don’t hesitate to apply and tell us about yourself. There’s space in the application to tell us everything you bring to the table, and we look forward to reading it.

What you should send us:

We cannot emphasize this enough: Great projects are the most important part of the application.

The application form will allow you to send us three projects from your portfolio, as well as give you the space to walk us through your own contributions to those clips. Take advantage of this to tell us everything you did, from behind-the-scenes wins you’re proud of to how you helped your colleagues. Let us know how your engagement and outreach work shaped the output. Don’t be shy — tell us what succeeded (numbers and evidence of impact welcome) and how you’d do it differently next time.

Make sure to read the section above, titled “We’re looking for someone with,” because it’s also our evaluation criteria for the position. Use your projects and the rest of your application to show us that you’ve got the skills we’ve listed, or why the skills you have are the ones we actually need.

We are dedicated to improving our newsroom, in part by better reflecting the people we cover. We are committed to diversity and building an inclusive environment for people of all backgrounds and ages. We especially encourage members of underrepresented communities to apply, including women, people of color, LGBTQ people and people with disabilities. (Here is a breakdown of our staff.)

This job will be based in our New York office. It’s a yearlong position.

Apply using this form.

Got questions? Email ariana.tobin@propublica.org.

No phone calls, please.

The deadline to apply for this position is Sunday, May 5, at 11:59 EDT.

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