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Engagement Reporter, Local Reporting Network

Here’s our first question: Are you interested in helping revitalize local reporting and reinventing journalism along the way? Then you should consider applying for this job.

We are expanding our Local Reporting Network and are hiring an engagement reporter.

We launched the Local Reporting Network last year to support local journalism to cover the salaries of, and provide editorial support for, reporters doing investigative journalism at news organizations across the country.

In the first class of Local Reporting Network projects, we’ve launched callouts to help us investigate public housing in Illinois, workers’ safety at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and PTSD in first responders. We also asked people to help us tell the story of the natural gas boom in West Virginia.

So what will the role of an engagement reporter be? They will help communities contribute to our work, as well as think through how we get these stories to resonate both in a local environment and nationally. Here are examples of that kind of work.

Unlike traditional investigations, we often don’t start with a story. We announce that we were doing an investigation with a callout to the relevant community.

You’ll work closely with the local reporters and their news organizations, as well as the senior editors overseeing the project and ProPublica’s award-winning engagement team. Some of the partner newsrooms will be bigger than the others; in some instances, you might be in a more advising or consulting position. In others, you might be leading, managing and executing the engagement and social aspects of the project.

In every case, you’ll be involved from the very beginning of the work.

To be clear, this isn’t a traditional social media job, but social media is very much part of the job. You’ll need to understand not just social media but how news organizations can use it to tell stories. Like this tweetstorm we did for Molly Parker’s project on public housing in Illinois and this video we did for Rebekah Allen’s project on conflicts of interest in Louisiana.

Is all of this the kind of work you want to do? Yeah? Cool. We are looking for someone who has some of the following skills (or interest in building them out):

  • Experience organizing communities and audiences, especially in a journalistic context—either digitally (think Facebook groups, social media or web forms) or in real life (events and forums).
  • Journalism experience itself, either locally or nationally, especially involving stories that shed light on injustices or covering marginalized communities.
  • Ability to spin many plates. You’ll be working with a number of reporters across the country on different projects, potentially dealing with several different editors. You’ll need to stay organized, focused and proactive.
  • A good listener — this includes on social media and all around the web. We want to understand what the conversation might be around a particular topic — and then turn that insight into actionable items. Like this. Above all, we’re looking for somebody who is excited about helping us build on this initiative and make hard-hitting, great investigative journalism resonate in these local communities.

We know there are great candidates who won’t fit everything we’ve described above, or who have important skills we haven’t thought of. If that’s you, don’t hesitate to apply and tell us about yourself.

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.

To apply, fill out this form. The deadline is Oct. 12.

This job will be based in New York. It’s funded by a two-year grant. Beyond that, the job is subject to further grant funding. It’s full-time and includes benefits. Expect some travel.

Any questions? Email [email protected].

No phone calls, please.

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