Engagement Reporter, Local, Temporary

ProPublica is expanding its local presence by adding offices in the South and the Southwest and augmenting its presence in the Midwest. This will be in addition to our joint initiative with The Texas Tribune and our Local Reporting Network. We are adding reporters, editors and members of our specialized teams to work on these local efforts.

We’re looking for an engagement reporter to join our award-winning team. This is a full-time one-year position and you can live anywhere. We are adding reporters, editors and members of our specialized teams to work on these local efforts.

In this role, you’ll help shape crowdsourcing efforts for local and regional investigations across the country. We’ve learned a lot from working with our local partners to channel community engagement into powerful accountability journalism. Like everyone on the engagement team, you’ll think about how to find and reach the people with important stories to tell, how to pull them into the process and how to maximize the potential for impact.

We’re looking for a strategy-minded reporter with excellent news judgment. You’ll spend your time thinking through questions like: How do we reach every single person in a high school’s graduating class? What catches on in Florida that might not resonate in New York City? Who are the stakeholders in Oregon’s timber industry? Who’s actually responding to our tweets?

We’re open to people who work all over the country, but please let us know if you have specific experience in the South, the Southwest or the Midwest.

You’ll work closely with local reporters and local news organizations, as well as staff at ProPublica focusing on local news. Some of our partner newsrooms may be bigger than others. In some instances, you might be in more of an advising or consulting position.

Excited? Us too. You should apply if:

  • 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 be glad to have baseline reporting chops.
  • You have experience engaging with communities. You know how to get people to talk to you. You believe in listening.
  • You’re organized. You like to use data and analytics to make smarter decisions.
  • 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 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. You’re excited about possibilities online (Facebook groups, social media, web forms) and in real life (events and forums).

Above all, we’re looking for somebody who is excited about local news.

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 “You should apply if,” 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.)

Apply using this form.

Got questions? Email [email protected].

No phone calls, please. The deadline to apply for this position is Sunday, Nov. 1 at 11:59 p.m. PST.

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