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The Beacon
Maria Carter
mcarter@thebeacon.media


Wichita Kansas United States

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Local Government Reporter


Job ID: 11398
Job Views: 1361
Location: Wichita, Kansas, United States
Postal Code:
Job Category: Online | New Media
Employment Type: Full time
Salary: 60000 USD per year
Posted: 05.22.2024

Job Description

We’re looking for a reporter with a proven track record to cover local government in Wichita and Sedgwick County. You’ll be free to roam from City Hall to the courthouse to wherever you sense important and engaging stories happening. 

We rarely cover daily stories. Rather, we want a reporter who can identify enterprise stories that range from explanatory to investigative, who will dig deeply into them and frame them in ways that draw people in. In the end, we’re promising our readers fact-rich, easy-to-read dispatches.

The work demands that you build a wealth of sources in city and county government, understand the shifting social and political dynamics of Wichita and listen to what our readers say is missing in their local news media diet. 

The Beacon sees journalism as a vital public service. So we’re determined to get it right: We are transparent with our audience, work to earn their trust and bring them real value with our reporting. That means our local government reporter needs to become a well-informed observer of Wichita who develops a firm grasp of its problems and how local government responds to them.

This reporter will have the time to dig deeply into stories, producing four stories of 800-2,000 words each month.

We want a curious reporter who sees journalism as a public service. They also need to bring a track record of strong reporting and vibrant writing.

We want someone who can thrive on this beat with stories that come with explanation and discovery.   

Before any job interview, we’ll supply you with the questions ahead of time. Mostly, we’ll want to hear how you’d attack this beat. So come with a plan.
 

Job Requirements

Responsibilities

  • Stays on top of developments in local government in Wichita and Sedgwick County. 
  • Develops sources and their own expertise on local government.
  • Identifies, researches, pitches, writes, and reports stories on a level of sophistication that matches metropolitan newspapers.
  • Tracks source demographics.
  • Reports and writes long-form and shorter-turn stories about local government, with a keen eye to those issues that have the greatest impact on the lives of people in the community.
  • Finds and analyzes health data to uncover hidden developments.
  • Engages with readers and occasionally participates in radio shows, public events, and live video.
  • Uses sources, story ideas, research, and writing that reflects Wichita’s diversity and the differences in ways its many communities rely on local government.

Preferred qualifications:

If you don’t check all the boxes, but think you’d crush this job, apply anyway. We know that building a diverse staff is important, and being flexible on requirements is part of that:
  • Powerful writing skills, proven news judgment, and a strong commitment to journalistic ethics.
  • A desire to diversify the sources in your reporting to cover a wide range of demographics and philosophical outlooks.
  • Familiarity with the workings of local government.
  • A record of writing stories with impact, clarity, and thoughtful skepticism.
  • A demonstrated ability to identify and pursue stories on your own, combined with a willingness to take direction on the framing of stories and the editing of your copy.
  • A demonstrated ability to meet deadlines.
  • Enthusiasm for independent, nonprofit news media and collaboration with other outlets.
  • A passion for community journalism.
  • Familiarity with data sets and records.
  • Knowledge of Wichita and Kansas.
  • Residing in or willing to relocate to the Wichita area.
  • Fluency in Spanish or another language besides English.
  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, or related field. Five years of experience is preferred, but we’re flexible.

Compensation & Benefits

  • Salary: $50,000 to $70,000 a year, depending on experience and reporting portfolio.
  • Health Coverage: 100% of employee health, vision, and dental premiums covered; a portion of dependent premiums covered.
  • Paid Time Off (PTO): Includes ten holidays, three personal days and progressive PTO accrual starting at three weeks per year, increasing with tenure.
  • Remote Work: Work from home, occasional in-person meetings required (must reside in the Wichita area).
  • Parental Leave: Paid parental leave policy in effect.
  • Cell Phone Reimbursement: Up to $50 per month.
  • Life Insurance: $50,000 employer-paid policy; supplemental insurance available.
  • Disability Insurance: 100% employer-paid long and short-term disability.

The organization

The Beacon cultivates engaged and informed communities through accessible reporting and active community engagement on crucial local subjects, anchored by a sustainable nonprofit revenue model.

Our core values

Truth
Unwavering honesty and accuracy in all our reporting.

Inclusivity
Championing diverse voices and perspectives.

Transparency
Openness about our reporting and funding.

Equity
Addressing systemic imbalances that affect us locally. 

Apply

To ensure your application is given full consideration, please submit it by June 10. We will continue to review applications until the position is filled

To apply send your resume and cover letter to hr@thebeacon.media.

If you have any questions, email mcarter@thebeacon.media.


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