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Julie Makinen

750 N. Gene Autry Trail
Palm Springs California United States 92262


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Breaking news reporter

Job ID: 4758
Job Views: 410
Location: Palm Springs, California, United States
Postal Code:
Job Category: Newspapers
Employment Type: Full time
Posted: 04.16.2021

Job Description

The Desert Sun/ in Palm Springs, California, part of the USA TODAY NETWORK, is looking for a breaking news reporter to join our newsroom in an area known as the "Playground of the Presidents."

An award-winning publication, The Desert Sun consistently provides in-depth, sophisticated coverage on a wide range of topics and is seeking someone who can tell compelling stories using text, video, graphics, social media and more. While a significant part of the responsibilities of this position involves coverage of hyper-local news such as fires, crime, weather, earthquakes, and traffic incidents, it also touches on many other areas of coverage pertinent to Southern California and the state including entertainment, the military, politics, immigration, courts, education, municipal government, transportation, and features.

This is an integral, "first-responder" position in our newsroom. Most of the stories this person produces are the first in an ongoing line of coverage.

The best candidate can act independently, drawing on audience interest to identify stories our readers and viewers need and want to know about. The position requires a fast thinker with sound judgment and excellent communication skills, who has a willingness to ask tough questions that are in the moment, but also with an eye toward the future. This person should be able to produce clear and accurate content quickly in a competitive environment.


  • Report quickly, clearly and accurately to deliver news, via stories, video, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other methods available to reach our audiences.
  • Jump on breaking news. Research, write, report, photograph and/or video a variety of stories.
  • Demonstrate fast news judgement on an ongoing basis.
  • Source development is key to cultivating contacts among first responders, police, judges and court staff. Have a genuine interest in people and ability to build trust and engages on social media with sources and audiences.
  • Experiment with new ways of informing and engaging audiences on social platforms and alternate story forms.
  • Monitor real-time news and sniff out the most important and fascinating stories important to our audiences in addition to pursue enterprise/investigative work to uncover stories that no one else is reporting.
  • Use metrics to inform story choices and identifies top news stories of the day, based on analytics and audience potential.
  • Write and/or produce multimedia content that appeals to key audience targets and maximizes user experience on digital and social platforms to reach readers where they spend their time and attention.

Job Requirements

  •  Bachelor's or master's degree in communications, journalism, marketing or related field preferred or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • 2-5 years' previous reporting/newsroom experience working in digital journalism.
  • Internship or previous experience in the job duties preferred.
  • Reliably clear and compelling copy, whether with quick breaking news or in-depth investigations.
  • Strong grasp of AP style and grammar. • Good time management and organizational skills.
  • Ability to distill information quickly and determine the best course of action.
  • Familiarity with digital storytelling tools and techniques.
  • Basic aptitude with photography and videography.
  • Experience with video and alternative story formats.
  • Exceptional social media skills and audience engagement experience.
  • Exceptional core journalism skills.
  • Deep understanding of journalism ethics.
  • Self-motivated and self-directed.
  • Effective communicator; able to get along with diverse personalities.
  • Able to multi-task and excel under intense deadline pressure in a rapidly changing environment.
  • Knows how to use time effectively.
  • Works collaboratively within a cross-functional environment.
  • Must embrace peer-to-peer feedback and training.
  • Applies innovative, creative thinking to support the company's goals.
  • Familiarity with the Coachella Valley or Southern California is a plus.
  • Spanish language skills are a plus.
  • This position may involve working early mornings, evenings or weekends and occasional holidays.
  • This role requires a valid driver's license, reliable transportation, and the minimum liability insurance required by state law.
  • Employment is contingent on passing a post-offer pre-employment background check and a motor vehicle record check & drug screen (for driving roles only).

We are eager to learn more about you and how you fit this role. When you apply, don't limit your upload to a resume; show us what you've done. To do so, put together a single document file that includes the following, in this order:

1. Your resume - one to two pages.

2. A cover letter that outlines how you would approach the job.

3. Links to 3-6 online samples of your work. Show us what you've produced or had a hand in that best reflects what you can do in your desired role.

It is important that these items be assembled into a single document and uploaded in PDF format. Completing these steps will ensure that your application receives the highest consideration.

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