Government Accountability Reporter

MLK50: Justice Through Journalism

Memphis, Tennessee

Date Posted January 11, 2022
Industry Digital Media, Nonprofit
Specialty Local News
Job Status Full-time
Salary At least $68,000


We’re looking for a government accountability reporter to join our newsroom – but this isn’t your typical city council beat.

MLK50 covers power, policy and poverty, which means we examine how elected officials’ decisions impact residents, particularly low-income residents and the disinvested neighborhoods in which they often live.

How are officials making it easier or harder for residents to make ends meet? Where are officials spending taxpayers’ dollars to improve lives? Are government programs performing as promised – and if not, what are policymakers doing about it?

We’re looking for a reporter with at least five years of reporting experience to produce quick hits and deeper dives on the Memphis City Council and Shelby County Commission. They’ll connect with concerned residents, community leaders and city insiders.

This reporter will experiment with different storytelling models; we’re not bound to the typical inverted pyramid news story when a graphic, chart or short video would work as well. 

The reporter should be comfortable using social media, particularly for finding sources and developing reader engagement, and with speaking publicly about their work in various forums. 

We want this reporter to help shape the beat while always centering the people that our namesake Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would center were he alive.

We believe that objectivity in journalism is a myth and has been used to maintain the white, male, heteronormative status quo. We are unapologetically pro-worker, pro-democracy and pro-liberation.

Skeptical of official narratives? Love AP style? Super-organized? You are our people.

The successful candidate would be expected to live in Memphis or relocate. We will work with the employee to determine a moving schedule that incorporates the latest public health advice. 

We are not considering long-term remote candidates.

The organization

Founded in 2017, MLK50 is an ambitious nonprofit digital newsroom with a mission to report on the intersection of poverty, power and policy, and to equip residents to pursue reform.

Since 2017, MLK50’s journalists have won several national and regional awards, including the Selden Ring Award for investigative reporting. We believe in collaboration: We’ve partnered with national outlets such as ProPublica, Next City, The Washington Post and The Marshall Project.

We are fiscally sponsored by the MuckRock Foundation. Our core funders include the Surdna Foundation, the American Journalism Project, Racial Equity in Journalism at Borealis Philanthropy and the Emerson Collective. We are also a partner newsroom with Report for America.

Job responsibilities

You’ll be a good fit if…

Compensation and benefits

Application process

To apply, please send, in a single PDF, the following to by Jan. 26.

We encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply, including women, people of color, LGBTQ people, people who were formerly incarcerated, veterans and people with disabilities.

If you meet most of the qualifications but not every single one, apply anyway.

Applications will be reviewed and interviews scheduled on a rolling basis, giving an advantage to early applicants.

Please send questions to

When applying, mention you saw this opening listed at