|February 01, 2024
|Newspapers, Digital Media, Nonprofit
Cityside Journalism Initiative, the nonprofit publisher of Berkeleyside, The Oaklandside, and East Bay Nosh, is seeking an experienced journalist who’s deeply passionate about local news to be the primary reporter for Richmondside, an independent newsroom for Richmond, California, launching in the summer of 2024.
Richmondside’s reporter will have the exciting opportunity to play a major role in helping to establish a local newsroom from the ground up—working side by side with an Editor-In-Chief and a small team at Cityside to execute a strategy for delivering high-impact public-service journalism that reflects the genuine experiences of the city’s diverse residents and meets their information needs.
The reporter will be responsible for producing daily general assignment reporting, with an emphasis on journalism that increases civic participation—from covering public meetings to writing explainers about local government to crafting nuanced profiles of elected officials and doing long-form investigative and accountability reporting. Due to the small size of Richmondside’s newsroom initially, being nimble and responsive to what’s happening in the city will be key, and the reporter will have ample opportunity to also explore a broad swath of local issues, from housing and environmental inequities to Richmond’s thriving arts scene and community nonprofits.
The reporter’s primary output will be written stories, and you’ll be expected to both pitch original ideas and take on assignments from your editor. You’ll produce work in a variety of formats: quick-turn reports, community profiles, explainers and information-resource posts, in-depth features, and investigations will all be ingredients in the body of work you develop to inform, engage, and connect community members in Richmond.
What you’ll do
- Report and write an average of 3-4 stories a week. These could include a combination of breaking news or other quick-turn reports and more in-depth stories
- With your editor, develop a strategy for covering public meetings such as city council, important school board meetings, and key committee and commission meetings
- Pitch story ideas to your editor each week that are well-researched, timely, and relevant to the needs and interests of Richmond residents
- Take on reporting assignments from your editor, sometimes on short notice
- With your editor and others at Cityside, explore ways to reach and inform people in Richmond beyond the website, such as newsletters, community events, social-media reporting, physical products, and texting services
- Become a student of all things Richmond and a trusted and accessible source of information for people in the city
- Be a steady presence in the community; you should expect to be in Richmond on most days, writing and reporting from the field in neighborhoods and areas across the city
- Report to Richmondside’s Editor-In-Chief
What you’ll need to succeed
- We’re open to receiving applications from reporters with various levels of experience. But applicants should have a track record of producing high-quality journalism, ideally in a daily local newsroom environment
- Commitment to ethical, accurate, and inclusive local reporting: You know how to build up and maintain relationships with sources, are a thorough researcher and fact-checker, and an astute interviewer
- Experience building a news beat and cultivating sources
Ability to pitch compelling, relevant, and doable story ideas that are on mission, both verbally and in writing
- A confident writer: Your copy is clean, and you sweat the details—proofreading and fact-checking—before turning a draft over to your editor
- A solid understanding of, interest in, and comfort with reporting on local government, local politics, and policy
- A solid understanding of how to obtain and use public records
- Familiarity with social media platforms and experience using them as a tool to monitor news and develop sources
- The ability to synthesize and present complex information in a highly accessible, engaging, and clear manner for a wide range of audiences
- Excellent verbal and interpersonal communication skills. You are professional, thoughtful, and flexible, bringing a positive and collaborative spirit to your interactions with coworkers and members of the public.
- Excellent time-management skills, and an ability to maintain empathy and journalistic rigor when working on a tight deadline
- Cultural competence: the awareness and knowledge to ensure that our reporting reflects the diversity of Richmond’s people and communities and the communication skills to collaborate across lines of difference
- Commitment to self-improvement; continuously working to become a better reporter and writer
- Ability and desire to work with individuals from backgrounds and with perspectives different from your own
- Openness to public speaking, from radio to TV to live events
We’re especially interested in candidates who…
- Can write and speak Spanish fluently
- Live in or near Richmond, or are willing to relocate to the city
- Have experience reporting in and about Richmond
- Have investigative reporting experience
- Have experience in breaking news
- Have multimedia experience (video, audio/podcasting, data visualizations, social media reporting)
- Have some experience with Newspack or another WordPress CMS
- Have a driver’s license and access to a vehicle
What we offer
Cityside’s salary range for reporters is $65,000-80,000 depending on experience.
Cityside currently offers the following benefits:
- $1,000 a year in professional development stipends
- Cityside pays for 75% of your health insurance premium and provides options for both Blue Cross and Kaiser Permanente medical plans. The coverage also includes dental and vision plans from Guardian.
- 401(k) retirement plan with up to a 5% company match
- 20 paid vacation days
- 12 paid sick days
- 13 paid holidays
- 5 additional paid days for an end-of-the-year break between Christmas Day and New Year
- 6 months of parental and caregiver leave
- $100,000 life insurance coverage
About Cityside Journalism Initiative
Cityside is an award-winning nonprofit and nonpartisan news organization in the Bay Area whose mission is to strengthen democracy through local reporting that matters to residents. Cityside currently operates newsrooms in Berkeley (Berkeleyside) and Oakland (The Oaklandside) and covers the local food scene through East Bay Nosh.
Cityside is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to building a diverse organization and a work environment that is safe and inclusive for all employees. We recognize that people of color, gender-expansive people, the LGBTQ+ community, and people from working-class backgrounds have been marginalized in journalism organizations. We believe that historically underrepresented communities must be centered in our work, and we strongly encourage applicants from these identities to apply.
Candidates from all spectrums of race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, socio-economic background, and levels of physical ability are welcome to apply. Cityside values a wide range of experience and encourages candidates to submit their applications even if candidates do not meet all preferred criteria.