||May 31, 2021
||Newspapers / Wires
The growth and development reporter covers a fast-moving, high-profile beat for the Observer – one that demands competitive, breaking news coverage as well as exclusive, high-end enterprise that helps our audience understand and make sense of the changes around them in our rapidly growing city.
The beat needs to connect multiple communities, from young professionals looking for a condo uptown to long-time residents concerned about the latest trends in their neighborhood to workers wondering what their office life will look like post-pandemic. This core beat involves breaking news, working sources, mining public databases, uncovering trends and talking to real people.
Each day, Charlotte adds about 50 new people, bringing an increased demand for housing, retail, schools and other development. That growth creates opportunities but also significant challenges for the city, such as a lack of affordable housing and escalating real estate costs. This beat has a major accountability component, through public records, data analysis and strong sourcing and reporting. Stories need to go beyond press releases and zoning board meetings to what is driving the decisions that affect the community.
The job requires the ability to understand our audience and frame stories in a way that highlights what is most important and essential to them. Don't just identify trends as they take shape, but tell readers what’s driving those trends and what it means for them. This is a story-rich beat in an energetic, thriving city where growth is leaving some people behind. We’re looking for a reporter who can tell the stories of what growth is doing for Charlotte and also what it’s doing to Charlotte.
This reporter will:
- Balance breaking daily news with deeper reporting on trends and analysis, working with editors to choose the best priorities for the day.
- Write news and enterprise stories that are clear, accurate, engaging and of high interest and relevance to local readers.
- Learn to develop a broad range of sources on the beat and build strong relationships with key people to identify stories relevant to them and important for our broader readership to understand.
- Be able to juggle daily, short-term enterprise and long-term enterprise stories.
- Work with editors to ensure that stories are complete, fair and in context.
- Use audience metrics to determine which stories are resonating with readers and which are not. Work with editors to mine this data for takeaways about how we can build our audience and convert readers to subscribers.
- Use judgment in determining the best digital tools for conveying news to readers in varying circumstances and formats.
- Collaborate with visual journalists to develop video and photos that help tell stories effectively.
- Use social networks to seek story ideas, report in real time and connect with the community.
Education and knowledge:
- College degree required.
- 2+ years of beat reporting experience in a daily newsroom preferred.
- Prior internships in a daily newsroom required.
This reporter will need to have:
- Command of grammar, spelling, Observer and AP style, as well as the ability to write clearly.
- Strong news judgement.
- Ability to develop source networks on a beat.
- Ability to learn both the art and science of readership and engagement.
- Strong interpersonal and collaborative skills.
- Comfort with a job that will be demanding, fast-paced and constantly evolving.
- Skill at writing well-organized news and enterprise stories.
- Knowledge in use of social networks such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
- Ability to obtain, sort and analyze public documents, such as property records and court records.
- Commitment to accurate, ethical journalism.
- Fundamental understanding of research tools.
- Must have reliable transportation.
- Must have valid driver’s license and vehicle insurance required (at least minimum insurance required for the state in which the employee works)
To Apply: Include a cover letter, resume and writing samples or links to writing samples.
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