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State Government Reporter – The Miami Herald – Tallahassee, FL


Company: The Miami Herald

Address: Tallahassee, FL


  • Full Time

The Miami Herald

Here’s the pitch:

The Miami Herald’s state capital bureau in Tallahassee needs a reporter who is a quick study, a great juggler, a fierce source builder and a fearless challenger of public officials. If you have a passion for political and government reporting, you’ll want to be part of the four-reporter bureau we operate in full partnership with the Tampa Bay Times.

The bureau staff covers state government and all its myriad agencies year-round plus the annual 60-day legislative session. Oh, and in their spare time, bureau reporters pursue enterprise and investigative stories, help cover hurricanes, breaking news and the Tallahassee end of big stories in South Florida and so much more more.

We want to leverage your expertise in areas in which you are most knowledgeable – criminal justice, health care, environment, etc. – and challenge you to build a base of knowledge to handle whatever the news gods throw our way.

Job description

Overview:

The state government reporter will have a small number of topic beats – emergency management, health care and public utilities, for example – and an assignment to cover the House or Senate of Governor’s Office. You’ll be a political reporter in election years covering statewide races and collaborating on presidential campaign coverage, too.

Accountability reporting is the top priority, and that means building sources, following the money and learning the nuances of political life in Tallahassee.

You’ll learn more about more things than you thought possible. And every day will bring new opportunities to hold the powerful accountable and report the kind of stories that affect the lives of readers all over Florida.

This position reports to a Senior Editor in the Miami newsroom.

Responsibilities:

The ideal candidate will be familiar with Florida, have a passion for covering government and politics, and be comfortable working in a collaborative bureau. He or she should have a strong track record of breaking news, writing revelatory enterprise stories and be quick and nimble on social media. Being able to analyze complex documents and effectively mine public records is important. The successful candidate will be a self-starter who will develop a strong network of sources and use all the other tools available – social media and data analytics, in particular – to find and pursue stories that will reach a broad audience.

  • Watchdog reporting that holds elected officials and public employees accountable for their stewardship of taxpayers’ dollars and citizens’ rights.

  • Providing the proper perspective on politically charged issues by developing deep knowledge of the hot topics and sorting through the spin and bluster to give clear-eyed reports to readers.

  • Developing sources doing the kind of deep reporting that breaks news.

  • Working with urgency in a highly competitive media environment to reach digital readers quickly.

  • Using all the modern journalist’s multimedia tools to embellish your work with key elements like documents, photos, audio and video recordings and links to original materials.

  • Analyze data to find stories in campaign finance reports and complex reports and other public documents about state government and its agencies.

  • It’s important to build a prominent social media profile and establish your authority on the beats you cover so you earn readers’ trust and respect as you grow your audience.

  • Writing with a digital-first mentality is crucial, and that includes preparing stories for success when they are published by writing good social and SEO headlines, embedding video and other material, and learning the content management system to take advantage of what reporters and their editor can control.

Qualifications:

  • 2+ years of reporting at a daily news organization

  • A track record of breaking news and enterprise reporting

  • An understanding of digital publishing, audience metrics and social media trends

Job duties:

  • Produce multiple stories per week ranging from breaking news to enterprise to investigative/watchdog/accountability reporting.

  • Ability to shoot and edit your own photos and video.

  • Ability to use spreadsheets and/or databases to compile and analyze data.

  • Ability to work collaboratively in a bureau setting while staying connected to editors and colleagues via phone, email, chat and occasional visits.

  • Willingness to travel to out-of-town assignments. A valid driver’s license is required.

  • This job has flexible days and hours. Working some nights and weekends may occasionally be required.

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