Chalkbeat, the growing nonprofit news organization telling the story of education in America, is seeking a reporter to join our Detroit team.
Detroit’s schools are at the center of a national conversation about urban education. Extreme poverty, decades of disinvestment, and a robust system of school choice engineered in part by Betsy DeVos before she became U.S. education secretary all have taken a toll on Detroit schools, which routinely post the lowest test scores in the nation. At the same time, a new school board, superintendent, and motivated community groups are trying to position Detroit schools for a turnaround. Chalkbeat Detroit will explore the challenges and complexities of such efforts — telling stories from early childhood through high school — at a pivotal time.
This position will report to Chalkbeat’s Detroit bureau chief.
Who are you?
You are committed to local journalism and respect the transformative power of a good story. You’re a self-starter who is hungry to break news, eager to understand and inform vital public policy debates, and enthusiastic about creating new models for sustainable journalism. You’re a strong beat reporter who can develop reliable sources and beat the competition. You’ve got the ability to write a range of stories, from breaking news to enterprise and long-term projects. Most importantly, you can serve as a guide for our readers—school personnel, education insiders, parents, students, and curious citizens—in explaining how schools in the city work. And you’re not afraid to call its leaders to task when warranted. We are open to hiring a veteran reporter or an up-and-coming journalist for this position.
What background and skills do you have?:
Experience covering education, government, or public policy
Familiarity and experience with social media
Comfort or experience working with data, research, and reports
Interest in or experience with reader engagement, including finding creative ways to connect with a diverse set of readers and use those efforts to inform our reporting
Knowledge of early childhood education, K-12 education, pathways to college, and state and city policy issues
Experience with building sources and generating story ideas
The ability to write clearly, cleanly, and on deadline for quick-take, daily and longer-form stories
Note: We know that many strong candidates will not have all the skills we list. That’s OK. What else do you bring to the table? Please tell us!
What will you be responsible for?
You'll be responsible for conceiving and executing stories that help people understand how breaking news connects to the big picture, and how public policy decisions impact and connect to the people and institutions in Detroit.
You’ll collaborate with our product team as Chalkbeat comes up with innovative ways to present news and distribute stories.
You’ll communicate and build relationships with readers and key players in the local community through our regular morning newsletters, social media posts, and the reporting process.
We offer a flexible work environment, with shared office space in midtown Detroit and the ability to work from home when appropriate.
This is a full-time position with benefits. Chalkbeat offers a competitive salary, commensurate with experience, and a generous benefits package, including a paid winter recess from December 26-31.
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