The Charlotte Observer is looking for a reporter who is passionate about reporting on power, people and personalities that drive politics in a blue city and purple state.
Our state/local politics reporter will tell readers, with authoritative insight, how action (or inaction) in Raleigh and Washington, D.C., affects Charlotte and its people and businesses, and will write with context on the power brokers — and aspiring power brokers — in Charlotte and North Carolina.
This is a beat for a reporter who loves a scoop, but can also go deep and tell the story behind the story. We want to break news, and we want to deliver high-impact accountability journalism, always with fairness and through a nonpartisan lens.
To do this, you’ll be plugged into the local political scene in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, developing a deep understanding of Charlotte’s relationship with state political leaders, and how it can work for and against us. You’ll form relationships across the spectrum in Charlotte to break important local political news, too.
Being a great collaborator and team player is key in this job. You’ll work with colleagues in our sister newsroom in Raleigh, as well as our correspondent in McClatchy’s DC bureau and our local government reporter in Charlotte.
We expect reporters to work to understand what’s important to readers in Charlotte and North Carolina, and to use that knowledge, as well as digital metrics and social media, to break and report exclusive journalism that’s a must-read.
College degree required. Minimum of three years digital journalism experience preferred. Extensive background in journalism, video and online media preferred.
We want this reporter to:
- Break exclusive news that readers care about.
- Conceive compelling enterprise story ideas relevant to local readers.
- Develop a broad range of sources.
- Be a master of social media – both as a news-gathering tool and as a way to get your journalism in front of readers.
- Understand audience metrics – which stories are resonating with readers? Working with your editor, regularly mine this data for takeaways about how we can build our audience.
- On tight deadlines, write stories that are fair, accurate and give readers important context.
- Work closely with our visual journalists to develop video and images for stories.
- Engage the public: Deliver news coverage and enterprise reporting in a way in which readers understand the need for action or involvement.
Success will require:
- A competitive nature.
- Collaborative instincts and the ability to work well on a team.
- A deep understanding of how power, government and politics work.
- Communication skills to build strong source networks.
- The ability to report and write accurately and engagingly on tight deadlines.
- Creativity and independence in identifying stories that are exclusive to The Observer and relevant to readers.
- Ability to evaluate, analyze and interpret complex documents and records.
- Deep commitment to accurate, ethical journalism.
- Command of grammar, spelling, Observer and AP style, as well as the ability to write clearly and organize a story.
- Strong story-telling ability and excellent news judgment.
- Expert-level writing skills in multiple formats – short form, long form, narrative, hard news and features.
- Fluency in both the art and science of readership and engagement.
- Strong interpersonal skills, including empathy and the ability to take and give constructive criticism.
Physical Activity Requirements
- Work occurs in a wide range of environments and conditions, but this reporter should primarily be in the field. Position requires ability to move from one location to another, sitting, standing, bending, talking, hearing, use of near, mid-range and far vision.
- May need to lift/carry up to 10 pounds of equipment.
- Uses computer, which may require prolonged keyboarding and using of mouse.
- Employee may work more than his/her scheduled number of hours and may work non-traditional business hours.
- Ground or air travel may be necessary.
- Position involves regular contact with the public. Must be able to deal with angry or upset people in a professional and effective manner.
- Occasional breaking news assignments may require working in disaster areas, varying climates and under extreme physical conditions.
- Employee must have a valid North Carolina or South Carolina driver’s license, good driving record and dependable vehicle and must carry vehicle insurance.
- Regular and reliable attendance is a necessary element of this job.
Please include a cover letter and resume with your application.
What we’ll bring: As a journalist at McClatchy, you will join a supportive, flexible, collaborative team. McClatchy strives to be an employer of choice, and our benefits package is made with this goal in mind. With a focus on well-being and daily life, our package options includes healthcare coverage for employees and their families, financial protection from expected and unexpected expenses, multiple no-cost wellness resources and even coverage for four-legged friends. Our overall benefit package also includes a 401(k) with employer match, competitive paid time off and corporate holidays, and a variety of mental health benefits. For more information on McClatchy's benefit plan, please visit McClatchyLivewell.com.
About McClatchy: Our impact is growing every day. We have 30 growing news markets. Over 65 million monthly readers. 56 Pulitzer Prizes. A strong portfolio of dynamic partnerships and smart investments. Our award-winning journalism, digital reach, and commitment to innovative growth have never been stronger. As a member of the McClatchy family, you are part of an exciting culture dedicated to creating a work/life balance and consistent opportunities for growth—a place where you have a voice and the ability to impact our future. It’s an exciting time to be here. Our company is experiencing the most transformative period in its history. We’re growing rapidly in the digital space and delivering award-winning journalism in innovative ways.