State Government Reporter
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram's state government reporter is based on Austin, with a primary focus of holding state agencies and the people in power accountable for how they spend our money and conduct our business. This reporter is audience focused in his or her work, meaning decisions are guided and stories are shaped based on topics, issues, problems and angles that resonate and affect the lives of those in the greater Fort Worth area. In addition, the beat requires coverage of the legislature when it is in session, watchdog stories that hold lawmakers accountable year-round and stories on the politics of the legislature and state government.
This is a watchdog-driven position that requires the ability to mine public records, turn quick enterprise stories, as well as in-depth investigative pieces. This reporter must be self-motivated to go after the big story and beat the competition while shunning follow-the-pack incremental coverage. Teamwork is also key: working with political reporters and others in Fort Worth and Washington.
This position focuses on how leaders are elected and how decisions made by them and agency employees affect lives in North Texas, through the taxes we pay, the places we work, the schools our kids attend, the hospitals we go to for treatment or the state agencies we go to for help.
This reporter will know how to acquire and analyze public documents and will be a storyteller who can explain his or her findings in a way that makes the impact clear to readers. A familiarity with data analysis, including a proficiency in Excel, is needed.
At the Star-Telegram, the reader comes first, last and always. And our mission is to work for a better community. This reporter is motivated by our mission, which is as important now as it's ever been.
A degree in journalism or a related field and at least two years of relevant experience are preferred.
Strong writing and editing skills and excellent news judgment.
Unwavering commitment to accurate, ethical journalism.
Expert-level understanding of public records law and how to use it.
Ability to acquire and analyze data.
Fluency in the science of readership and engagement, including an understanding of metrics/analytics programs.
Understanding of SEO and other optimization opportunities and a demonstrated ability to learn new skills in social and digital.
Strong interpersonal skills, including empathy and the ability to take and give constructive criticism.
Ability to engage with readers and develop sources on social media platforms including but not limited to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Ability to correctly identify audience for selected stories.
Ability to meet deadlines.
Ability to edit video (using phone).
Ability to work collaboratively on projects ranging from podcasts to video to enterprise stories.
Ability to work comfortably in a job that will be fast-paced, data-driven, shaped constantly by feedback and experimentation and always evolving.
A way with headlines and an understanding of what works well on different platforms.
An interest in telling stories using a variety of media, and an enthusiasm for learning new skills and technologies.
An understanding of AP style.
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