Racial Equity Reporter/Journalist

Spokane, WA

About the job

Racial Equity Reporter/Journalist

We’re looking for a reporter to cover racial equity issues in the Spokane area, joining both The Spokesman-Review and The Black Lens. We want an experienced journalist who knows how to pursue a story and can quickly pivot to cover local and national events in relation to racial equity. We are a relatively young newsroom with a lot of energy and a very aggressive approach to local news. We’re a family-owned, 75,000-circ newspaper with a newsroom of 55 people.

This position includes a full suite of benefits including medical, dental, life insurance, EAP, LTD, paid vacation, holidays and sick time, a matching 401(k) program and more! Please visit our careers site: www.https://careers.spokesman.com to create a profile and then apply for this job.

This position serves to contribute to The Spokesman-Review’s mission to inform its audience through accurate, thorough, helpful, fair and lively reporting on racial-equity issues, race relations and systemic racism. The position also includes coverage of national issues at the local level. This reporter will work closely with not only The Spokesman-Review, but also with The Black Lens newspaper. This position carries a Creative Commons license, meaning it can be published by any organization. Content produced by this journalist will not behind any sort of paywall.

General Responsibilities

  • Prepare accurate, fair, balanced, and carefully researched stories and multimedia posts to meet assigned deadlines.
  • The reporter must:
  • • Have or acquire, the intercultural knowledge, awareness, and skills required to function competently across various cultural groups.
  • • Have or acquire a deep understanding of the history of race in America so they can embed articles in the context of America’s racial history.
  • • Be able to analyze racial issues at the personal, community, and national level.
  • • Be able to frame racial issues in the context of systemic racism.
  • Craft a beat that focuses on communities that have been marginalized by a system that is supposed to protect all citizens. Be willing and able to help people deal with important social services, an often confusing legal, educational, healthcare, financial, and government systems. Build strong sources within the Black community, Native American community, and other cultural communities in the Spokane area, extending beyond just official sources.
  • Be able to keep the beat fresh with new ideas. Stay ahead of stories, anticipate changes, and write/publish those stories ahead of competitors. Clearly understand the beat in order to write with authority.
  • Work closely with S-R editors and The Black Lens editor, Sandra Williams, to give voice to the unheard and to help the community understand and address systemic racism, Spokane’s race relations and Spokane’s equity issues.
  • Demonstrate appropriate focus on race-related stories that matter to our audience and to the public record, using identified Key Performance Indicators made available to help you to improve audience relevance.
  • Be able to stay ahead and out front of the competition, local or national competitors, in regards to racial equity, systemic racism, and race relations.
  • Be willing and able to localize a national story when appropriate, and do it quickly when needed.
  • Write at least seven (7) stories a week, with at least five (5) that are published in our print edition. Finished stories should be clear and concise; self-edited for clean copy that can be posted quickly when needed for competitive reasons.
  • Be able to take photos shoot simple video or record audio-or anything that can easily be done with a mobile phone – that will help tell the story or serve our readers; not relying solely on staff photographers for mug shots, especially those that will only run once.
  • Be able to grow the total size of your journalism’s audience; ensuring stories have appropriate headlines, especially for the website, adapting to the changes in print circulation and growth opportunities with our digital audience. Key indicators are the amount of times readers of The Spokesman-Review and The Black Lens continue to turn to your stories and the amount of time your audience spends with your stories.
  • Utilize art possibilities for every story, both in print and online, to increase and improve audience engagement; pull in graphics, design, photo and online team members so they can gain a better understanding of the story, when appropriate.
  • Demonstrate ability to seek out and act quickly on story opportunities on all platforms used by our news organization. Aggressively follow through on stories, including interacting in a professional capacity with readers after publication through comments or other engaging tools. This means using those avenues to find follow0up information and expand on stories.
  • Utilize social media and other promotional tools to maximize audience exposure to your journalism ensuring covered stories are viewed and shared more than competitor stories.
  • Pitch stories for the newspapers front page and homepage when appropriate.
  • Promote and assist in the development and facilitation of events designed to promote public awareness and readership of The Spokesman-Review and The Black Lens.
  • Participate and provide positive experiences at company events as a liaison with key audiences/stakeholders such as community members, readers, service providers, donors, etc

Job Requirements

  • Create a positive attitude that cultivates a sense of camaraderie and chemistry in our newsroom that helps us not only achieve our goals, but exceed them. This positivity is essential as we focus on helping our newspapers go forward with strategies aimed at our longtime survival.
  • Be proficient in use of a computer and smartphone, including use of the content management systems at The Spokesman-Review and The Black Lens. Demonstrate ability to create hyperlinks, attach photos, understand SEO and Key Performance Indicators.
  • Be able to use a smartphone to file stories and multimedia from the field and to stay current with news events. Demonstrate social media skills on Twitter, Facebook and any emerging social media networks as a way to both promote and enhance your journalism.
  • Be able to work in adverse conditions and unusual schedules when news breaks.
  • Must understand and uphold the standards, ethics and mission of journalists at The Spokesman-Review and The Black Lens on all platforms.
  • Utilize exceptional organizational skills, be able to meet changing deadlines, deal with multiple stories at once, keep supervisors abreast of developments, and work with other staff members on stories.
  • Read The Spokesman-Review and The Black Lens both in print and online, and stay current with all relative news sources.
  • Maintain a high degree of professionalism in representing The Spokesman-Review and The Black Lens always striving for fairness and accuracy.
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