Journo Jobs

Chalkbeat seeks a Michigan State policy reporter

March 14, 2023

Posted by Mariam Ahmed

Chalkbeat, the growing nonprofit news organization telling the story of education in America, is seeking a reporter to cover Michigan education policy as part of our Detroit team.

This position, which will require regular travel to the capitol, has been created in partnership with Bridge Michigan, a nonprofit policy publication that covers civic issues across the state. The position will report to Chalkbeat’s Detroit Bureau Chief and will work out of Chalkbeat’s office in midtown Detroit and Bridge’s office in Lansing, with regular reporting trips around the state. Stories will appear in both Chalkbeat and Bridge, as well as other media outlets that follow Chalkbeat’s republishing guidelines.

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 are excited to follow major legislative debates in Lansing, but you’re just as excited to write in-depth stories that help readers understand how the policy debates and decisions happening in Lansing are playing out for local students, parents, and teachers.
  • You’re a strong beat reporter who can develop reliable sources.
  • 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 work.

What background and skills do you have?:

  • At least 3-5 years of 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 and finance
  • 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 cover breaking news and enterprise stories about Michigan’s state government including the governor, legislature and state board of education.
  • You’ll conceive and execute 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 Michigan.
  • You’ll visit schools and classrooms around the state on reporting trips to see how policy decisions are playing out for children and their teachers.
  • You’ll work closely and collaborate with reporters and staff at Chalkbeat and Bridge.
  • 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.

The salary for this position ranges from $65,000 – $85,000 commensurate with experience.

For further details click here.

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