Journo Jobs

Charlotte Observer seeks a courts reporter

August 8, 2023

Posted by Mariam Ahmed

The Charlotte Observer is looking for an energetic, dogged reporter who can conceive, spot, report and write compelling stories that emerge from the local, state and federal courts in our region. This reporter will have the agility to cover breaking news while also capturing intriguing disputes and writing sophisticated enterprise about what’s happening in our court system.

This reporter will become an expert on our court systems and develop a deep and wide network of sources that includes lawyers, judges, court watchers, academic experts, advocates and others. They will break exclusive news, write with expertise and tell stories that connect with readers because they either affect their lives or are just plain riveting.

This reporter could occasionally partner with another reporter who covers systemic problems around equity in the criminal justice system, including on issues of sentencing reform, racial justice and debates over police use of force.

Candidates must be clear, concise, lively writers, and they must work well with others in a collaborative newsroom. They should have a minimum of one year of experience and preferably more. Daily newspaper experience is preferred. Candidates must understand how to use social media to improve and share stories and always have the reader top of mind. And while we have a talented photo/visual staff, candidates should be capable of producing quality photo and video.

The successful candidate should meet many, though not necessarily all, of the following requirements:

  • College degree or equivalent work experience
  • A minimum of 1 year of reporting experience that shows a track record of excellence.
  • Strong writing skills, excellent news judgment and a demonstrated ability to “see the story” that is going to matter to readers
  • Unwavering commitment to accurate, ethical journalism
  • Ability to build source networks and bring a constant flow of story ideas
  • Ability to work collaboratively to tackle stories
  • Comfort with a job that will be demanding, fast-paced and constantly evolving
  • Eagerness to work with data, public records and business reports
  • Positive approach to finding solutions.

    What you’ll bring:

  • A competitive nature
  • A deep understanding, or the ability to quickly develop one, of how the court system and the criminal justice system work
  • 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
  • Command of grammar, spelling, Observer and AP style, as well as the ability to write clearly and organize a story
  • 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

For more information click here.

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