Journo Jobs

MLK50: Justice Through Journalism seeks a public safety & justice reporter

August 14, 2023

Posted by Mariam Ahmed

We’re looking for a public safety and justice reporter who can explore what can, will and does keep Memphians safe. That means tracking some of the familiar places and happenings involved in the city’s criminal justice system

We believe justice heals intergenerational trauma and the work of oppressive systems. We believe justice seeks resolution by establishing institutions and structures that create peaceful societies. So, this reporter would also delve into restorative justice efforts and alternatives to incarceration.

Our ideal candidate would have at least five years of full-time reporting experience, with preference given to those with prior public safety/criminal justice/government reporting experience. They should be able to produce two to three stories a month. They should be good at cultivating community sources, navigating (sometimes hostile) government bureaucracies and handling research. They should have a solid grasp of AP style. They will have mastered story structure and organization, be passionate about accuracy and history, and be willing to explore a variety of storytelling forms. Collaboration is one of our key values, so the candidate should welcome working with colleagues on stories, projects and audience engagement.


  • Write between 2-3 stories a month, with a mix of enterprise and quick turn pieces
  • Produce clean and concise content that displays outstanding spelling and grammar skills and a solid grasp of AP style
  • Develop and manage a diverse portfolio of source relationships; help maintain a shared source database
  • Use data to tell stories; request public records
  • Work with the audience engagement manager and visuals editor to develop one-pagers, social media, in-person events and partnerships around stories and related topics
  • Create approaches for the distribution of work in the communities we serve


  • Experienced: You’ll need to hit the ground running; you should have worked a beat for at least three years, a similar one would be ideal
  • Patient: With a good sense of humor
  • Flexible: Nimble and able to pivot when priorities shift. Brings a can-do attitude to work.
  • Memphis-loving: A working knowledge of (or eagerness to immerse yourself in) the character, people, relationships and ways of Memphis
  • Curious: An eagerness to learn about the topics and MLK50 coverage areas; you stay current on Memphis and national news topics related to our coverage areas
  • Mission-focused: You frame work through the lens of the most vulnerable, with a focus on poverty, power and policy.
  • Committed: You keep abreast of social, racial and economic justice movements locally and nationally; you demonstrate an ongoing commitment to the cultural competency that matches MLK50’s mission.
  • Organized: All staff are expected to prioritize and balance multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Courageous: You’re willing to disrupt narratives of suffering and interrupt the status quo

Salary range: Starting at $65,000

TO APPLY: We are eager to learn more about you and how you fit this role. When you apply, don’t limit your upload to a resume; show us what you’ve done. To do so, put together a single document file that includes the following, in this order:

  • Your resume – one to two pages.
  • A cover letter that outlines how you would approach the job.
  • Links to 3-6 online samples of your work. Show us what you’ve done or had a hand in that best demonstrates what you can do in this job.

Please put all of these items into a single PDF and email it to Put “public safety reporter” in the subject line.

To learn more about this position, contact Executive editor Adrienne Johnson Martin at

The deadline to apply is 11:59 p.m. CT, Sept. 4, 2023. All applications will be acknowledged when received. We will review resumes through Sept. 15, and all applicants will receive a response by Sept. 21. Strong candidates will be asked to complete a paid writing test.  Finalists will be interviewed Oct. 2 – 6. If you have an accessibility request, please let us know.

For further information click here.

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