Journo Jobs

Mountain State Spotlight seeks an environment & energy reporter

February 28, 2023

Posted by Mariam Ahmed

Now hiring: Environment and Energy Reporter

Mountain State Spotlight, a nonprofit news organization, is looking for a curious journalist to expand our coverage of environmental issues, energy and worker safety and health.

In this position, you’ll work to tell the untold stories of West Virginia communities grappling with decades of legacy pollution, a changing energy landscape and economic realities, climate change and far too little attention paid to worker health and safety. You’ll follow the promises of elected officials, who have often doubled-down on encouraging the state’s extractive industries, to the detriment of the land, people and economy. You’ll show the human toll of these legacy industries — from federal violations of workplace safety at coal mines and chemical plants to black lung disease. And you will help our readers navigate West Virginia’s still-evolving role in the remaking of the nation’s energy industries.

The successful candidate will be able to juggle stories of multiple complexities, giving our readers a steady pace of different types of stories on these topics of great importance to West Virginians.

You should be familiar with Freedom of Information Act requests, a proficient writer and skilled at using sources to uncover unique stories. Data reporting skills and familiarity with data visualization tools would be helpful, as is experience with audio journalism and photography.

Creative storytelling is a must. So is an ability to interview and respectfully interact with people from all different backgrounds and economic circumstances.

Job responsibilities

  • Bring an accountability lens to the issues West Virginians encounter every day, including through quicker stories reported over days or weeks, as well as longer projects.
  • Tell thoughtful, accountability-driven digital stories about all aspects of West Virginia’s environment, the state’s energy sector and worker health and safety issues.
  • Follow your beat, developing a deep knowledge of the topics and maintain a rolling list of story ideas that West Virginians need to read.
  • Work with other Mountain State Spotlight reporters to best use our resources to investigate the kinds of abuses of power in our government that have held West Virginia back for generations.

You’re a good fit if you:

  • Are passionate about journalism, intrigued by difficult questions and like a challenge.
  • Have at least three years experience working as a reporter in a local newsroom, with some record of producing stories that hold powerful people accountable.
  • Have a demonstrated commitment to the use of investigative journalism, and live to develop and execute sustained, powerful stories that spur reform.
  • Are mission-oriented: scared about the future of local news, but wildly optimistic that we can fill a critical need in West Virginia.
  • Are organized and can handle multiple projects under tight deadlines.
  • Enjoy working together with editors to execute stories from idea to published product, and believe reporting and writing are team sports.
  • Maintain a professional social media presence.
  • Like to collaborate, and believe that we’re all stronger when we work together.
  • Are flexible and comfortable working in an environment where the pace can be fast, and multitasking is the norm.
  • Believe that legacy models for local media’s business and journalism are broken and that new approaches are needed to serve the public and our democracy.

To apply or to ask questions, email Please send us a resume, three work samples and a cover letter that tells us why you are right for Mountain State Spotlight’s team.

For more details click here.

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