The Orlando Sentinel is seeking a journalist who will focus on criminal justice in Central Florida as a member of our Local News reporting team. The candidate selected will serve as the newsroom’s lead reporter on coverage of the judicial system and high-profile prosecutions, but will also cover topics across the spectrum of criminal justice and public safety, including police misconduct, use of force, first responder funding and more.
The ideal candidate will have experience covering criminal justice issues, obtaining public records and developing trustworthy sources. The Sentinel is in a competitive media market, so candidates must have comfort reporting and writing quickly under deadline conditions, while also showing an aptitude to delve deeper and produce watchdog reporting that illuminates the impact of the criminal justice system on people in our community.
The Sentinel’s Local News team prioritizes communication and collaboration to respond to breaking news and major controversies, so working well with others is a must. This is a full-time position with paid time off and benefits. The person chosen will work a Tuesday through Saturday schedule, covering general assignment breaking news on Saturdays. Though most Sentinel journalists currently work from home, the person hired for this position would be expected to relocate to Central Florida.
What you will do:
- Being fast and accurate: Always striving to provide readers with what we know, when we know it. Be transparent about sources of information
- Employing creativity every day to conceive of stories, produce or secure visuals, get sources to cooperate, corroborate facts and present information to readers in the most relevant, interesting way
- Maximizing audience engagement with the site through use of various storytelling formats, including photo galleries, video, aggregation and a variety of layouts
- Creating news and features content that is strong on grammar, punctuation, clarity and accuracy
- Taking the initiative to fact-check, run background checks and confirm information before publication
- Delivering on time with minimal to moderate supervision and editing
- Cultivating beats, where appropriate, and sources
- Uncovering and proposing exclusive stories on newsworthy events and trends
- Contributing story ideas several times a week, including identifying and following trends outside assigned beat or topic areas, and informing supervisors of possible story ideas arising from trends
- Employing creativity to present all information in easy-to-read, visually appealing, informative and engaging format
- Conceiving, creating, editing, aggregating or producing various types of content. Depending on the department, this may include videos, maps, timelines, multimedia, documents, graphics, photo galleries, gifs and social aggregations
- Taking or securing photos and making basic videos and making them available in the content management system
- Measuring performance of one’s own digital content through audience engagement metrics and working with audience team develop tactics and strategies to build audience
- Working with data and visuals teams, as appropriate, to deepen reporting and produce data-visualization content items
- Participating in production videos and live streaming with visuals department, as appropriate
- Striving to meet specific individual goals to be assigned on a regular basis by supervisor
What you will bring:
- Professional-level grasp of proper grammar, spelling, punctuation
- Ability to write accurately, with clarity, without bias
- Knowledge of libel laws and adherence to the Tribune’s and Editorial’s codes of ethics
- Three years of experience at a daily news organization
- Bachelor’s degree
- Ability to multitask and perform in a fast-paced deadline driven environment.
- Ability to work independently when required while at the same time operate efficiently in a team dynamic
- Up-to-date skills on various digital platforms
- Familiarity with current events and newsmakers
- Quick-turnaround skills
- Basic familiarity with analytics and ability to translate data into tactics and strategies, including ability to use metrics from Chartbeat, Adobe Analytics, social and other tools
- Knowledge of Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms and ability to develop/follow best practices for social
- Basic knowledge of SEO best practices and ability to research SEO and appropriately populate fields and headlines
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