Recode/Vox seek a billionaire power and influence reporter
Recode and Vox are looking for a senior reporter to cover a newly emerging beat that’s finally capturing more of the world’s attention: billionaire power and influence in the US.
A newer class of billionaires has emerged in recent years as their tech companies have ascended to the top of the US economy and reshaped how Americans live, work, and communicate. Though these ultra-wealthy people are not elected officials, they and the companies they created wield comparable influence over our political, economic, and social systems. But they are not being regulated and checked as elected officials are, and a lot of coverage about their influence is surface-level — either fawning or cynical. They demand more scrutiny and more nuance.
Much of the work of this role will require you to look beyond the obvious, press-release driven news that announces billionaires’ charitable endeavors, political funding and leveraging, and placement on wealth lists. You’ll need to closely follow and even try to break news about these developments, but more importantly, you’ll need to understand and explain for our audience what it all means in context — what the bigger story really is. You’ll need the insights, sourcing, and perspective to understand that a local story about a proposed wealth tax in Washington state is actually a clear signal about what billionaires really feel about taxes, or that the helpful efforts of billionaires like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg at the start of the pandemic were also notable because they would deepen the world’s dependence on these already powerful people. Put more simply, this role needs a senior reporter with an insider’s expertise that they can then translate for a broad audience.
What you’ll do:
-Work closely with your editor(s) to define and continue refining your beat
-Pitch distinct, multifaceted stories that connect the dots between billionaires’ soft power and its consequences for our broad audience
-Do research and source-based reporting to uncover how these powerful people are quietly wielding their influence and spending their money
-Write sharp, authoritative analysis that explains the tangible stakes of these billionaires’ moves
-Drive national conversations throughout the year with your reporting and analysis
What you’ll bring:
-Sourcing and knowledge in the philanthropy, political funding, and/or wealth management worlds that’s relevant to the billionaire power beat
-Eagerness and gumption to build out existing sources and find new, diverse ones
-An ability to understand the fine details and nuances of a complicated story, while also being able to zoom out and put that story in its bigger context
-Dogged reporting instinct
-A conversational voice and sharp clarity when writing about complicated topics like tax loopholes, philanthropic vehicles, and political donations
-Ambition, personal motivation, and an eagerness to collaborate with your editors, fellow reporters, and newsroom members
To apply, go here.