VoteBeat hiring reporter to cover Michigan election issues with Bridge
Votebeat, the nonprofit news organization created by Chalkbeat to cover local election administration and voting access, is seeking a passionate journalist to serve as our Michigan reporter in partnership with Bridge Michigan.
This is a pivotal time to cover voting in Michigan, a state that saw one of the closest presidential elections of 2020 followed by a flood of lawsuits and unfounded claims of voter fraud, efforts to investigate the election, and legislation attempting to change the ways Michiganders will vote. Votebeat will cover efforts to change the rules around voting; extremists’ efforts to take over local positions overseeing the next elections; and local administrators’ conducting of 2022’s contentious primary and general elections, many based on redrawn districts.
You will be responsible for reporting and writing stories, in close collaboration with your Votebeat and Bridge editors. You will dive deep into the details of election administration and synthesize those facts into accurate, nuanced takeaways aimed at countering voting misinformation. Your journalism will inform the debate around voting and make an impact by spotlighting problems in elections and by driving the debates toward solutions. Because the decision-making and preparations for elections are constantly ongoing, we treat this coverage as a year-round beat. You also will serve as Votebeat’s public face in the community, working closely with our network team to cultivate reader engagement and represent the organization at public events.
This position can be based anywhere in Michigan, primarily working at home and communicating remotely with the rest of the staffs. If based in Detroit, Lansing, or Ypsilanti, the reporter would have access to Bridge or Chalkbeat office space. The reporter will report to Votebeat’s editor in chief and will work closely with our partners at Bridge Michigan, the state’s preeminent public policy online news site. Your work will appear on both websites as well as in distribution to other local media partners.
Who are you?
You are committed to local journalism and respect the transformative power of a good story. You’re a self-starter who is hungry to break news, eager to understand and inform vital public policy debates, and enthusiastic about creating new models for sustainable journalism. You’re a strong beat reporter who can develop reliable sources and find overlooked stories. You have the ability to write a range of stories, from breaking news to enterprise and long-term projects.
Most importantly, you can serve as a guide for our readers — election administrators, policymakers, voting advocates, and voters themselves — in explaining how elections work in Michigan. And you’re not afraid to call officials to task when warranted.
What background and skills do you have?
- Experience covering elections, government, public policy, or legal affairs
- Knowledge of Michigan elections, local demographics, and political culture
- Experience with building sources and generating story ideas
- Comfort or experience working with data, research, and reports
- The ability to write clearly, cleanly, and on deadline for quick-take, daily, and longer-form stories
- Autonomous work habits, including proactive initiative and diligent task management while working remotely
- Team-oriented mindset with a generous spirit toward supporting your colleagues
- Interest in or experience with reader engagement, including finding creative ways to connect with a diverse set of readers
- A firm grasp of AP style and proper grammar
- The ability to accept feedback and use it to grow
- A passion for political participation and civic health in Michigan
- Ability to report in a language other than English is a plus
Not all candidates will meet all of the requirements listed above, and that’s OK — we still want to hear from you. We especially encourage candidates from communities that traditionally have been underrepresented in journalism and especially in leadership positions.
This is a full-time position with benefits. Votebeat offers a competitive salary of $58,150 – $80,000, commensurate with experience, and a generous benefits package, including a paid one-week summer recess. Our virtual newsroom features daily interaction, social Slack channels, personal development sessions, and team exercise and meditation get-togethers.
Our organization is committed to antiracism, and our staff is taking part in ongoing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging work. Our leadership team of seven is 100 percent female and includes four women of color. The overall staff of our counterpart, Chalkbeat, is 43 percent non-white.
Votebeat is the nonprofit news organization created by Chalkbeat, originally as a pop-up newsroom in 2020 and now relaunching as a permanent network. We are committed to providing local coverage that strengthens elections and holds public officials accountable for fair access to the ballot box. Read more about our mission, vision, and values.
About Bridge Michigan:
Bridge Michigan is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that provides passionate and rooted Michigan readers with honest, fact-driven journalism on the state’s diverse people, politics, and economy. It serves as a watchdog on the biggest issues impacting your daily life, delivering insightful coverage you can’t get anywhere else.
How to Apply:
Please send a PDF of your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Michigan Reporter” in the subject line. In lieu of a cover letter, include a note answering two questions: How does existing coverage of elections in Michigan fall short? And how would you use beat reporting skills to raise the quality of local coverage?
Votebeat is dedicated to equal employment opportunities for all applicants and employees. Votebeat encourages people of all races, colors, national origins, ancestries, creeds, religions, genders, ages, disabilities, veteran status, sexual orientations and marital statuses to apply.
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