Public Service Reporter

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Primary role: The Public Service Reporter exists to produce investigations and enterprise projects that serve the public good. Our expectation is that you’ll create big stories in a fast-growing, complex city.

You’ll hold the powerful accountable and be a voice for the vulnerable.

You’ll write about issues that matter, from affordable housing to infrastructure, education to climate change, and, of course, the long-term ramifications of the 2020 coronavirus.

You’ll be as comfortable diving through documents as you are sitting with a struggling family or asking tough questions of officials.

You’ll have a distinct writing voice and an ability to craft compelling narratives.

You’ll come up with fresh ideas that strike at the heart of what it means to live in Charlotte today.

You’ll help make Charlotte a more honest, transparent, interesting city, and you’ll be driven by a desire to make it a better place to live.

What you’ll actually do (may change based on skills and workload): You’ll produce at least two stories a month. You’ll write our newsletter at least once every other week. You’ll constantly have freedom of information requests in the works. At least one story a year will result in fundamental changes at private and/or public institutions that steer and shape Charlotte. At least a few each year will leverage our audience to help break the cycle of poverty in some way.

For example, is the state wasting money on a dead-end highway project? Does email correspondence show that officials were negligent in their response to a disaster? Are million-dollar programs reaching those in need or merely providing pay raises for executives? Is there a crime trend people aren’t aware of?

Measuring success: Yes, we’d like your stories to be widely consumed across all of our channels — newsletter, website, and Instagram. But more important than numbers to us: How much do people care? What difference do your stories make? In other words, so what?

What we’re looking for: You’ll be a world-class talent who’s also humble and a great teammate. You’ll identify areas where we might have holes and suggest ways to fill them. You’ll contribute to discussions about everything from massive scandals to best restaurants lists to our business team’s latest win. We support each other, regardless of job title.

You’ll understand the internet and today’s audiences, not wish for things to be the way things were 20 years ago. You’ll understand how to distribute stories and meet people where they are: A 5,000-word web story, for instance, can also be repackaged as a 50-word Instagram story with the right touch. Whatever it takes to keep people engaged with your important work.

You’ll be willing to take iPhone photos and videos, whenever they may help your stories. (You’ll also work with freelance photographers on bigger pieces.) You’ll understand how to distribute coverage people care about across all our social handles, but especially Instagram.

About the Agenda: We’re a growing, five-year-old local media company that reaches over 1 million people each month. We focus on a daily newsletter, Instagram, and this website. We currently have a total of 10 full-time employees and our office is located in South End. This new Public Service Reporter position is made possible through a grant we’ve received from The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Benefits:

  • Salary: Our target is to be in the top 10% compensation tier for all roles.
  • Terms: The Knight grant includes two years of funding; the Agenda will continue to fund the position after that.
  • Healthcare: The Agenda offers a Blue Cross Blue Shield plan and pays 75% of the total premium for you and your family.
  • Vacation and paid holidays: You get 28 total days off, including Christmas week and July 4th week.
  • Learn new skills: If you’re looking to learn things, we’ll cover the bill up to $1,000 annually (think conferences or classes).
  • Paid parental leave: 8 weeks paid from birth.
  • Hardware and software costs: 100% covered (ex: laptop, iPhone, phone bill, Photoshop, etc). You’ll always have the best tools.
  • Simple expense accounts: You’ll get a company credit card. We don’t ask questions, just act like an owner.

How to apply: Send a note, work examples, and a resume to hi@charlotteagenda.com with the subject line “Public Service Reporter.”

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