Senior Reporter

About the Position

The Senior Reporter is largely a general assignment, multi-issue role. In a typical week, a Senior Reporter will report and write 2-4 original stories on topics spanning policing, incarceration, housing, homelessness, economic security, and other issues as our coverage priorities shift over time. Reporters are expected to regularly pitch story ideas on current coverage priorities, as well as take assignments, and should be able to balance multiple stories at once—working on some shorter-term stories while keeping longer-term projects going in the background.

We’re looking for self-motivated, enterprising reporters who are strong generalists, with wide-ranging intellectual curiosity and a passion for social justice issues and accountability journalism. We’re looking for candidates who combine deep knowledge in one or more of our core coverage areas with enthusiasm for learning new things and building new expertise on the job. While many of our stories center on developments in a particular county or city that may not be getting a lot of national attention, staff reporters should be comfortable writing for a national audience in a way that brings out the broader themes and significance for readers around the country.

To build toward The Appeal’s vision for an America where stability and dignity are within everyone’s reach, we pursue stories with impact in mind, and favor stories that we can cover iteratively. We want to focus on stories that we can cover in several different forms, and that can be most useful to people who are in a position to make a difference. Because we want to focus on one set of topics and report on them deeply as a team, our stories are approved through a centralized, cross-vertical pitch process.

About The Appeal

The Appeal’s vision is an America where stability and dignity are within everyone’s reach. We produce reporting and analysis that public officials, journalists, advocates, and scholars use to solve the problems that keep everyday people up at night—problems that increase instability and diminish dignity.

We tell stories about the barriers that stand in the way of that vision—and the solutions needed to get there—through original reporting, commentary, explainers, live shows and events, white papers and other reports, newsletters, and podcasts. The Appeal elevates under-covered local stories of national relevance and connects the dots to similar developments in other jurisdictions. We focus relentlessly on the stories, policy ideas, and emerging patterns across geographies and levels of government, including federal developments. We identify trends that might otherwise be missing from existing news coverage.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities
  • The Senior Reporter will identify, research and pitch multiple story ideas each week. Pitches will be evaluated through our centralized pitch process. This means that the ideal candidate is comfortable with most stories being on assignment. 
  • Cultivate reliable sources and a sophisticated understanding of relevant sources of information, including county-level news and court documents.
  • In general, work with an editor to prepare 2-4 stories a week for publication, including, as needed, quick-turn breaking news pieces.
  • Articles can range from quick-hit news posts, breaking news, mid-length reported articles, narrative features and longform investigative pieces. 
  • Applicants should have experience working in a fast-moving editorial environment, conducting online research and original reporting, and writing about complex public policy issues in a clear, storytelling-focused manner. 
  • Follow a consistent publication schedule established by the editorial team.
  • Attend regular staff meetings led by The Appeal editors.
  • Consistent social media promotion of articles produced and articles of other Appeal colleagues.
  • Participate in strategic planning for The Appeal as requested by the Editor-in-Chief.
  • Perform additional tasks as identified by the Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor, and the Editorial Team.
Desired Qualifications
  • At least 5 years experience in the journalism field (with preference for candidates with 7+ years of experience).
  • A demonstrated track record of producing multiple stories per week across multiple issue-areas and/or geographies over an extended period of time.
  • Outstanding communication skills, written skills, organizational skills, and high attention to detail. 
  • Ability to write quickly, clearly, and accurately, often under tight time constraints.
  • Willingness to work in a creative, fast-paced, start-up environment and to help The Appeal grow.
  • High work ethic and dependability, including demonstrated ability to work independently. Much of the staff works in a virtual office environment.
  • Senior Reporters work in teams that often include not only their editor, but also team members in other verticals as well as the audience and research team. Our stories often include multiple reviews and rounds of edits from various team members, as well as fact checking and copyediting. Strong comfort with having your work rigorously critiqued is a must.
  • Deep background knowledge of the criminal justice system, housing policy, homelessness, or covering municipal/county politics and institutions. 
  • Commitment to the importance of accountability through excellent journalism.
  • Commitment to cultivating diversity and lifting up unheard voices.
  • Ability to travel occasionally for Appeal meetings and events.
  • Willingness to work nights and weekends as needed.


Other Requirements:

This role requires a clear, demonstrated commitment to the mission of The Appeal, and an understanding that The Appeal thrives on highly coordinated, consistent, rapid productivity across the organization.

Transparency is the default when it comes to work products at The Appeal. Everyone’s work is visible across the project to ensure coordination and communication.

Work Culture

Ours is a virtual workspace and requires comfort working in that environment.  Applicants may live anywhere in the United States.  Reports to a staff Senior Editor.

Compensation

Competitive salary with a generous benefits package and vacation policy. Salary range is $75-85k, based on experience.

Equal Employment Opportunity

The Appeal, a project of Tides, is an equal opportunity employer. True to our mission and values, a commitment to diversity and inclusion drives our work. We value diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and legal system contact, and strongly encourage and seek applications of all backgrounds and identities, across race, color, ethnicity, national origin or ancestry, citizenship, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy or parental status, or disability. Applicants will not be discriminated against based on these or other protected categories. We strive to create a supportive and inclusive workplace where staff contributions are valued and celebrated, and where our employees thrive by being themselves and are inspired to do their best work every day.

Applicants with Disabilities

If you need any accommodations at all during the hiring process, please let us know when you submit your application and we'll do our very best to adjust as needed.

Application Process

Please send a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three professional references to jobs@theappeal.org with “Senior Reporter” in the subject line. We will begin reviewing applications immediately.