The role of a watchdog journalist is as critical as it has ever been, if not more so.
We have fewer accountability checks for elected officials. Fewer people to ensure our courts remain open and that public meeting law is being followed.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram is searching for a talented, high-energy watchdog journalist to join our team, covering a growing DFW area that includes more than 7 million people. That’s hundreds of elected and appointed officials, schools that are both struggling and thriving, growth that continues to impact water and land supply and prices, and more.
The ideal candidate is curious, challenges conventional thinking and meets roadblocks with a dogged determination to get the story.
The watchdog reporter will also report what is in plain sight, contrasting the position of elected officials with reality, using facts to fight misinformation.
Our watchdog reporter will know how to acquire and analyze documents and yet will be a storyteller who can explain his or her findings in a way that makes the impact clear to readers. A familiarity with data analysis, including a proficiency in Excel, is needed.
Critically, this reporter will be passionate about serving as the voice so many do not have. The best accountability reporting begins with a state of mind - the knowledge that you are a surrogate for the public.
At the Star-Telegram, the reader comes first, last and always. And our mission is to work for a better community. This reporter is motivated by our mission, which is as important now as it’s ever been.
At least three years of relevant experience is required. This is not an entry-level position.
-Strong writing and editing skills and excellent news judgment
-Unwavering commitment to accurate, ethical journalism
-Expert-level understanding of public record law and how to use it
-Ability to acquire and analyze data
-Fluency in the science of readership and engagement, including an understanding of metrics/analytics programs.
-Understanding of SEO and other optimization opportunities and a demonstrated ability to learn new skills in social and digital.
-Strong interpersonal skills, including empathy and the ability to take and give constructive criticism.
-Ability to engage with readers and develop sources on social media platforms including but not limited to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
-Ability to correctly identify audience for selected stories.
-Ability to meet deadlines.
-Ability to edit video (using phone).
-Ability to work collaboratively on projects ranging from podcasts to video to enterprise stories.
-Ability to work comfortably in a job that will be fast-paced, data-driven, shaped constantly by feedback and experimentation and always evolving.
-A way with headlines and an understanding of what works well on different platforms.
-An interest in telling stories using a variety of media, and an enthusiasm for learning new skills and technologies.
-An understanding of AP style.