Job Title: Freelance Reporter
Department: Heartland Project
Reports To: Editor
The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) was awarded a grant from the Ford Foundation to launch “Diverse and Inclusive: News of the Heartland,” a project to address the lack of news coverage of racial and ethnic minorities and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities in Nebraska. As part of the project, AAJA and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) will form collaborations with Nebraska news outlets and journalism programs for professional and student journalists to produce original local, regional and national content on key issues faced by these communities. In addition, community members will receive training and tools to learn how to draft opinion pieces. A sourcebook for Nebraska journalists will be developed to help guide production of lasting and inclusive coverage. AAJA will work in partnership with NLGJA in implementing the project.
The freelance reporter conducts interviews and researches, collects and analyzes information about newsworthy events to write multi-platform news. He or she will work in a team environment within a virtual newsroom and will report to a project editor. Successful applicants will be comfortable taking initiative and working to produce unique untold stories from unreported communities within the assigned region.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Produces or collaborates with team members on an average of eight news and feature stories as assigned per month.
- Integrates print and digital content with broadcast coverage; must have knowledge of and experience with pitching multi-platform stories and story ideas to editors and community partners.
- Meets multiple deadlines for a number of simultaneous projects and has the ability to multitask.
- Develops sources and initiates phone calls and in-person interviews to find news and assess the importance of stories.
- Receives assignments or evaluates news leads and news tips to develop story ideas.
- Gathers and verifies information regarding stories through interviews, observation, and research.
- Develops and recommends story ideas for future projects.
- Coordinates with photographers and reporters to illustrate stories and produce content for the Web, mobile platforms, radio and broadcast stations.
- Gathers and sorts materials that may include public documents, academic or private company information, press releases, e-mails and news clippings for stories.
- Deals with reader complaints and/or concerns from the public.
- Attends staff meetings and other training sessions as required by the Heartland project.
- Other duties may be assigned.
This job has no supervisory responsibilities.
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE and/or SKILLS
Bachelor’s degree (B.A.) from a four-year college or university; three to five years related and/or training preferred; or equivalent combination of education and experience. Excellent writing and editing skills; good communication skills dealing with the public. Computer experience required; web publishing experience preferred. Demonstrated experience in working with and reporting on diverse communities.
Ability to read and interpret documents. Ability to interview sources, either one-on-one or during a press conference. Ability to write reports and correspondence. Ability to speak effectively before groups of readers or community organizations.
Ability to do basic math such as figuring percentages, adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing.
Ability to apply common sense understanding to carry out instructions furnished in written, oral or diagram form. Ability to deal with problems involving several concrete variables in standardized situations.
CERTIFICATES, LICENCES, REGISTRATIONS
A valid Driver’s License is required for this position.
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit. The employee frequently is required to use hands to grasp, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms; and talk or hear. The employee is occasionally required to stand and walk. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 10 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus.
The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally exposed to extreme cold and extreme heat, moisture and other conditions regularly encountered outdoors. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.
There are no direct financial responsibilities for this position.
SALARY AND BENEFITS
This is a consultant position located in Nebraska. Pay is on a per assignment basis and commensurate with experience.
As a nonprofit organization of more than 1,600 members worldwide, with chapters in the United States and Asia, AAJA strives to provide a means of association and support among Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) journalists; provide training, information, scholarship assistance to AAPI students who aspire to professional journalism careers; provide to the AAPI community an awareness of news media and an understanding of how to gain fair access; and, research and point out when news media organizations stray from accuracy and fairness in the coverage of AAPIs.
The National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association is an organization of journalists, media professionals, educators and students who work within the news industry to foster fair and accurate coverage of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues. NLGJA opposes all workplace bias and provides professional development for its members.
How to Apply
Please send resume with cover letter including salary history/expectations to KathyC@aaja.org and include “Freelance Reporter” in the subject line. Writing samples may be requested. Although we value initiative, we are unable to field calls about this position. AAJA is an equal opportunity employer and considers all applications without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender, national origin, age, disability, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected status.