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Investigative Reporter

Job Summary

ConsumerAffairs helps people make smart buying decisions in moments of need. Every month, millions of consumers turn to our site and tools for help with their considered (often emotional) purchases.

As a part of this mission, we operate a news team that has a track record of publishing high-quality journalism about the products consumers rely on, the companies that produce them and the agencies that regulate them. We are now in the process of expanding that work by building a world-class investigative reporting team, which will include reporters, data analysts and editors. This team will rely on deep data analysis, extensive public records work and outstanding reporting to deliver impactful journalism that exposes consumer harms and holds wrongdoers accountable.

Across all teams at ConsumerAffairs, our employees believe in raising the bar through data-driven innovation, intellectual curiosity, and grit. We have a team-first mentality, and we manifest wins by putting the team first. Collaboration and teamwork are in our hearts; we believe winning together is the most fun. But, above all else, we care. We have servant hearts for our consumers, customers, and colleagues. If you want to be part of a globally diverse team focusing on helping people, in an environment where we raise the bar, win as a team, and care above all else—then ConsumerAffairs may be just the place for you!

About The Job

ConsumerAffairs is looking for a reporter with a track record of covering consumer-focused topics who wants to dive deep into investigative reporting that makes a difference.
Candidates should have experience covering consumer-focused topics, whether that’s business and workplace issues, technology, financial institutions, product safety, agriculture, health care, housing or other issues. Those who apply should be passionate about helping the public make informed buying decisions and feel a sense of urgency to expose harms that jeopardize consumers’ health, safety and financial security. We are looking for reporters who can come in ready to offer their own ideas for possible investigative reporting topics.

This is a fully remote and full-time, salaried position with benefits including health, dental and eye care coverage, as well as unlimited vacation days. If you’re interested in the job, please submit a resume, three examples of your best work and a cover letter explaining how you would approach investigative reporting at ConsumerAffairs. We want to see your creativity and ambition.

Responsibilities & Expectations

These responsibilities are not to be construed as a complete statement of all duties performed. Employees will be required to perform other job-related duties as required.
This reporter should be a reliable self-starter, using their deep well of sources, their mastery of open record requests, and their understanding of data to generate ambitious investigative projects.

This reporter will be expected to juggle both short-term accountability pieces and long-term investigative projects. They should have a sense for whether a project can be produced quickly or will require a deep dive to get right. They must be efficient with their time and be able to transform weeks or months of reporting into a clear and compelling narrative.

We understand that words on a page (or screen) are only one part of a story, and we are eager to include multimedia elements such as data visualizations, photos, video, audio and unique web design into our projects. We’re looking for candidates who are excited to envision their stories as whole packages with many components. They should be creative and always thinking of new ways to attract an audience.

This reporter should know how to maximize the potential for impact from their work. Prior to publishing an investigation, they should have knowledge of the regulatory agencies and officials involved in their reporting topic, connect with stakeholders and work with community members to understand their needs and desires.

Candidates must be comfortable working for a remote team and will be expected to proactively keep teammates apprised of their progress on assignments. This reporter will work solo on some assignments and join forces with others when necessary. This role will require teamwork across ConsumerAffairs, including with data journalists, our SEO team, digital PR specialists and our newsletter writers.

Minimum Qualifications & Credentials

  • At least three years of professional journalism experience
  • Experience reporting on consumer-focused issues, such as business, technology, health care, housing, finance, the automotive industry or product safety. Other reporting topics not listed here also fall under this umbrella.
  • Experience producing journalism that sheds light on important problems and exposes wrongdoing
  • Compelling writing that keeps readers engaged from start to finish

Hard/Technical Skills

  • Skills interpreting spreadsheet data in programs such as Google Sheets and Excel
  • Experience navigating public records processes, especially FOIA, and working with government datasets

Pluses for any candidate

  • Experience producing long-term investigative reporting projects (major plus)
  • Experience producing stories that have attracted a national audience
  • A history of producing stories that have had tangible impact on communities and/or resulted in changes to policies or laws
  • Advanced data journalism skills using programming languages (SQL, R, Python, etc.)
  • Multimedia skills, including photography, videography, data visualization, audio and social media storytelling

Soft Skills

  • Stands up for decisions, takes responsibility for results, and shares both good and bad outcomes transparently.
  • Takes decisive action, and confidently changes course if unsuccessful.
  • Displays a growth mindset to continually improve; encourages everyone around them to be tenacious and never settle.
  • Constantly seeks feedback to improve; Focuses on solving issues through teamwork, and collaboration
  • Relentless in their pursuit of success and possessing the willpower to embrace challenges as opportunities.

We do not expect every candidate to be equally skilled in all these areas, and this is not a complete list of all relevant qualifications applicants might bring to the job. Please tell us about your other assets not mentioned here that may be valuable to this role. If you do not have the exact combination of skills listed here, but are still interested in this job, we'd love to hear from you. We are looking for candidates who want to learn and grow.

Specific Measures of Success – Expected Outcomes

Overall outcomes expected from start date to start date +1 year

  • Filing weekly public records requests
  • Bi-weekly pitching on short-term accountability stories; quarterly pitching on investigative stories
  • Publishing stories monthly
  • Publishing at least one major investigation in the first year

Q1

  • Get oriented around existing teams and processes
  • Begin executing faster-turnaround accountability stories on consumer issues
    Get comfortable partnering with data journalists on data-driven reporting projects

Q2

  • Develop two or more ideas for a possible seminal 2024 investigative reporting project
  • Begin producing high-profile, original stories of national significance

Q3

  • With help from editors, map out a plan for a major investigative reporting project, including timeline, team members, multimedia elements and potential for impact
  • Be in a good rhythm juggling short-term and long-term assignments
    Continue pitching ambitious ideas and pursue them relentlessly

Q4

  • By the end of your first year, produce at least one powerful, deeply reported investigative project that has reached a national audience and had an impact on consumers

Core Values

Raise The Bar
We raise the bar through innovation, intellectual curiosity, and grit. We are not satisfied with yesterday and our hearts thirst to be better tomorrow.

Win As A Team
We manifest wins by putting the team first. We have collaboration and teamwork in our hearts and believe winning together is the most fun.

Care Above All Else
We care above all else. We have servant hearts for our consumers, customers, and colleagues.

Physical Requirements & Environmental Conditions

  • Location: Remote
  • Frequency of travel: Occasional travel may be required for meetings, training, conferences and/or reporting opportunities.

(Reasonable accommodations will be made in accordance with existing ADA requirements for otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities.)

ConsumerAffairs provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.

This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

Details

Organization: ConsumerAffairs
Location: Tulsa OK US
Date Posted: February 5, 2024
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How to Apply

109 Lee Hills Hall, Missouri School of Journalism   |   221 S. Eighth St., Columbia, MO 65201   |   573-882-2042   |   info@ire.org   |   Privacy Policy
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