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Local Data Reporter

Job Summary

ProPublica is seeking a smart, motivated investigative data reporter to join its local reporting efforts for the 2022 calendar year.

ProPublica’s local reporting includes our offices in the Midwest, South and Southwest, as well as our joint initiative with The Texas Tribune and our Local Reporting Network.

You’ll work with ProPublica’s top-notch investigative journalists, as well as our partner newsrooms from the Local Reporting Network, on compelling data-driven stories that hold local governments and decision-makers to account. You’ll be part of ProPublica’s award-winning data team, a group of nearly a dozen journalists who use data analysis to uncover scoops, stories and deep dives.

What You’ll Do at ProPublica:
Wrangle data, including requesting it, collecting it, analyzing it and preparing it for publication.
Interrogate databases to find trends, patterns and outliers — the stories hidden in the noise.
Develop accountability stories by combining data analysis, interviews and on-the-ground reporting with excellent storytelling.
Assist other ProPublica reporters with data brainstorming, acquisition, cleaning and analysis for projects.
Collaborate with local journalists across the country on how to best find and tell stories with data in a variety of media, including print, online and radio.
Bulletproof and spot-check data work done by other journalists in the newsroom.
Teach and encourage best practices and newsroom data policies.
Work with some of the best reporters on the planet on some of the biggest and most innovative projects in investigative and data journalism.

We’re looking for someone with:
A proven track record of insightful, skeptical data querying that results in further scrutiny of the subject. Prior journalism experience is a definite plus, but it’s not a requirement. Most important is evidence of a curious, questioning mind.
Excellent interpersonal skills, solid editorial judgment and the ability to write quickly, cleanly and accurately on deadline.
Extensive experience with scraping, cleaning and analyzing data in your favorite tool of choice, such as Python, SQL or R. Fluency in at least one is a must; being comfortable working in others is even better.
Experience with best practices in data journalism, including a keen and careful eye for detail, documentation and version control. Your data work should be clean and reproducible.
The ability to spin many plates. You’ll be working with a number of reporters and editors with different backgrounds across the country on different projects, as well as dealing with several different editors. You’ll need to stay organized, focused and proactive.
The self-discipline to work independently, as well as an eagerness to work with teammates and local partner reporters on collaborative projects.
A commitment to being a decent human being.
We know there are great candidates who may not fit into what we’ve described above or who have important skills we haven’t thought of. If that’s you, don’t hesitate to apply and tell us about yourself.

We are dedicated to improving our newsroom, in part by better reflecting the people we cover. We are committed to diversity and building an inclusive environment for people of all backgrounds and ages. And we are taking steps to meet that commitment. We especially encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply, including women, people of color, LGBTQ people and people with disabilities.

There is no location requirement for this job. You can be based in any of ProPublica’s offices, including New York City; Washington, D.C.; Berkeley, California; Chicago; Atlanta; or Phoenix; we’re also open to remote work if the fit is right. This is a temporary position for one year, and we do not anticipate it being extended beyond that. It’s full time and includes benefits. Applicants must be eligible to work in the U.S.

We will begin reviewing applications on Dec. 1, but we will continue to consider candidates as long as the posting remains live on our site.

Our application asks for examples of past work. We know that data journalists sometimes don’t get top credit in stories where their data work played an important role, so don’t worry if a story doesn’t carry your byline. Please include a few sentences explaining exactly what role you played in each clip and describe the data work you did. Make sure to read the section above titled “We’re looking for someone with,” because it’s also our evaluation criteria for the position. Say a bit about your projects to show us that you’ve got the skills we’ve listed, or why the skills you have are the ones we actually need.

Questions? E-mail or Hannah Fresques, deputy data editor, at No phone calls, please.


Organization: ProPublica
Location: New York NY US
Date Posted: November 16, 2021
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