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Political Reporter

Job Summary

About VTDigger
VTDigger is a nationally recognized, born-digital nonprofit news organization. We are known for our award-winning investigative reporting and in-depth daily coverage of local and state news. Our mission is to produce rigorous journalism that explains complex issues, holds the government accountable to the public, and engages Vermonters in the democratic process.

At a time when the commercial local news industry is failing, VTDigger is one of a handful of nonprofit news organizations that has developed a model of sustainable funding for local journalism. The organization has grown quickly in just a decade, becoming the go-to source of news for the state of Vermont — with an average of 600,000 unique readers a month and 28 employees.

Your job
Vermont may be known as the liberal bastion that sent Bernie Sanders to the U.S. Senate, but last November its voters reelected Republican Gov. Phil Scott by the widest margin in recent electoral history. The state pioneered civil unions and was the first to enact same-sex marriage by statute, but until a few years ago it had the least restrictive gun laws in the country. Vermont is home to a vibrant three-party system in which Progressives have as much influence over policy as Republicans.

If you’re interested in covering this quirky, intimate political system for the state’s largest newsroom, VTDigger wants to hear from you.

During Vermont’s four-month legislative session, you’ll anchor our Statehouse coverage — working closely with our business, health care, environment, education and criminal justice beat reporters. Throughout the year, you’ll keep close tabs on the governor and the rest of the executive branch, as well as the state’s influential congressional delegation. And every two years — yes, Vermont has biennial state elections — you’ll cover races up and down the ballot, helping voters understand what’s at stake and who’s aspiring to lead the state.

You’ll thrive in this position if you live and breathe politics and policy — and can convey to readers why both matter. You should be hungry for scoops and committed to delivering context. You should feel equally comfortable cultivating sources in state government and confronting politicians when they’re serving up spin. You should be prepared to file public records requests, analyze policy proposals, dig through campaign finance filings and become an expert on legislative rules and procedure.

In short, you’ll ensure that VTDigger continues to be Vermont’s authoritative source for state government and political news.

This role is a fit if you …

- Seek out scoops and embrace enterprise reporting.
- Are committed to building relationships with diverse communities and know how to build and engage a representative source list.
- Can work independently but are an enthusiastic collaborator.
- Are as comfortable writing a news brief as a magazine-length investigation.
- Strive for accuracy and truth in reporting.
- Are a skilled writer and storyteller.
- Have a working knowledge of data reporting and enthusiasm for finding stories buried within reports.
- Can relate business developments to the overall health of the state.
- Are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion — throughout your work and as it relates to your beat.
- Enjoy engaging with readers and responding to their tips.
- Can spot trends and understand how they will play out.
- Can explain complicated issues clearly and simply.
- Can see the big picture in ways that government might not.

Responsibilities
- Writing 3-4 compelling stories a week.
- Pitching ideas that result in ground-breaking stories.
- Working collaboratively with editors and fellow reporters.
- Cultivating diverse and representative sources.
- Working with the editing team to ensure stories are accurate and fair.
- Meeting deadlines set by you and your supervising editor.
- Placing public records requests as needed.
- Effectively and professionally communicating verbally and in writing with colleagues, sources and readers.
- Listening intently to others and valuing others’ opinions.
- Communicating openly and promptly sharing information and ideas with others.

Your life
Location: Montpelier, Vermont
Start date: July/August 2021
Compensation: Highly competitive

We are working remotely during the Covid pandemic, but our offices are based in the state capital of Montpelier, a charming New England town located in Central Vermont near world-class alpine and nordic ski areas, extensive biking and hiking trails, lakes and rivers. The region has excellent schools, several local bookstores, and coffee and pastry shops.

How to apply: Please upload a resume and up to three samples of your work and answer a short series of questions using the form. We use resumes primarily as a summary and will focus our attention on responses to our questions. The deadline to apply is August 5, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Please note: We recognize there are great candidates who may not fit the description above or who have important skills and experiences we haven’t thought of. If that sounds like you, don’t hesitate to apply and tell us more about yourself. VTDigger is committed to constantly improving our organization, in part by better reflecting the communities we serve. We are dedicated to creating an inclusive workplace for all people. We especially encourage members of communities that are traditionally underrepresented — and misrepresented — in media to apply to join our team, including Black, Indigenous and people of color; women; LGBTQIA people, and differently abled people.

Details

Organization: VTDigger
Location: Montpelier VT US
Date Posted: July 19, 2021
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