Berkeleyside is growing its newsroom!
We are looking for a senior reporter who will dig deep into what is happening at City Hall, help Berkeley residents better understand the way local government works and impacts their lives, and will let them know how they can get more civically engaged.
The reporter will pull back the curtain on how local levers of power — elected officials, city departments, community organizers, voters, watchdog agencies and much more — shape what happens in Berkeley.
This is a high-impact, high-profile beat. We are looking for a seasoned, hard-hitting journalist with four+ years of experience who loves to dig deep, appreciates the city of Berkeley’s dedication to public input, and will relish being first to report on both the city’s innovations and missteps.
The reporter will write at least three stories a week, a combination of breaking news, in-depth pieces and service-oriented stories that help residents navigate government. You will also live-tweet City Council meetings. Over 12 years, Berkeleyside has done much excellent City Hall reporting, including coverage of the city’s response to its growing homeless population, its failure to pave any streets in 2018 in spite of funds set aside to do so; and how a city council member who ran a red light tried to get out of a ticket.
Local government in Berkeley is an exciting beat. For more than 100 years, Berkeley has been at the leading edge of progressive local policymaking. It was the first city to offer health benefits to domestic partners (1984), ban Styrofoam (1989), float a ballot initiative to combat global warming (2006), introduce a so-called “soda tax” (2015), ban the use of natural gas in new construction (2019) and commit to removing traffic enforcement duties from the police department (2020).
The reporter we are looking for will believe that local news forms the bedrock of a healthy democracy and will be excited to be part of a six-person-strong, award-winning nonprofit newsroom that engages and enriches its community through stellar, civic-minded journalism.
The job is based in Berkeley, CA, though, given coronavirus, we do not expect relocation in the short term. The salary for this position is $75,000-$85,000, depending on experience. We offer a health plan, four weeks of paid leave and a 401(k) match. See full details and apply. The deadline for application is May 24 at 11:59 p.m.
What the senior City Hall reporter will do
- Report and write an average of three stories a week, including breaking news, in-depth features and service-oriented pieces, showing residents how they can have an impact on city decisions
- Cover meetings live via Twitter
- Explore, with your editors, other ways to reach and inform people, such as newsletters, community events and text services.
- Be an accessible, leading source of information on your beat
- Work with the team to elevate your work and expand its reach
- Report to the Berkeleyside editor-in-chief
What the senior City Hall reporter will need to succeed
- Four-plus years of reporting experience
- Solid understanding of and comfort with reporting on local government, local politics and policy
- A good understanding of how to obtain and use public records
- Experience in breaking news, coupled with a deep desire to reimagine how breaking news can serve Berkeley
- Strong writing, self-editing and time-management skills
- A commitment to ethical, accurate, inclusive reporting
- Experience in building a beat, cultivating sources
- Social media competencies
- Be a conscientious and hard worker who takes pride in their work
- The ability to synthesize and present complex information in a highly accessible, engaging, clear manner for a wide range of audiences
- Openness to working in a variety of formats from narrative reports to text-based info alerts to live conversations
- Ability to identify good story ideas that deliver on our mission
- The ability to maintain the highest journalistic standards under deadline pressure
- A collaborative spirit
- Cultural competence: the awareness and knowledge to ensure that our reporting agenda reflects the diversity of Berkeley’s people and communities, and the communication skills to collaborate across lines of difference
- Openness to public speaking in multiple formats, from radio to TV to live events A radical imagination for what journalism can look like, who it serves, and who can contribute
We’re especially interested in candidates who
- Have worked in local journalism and have experience building a beat and cultivating sources
- Are personally grounded in underserved communities represented in Berkeley, which include Latino, Asian American and Black communities
- Have demonstrated experience in community engagement, data-driven reporting, multi-format storytelling or public records
- Speak Spanish and/or other languages other than English
How we’ll support you
Top-notch editing, in-house mentorship, and a transparent internal review and feedback process, $1,000 annually in support for conferences and professional development training related to your role.
Cityside is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse staff that reflects the communities we aim to reach and serve. We are an equal opportunity employer. We especially encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply for our reporter position, including women, people of color, people who identify as queer, and people with disabilities.
You’ll be joining Berkeleyside at an exciting time in its development. After building Berkeleyside into a widely recognized, nationally lauded local news site, in 2019 we launched Cityside, a mission-driven nonprofit organization whose goal is to pioneer new forms of civic journalism, launch news platforms in communities underserved by local journalism and offer hope and optimism for the future of local news.
Cityside has core funding from the American Journalism Project and Google News Initiative. Our first new local news platform is The Oaklandside, which launched in June 2020. While Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside are editorially distinct, the two teams collaborate closely, supporting each other and sharing best practices. Along with key business and audience development positions, Cityside had a total of 22 employees. We are currently working mostly remotely but do have an office in downtown Berkeley and plan to return to a newsroom, at least in some capacity, when it is safe to do so.