Children's Issues Reporter

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Children’s Issues Reporter

The Knoxville News Sentinel/, part of the USA TODAY NETWORK, is looking for an children’s issues reporter. The way a community takes care of its children – their health, welfare, education and development – is a key indication of a place's values, aspirations and problem-solving abilities.

Newsrooms traditionally have set up coverage of children focused on education or schools, definitions that narrow the lens and inevitably fix the focus on institutions. We aim to go beyond that, to tell meaningful stories with solutions-oriented angles about how children, parents, educators, public officials and the community collectively address the past, deal with the present and plan for the future of our children.

This beat will demand deep source building and consistent engagement, and the ability to tell stories on different platforms and in varied formats.

The ideal candidate will be a reporter who can develop a deep source network, pore over documents to identify trends and problems, and then can find out who’s talking about solutions to those problems and analyze their success. It’s also someone who understands how to write for different audiences depending on the topic, and who can craft concise, compelling and informative narratives.

Knoxville is a city on the Tennessee River in eastern Tennessee. Downtown, the Market Square district has 19th-century buildings with shops and restaurants. The Museum of East Tennessee History has interactive exhibits plus regional art, textiles and Civil War artifacts. James White’s Fort, built by the Revolutionary War captain, includes the reconstructed 1786 log cabin that was Knoxville’s first permanent building.

Knoxville is the home of the flagship campus of the University of Tennessee, whose sports teams, the Tennessee Volunteers, are popular in the surrounding area. Knoxville is also home to the headquarters of the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Tennessee Supreme Court's courthouse for East Tennessee, and the corporate headquarters of several national and regional companies. As one of the largest cities in the Appalachian region, Knoxville has positioned itself in recent years as a repository of Appalachian culture and is one of the gateways to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

  • Creates storytelling that accurately informs, entertains and engages specific audiences and platforms through the use of metrics.
  • Works toward becoming the community’s leading voice in area of expertise.
  • Connects with the community through storytelling and outreach (social media, on camera, forums, community leadership, etc.) Provides thoughtful analysis of complex issues.
  • Works with content strategist to evaluate what's working and what's not and develops ongoing plans to better satisfy audience needs.
  • Collaborates with content team to provide all appropriate elements for stories (i.e. photos, videos and graphics). Captures basic photos and video as needed.
  • Promotes personal brand, the brands of colleagues and the institutional brand.
  • Provides great customer service, helping readers find answers and solutions.
  • Use digital analytics to guide content decisions.
  • Bachelor's or master’s degree in communications, journalism or related field preferred or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • 1-2 years’ experience working in a digital-first newsroom with an understanding of how a digital-first approach affects decisions about when and how to publish stories.
  • Experience writing investigative or solutions-oriented journalism.
  • Understanding of children’s/family issues.
  • Ability to work with photojournalists from the beginning of a project to its end and understand when it might be more appropriate to pursue their own visuals with the tools they have.
  • Proficiency on social media platforms; including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit and Snap Chat.
  • Experience shooting and editing photos and video on an iPhone.
  • Strong communication skills, news judgement and headline-writing ability.
  • Ability to multitask and excel under intense deadline pressure.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and efficiently.
  • Strong writing, spelling and grammar skills; familiarity with AP style.
  • This role requires a valid driver’s license, reliable transportation, and the minimum liability insurance required by state law.
  • Employment is contingent on passing a pre-employment, post-offer drug screen and background check.
We are eager to learn more about you and how you fit this role. When you apply, don’t limit your upload to a resume; show us what you’ve done. To do so, put together a single document file that includes the following, in this order:

1. Your resume – one to two pages.
2. A cover letter that outlines how you would approach the job.
3. Links to 3-6 online samples of your work. Show us what you’ve produced or had a hand in that best reflects what you can do in your desired role.

It is important that these items be assembled into a single document and uploaded in PDF format. Completing these steps will ensure that your application receives the highest consideration.


Here’s what we have to offer:
We offer a competitive base salary and career growth opportunities. We also offer you a comprehensive benefits package which includes medical, dental, vision, life insurance, short-term disability, long-term disability, Paid Time Off, Company Paid Holidays, employee discount program and domestic partner benefits. Our 401(k) is topnotch and the contributions you make, up to the first 5% are eligible for a 100% Company match!

Gannett Co., Inc. is a proud equal opportunity employer. We are a drug free, EEO employer committed to a diverse workforce. We will consider all qualified candidates regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity, family responsibilities, disability, education, political affiliation, or veteran status.

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