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Iowa Political Correspondent — Iowa Starting Line



Iowa, USA · Remote
Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Who We Are

At Courier Newsroom, we empower individuals and communities through local reporting that helps people understand and affect the issues impacting their lives. We believe that by investing in the work of local journalists across the country we can positively impact civic participation and build a healthier democracy from the ground up. Through original reporting and human-focused storytelling, we highlight the issues and forces that shape our lives while calling attention to the impacts of policy-making and political action at the local level. We are a rapidly growing team with new ideas on how to change the landscape of this world.

Our Iowa Political Correspondent is responsible for leading our state political coverage to connect important policy decisions to Iowans’ day-to-day lives. They will execute our political coverage strategy, as well as develop a personal brand as a go-to voice for civic impact content in the state, and work to become a trusted, ever-present figure among our audience and the broader journalism world.

In addition, this role requires fostering and maintaining relationships with key sources and stakeholders in the state. They’ll also be integral in maintaining our well-read, established Iowa Starting Line newsroom’s presence and reputation in Iowa and beyond.

Importantly, this reporter, like all roles within COURIER Newsroom, must be able to connect with our key audience of less-engaged Iowans, those who aren’t subscribed to their local newspaper and who get most of their news passively through their social media feeds. That requires a different type of mindset and approach in order to produce engaging, social-first journalism that breaks through social media bubbles and can better inform Iowans. This reporter should be very familiar with all social platforms and what does well on each, and is also encouraged to think of creative, new ways to engage with our audience online.

The Iowa Political Correspondent will report to the National Political Editor, and may oversee freelancers at the local level.

This is a remote position within Iowa, but with a strong preference for being located in the Des Moines metro.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Develop a deep understanding of the mission and core audience for the state and best practices for communicating with that audience.
  • Regularly brainstorm and pitch story ideas that align with our key issue beats.
  • Execute a weekly budget for political coverage content.
  • Develop 3-5 original reporting content packages a month that connect the dots with policy and real-world impact through human-centered, localized stories, in addition to quick-hit stories and daily news coverage.
  • Break a significant piece of news at least once a quarter.
  • Work collaboratively with the Community Editor, Multimedia Reporter, Social Media Manager, and other staff in your state to ensure cohesive content production and targeted strategic audience development/engagement.
  • Meet all deadlines for underwriting content with high-quality, strategic work.
  • Meet weekly goals for content metrics by delivering high-quality content, leveraging an always-developing personal network.
  • Develop strategies in coordination with the National Political Editor and Content Organizing Team on how to further improve our content’s reach.
  • Work to build a personal brand through an active Twitter and/or TikTok presence.
  • Build connections with political and community leaders/staff in the state.
  • Ensure all political coverage graphics and videos are branded with consistency and match community/local news content as well.

The ideal candidate will:

  • Have 3-5+ years’ experience in political reporting/content creation or similar communications work.
  • Want to be a part of a new media model that meets people where they are– most often on social platforms– and leverage their talents to protect democracy through left-leaning, factual, relevant information rooted in shared values.
  • Have a desire to grow (or already have) an audience as a political content creator.
  • Have experience using Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and other social platforms.
  • Be able to produce compelling social media posts that deliver key information to our audience in five seconds or less.
  • Be comfortable in front of a camera.
  • Have experience using Canva or Photoshop.
  • Have experience editing videos.
  • Have a strong grasp of AP Style.
  • Have excellent written and verbal communication skills with a strong sense of voice and tone.
  • Have experience with or a willingness to learn WordPress.
  • Be able to pivot/switch direction as priorities and projects change.
  • Demonstrate an eagerness to collaborate as part of a cross-functional state team and COURIER network Civic Impact team.

Annual Salary Band: $52,000 - $80,000

Equal opportunity employer

Courier Newsroom is an equal-opportunity employer. Women, people of color, those with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ community are strongly urged to apply. Applicants shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, or medical conditions.