Dakota County schools reporter
Need an aggressive story generator to cover schools. You must become adept at education issues, such as test scores. The reporter will need to juggle stories, covering breaking news while pursuing enterprise stories worthy of 1a.
Position Summary: Cover a wide variety of schools and school districts in one of our crucial and competitive readership areas. You'll be responsible for eight public school districts, stretching across a wide geographic area, plus private schools. The successful reporter on this beat will cover the schools from the classrooms out, developing source relationships with school officials, teachers, parents, students and others involved with the schools. You must become adept at education issues, such as test scores, curriculum and more while also being well-versed in budgeting, schools' relationships with surrounding communities and more. We also know from past stories and readers' reactions to them, that people are hungry to learn what works in schools. Part of your charge is to find those breakthroughs. The schools on this beat are facing budget deficits, demographic changes, enrollment stabilization and, in some cases, enrollment declines, and the challenge of attracting and keeping students. The reporter on this beat will need to be particularly adept at juggling multiple stories, working on breaking news while also keeping medium- and long-range stories in motion. With such a large number of schools to track, we don't expect day-to-day newspaper of record coverage. With such a rich vein of potential stories to tap, we do expect a steady stream of 1A and 1B packages.
Major Functions: You'll be responsible for these school districts: * Burnsville/Eagan/Savage * Rosemount/Apple Valley/Eagan * Lakeville * Farmington * South Saint Paul * Inver Grove Heights * Hastings * West Saint Paul/Mendota Heights/Eagan * Plus, prominent, newsmaking private schools such as the Inver Grove Heights public charter Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy and others.
-- This should sound familiar: Break news. Do short-term, high-impact enterprise stories that can't be found anywhere else.
--- Source development. You must cultivate the key people to help you cover a range of issues and subjects.
--- Collaboration. You also will be part of the Dakota County coverage team and must be ready to collaborate and work on stories that cross beats, as well as working with others on the Metro team who cover education.
--- Write for TwinCities.com. You should be regularly posting stories and breaking news online.
--- Additionally, you must recognize the importance and use of social media. Blogs, Twitter and Facebook can provide a wealth of story tips, sources and ideas for this beat. You must use them.
Candidates should have reporting experience, and education reporting experience is a plus. A college degree is preferred.
Interested applicants should send a cover letter, resume, and five strong clips to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to:
St. Paul Pioneer Press
345 Cedar Street
St. Paul, MN 55101