Do you dream in SQL? Do spreadsheets excite you? Do you know that “R” is more than a letter in the alphabet? Do you think that pythons and pandas have a place in the newsroom? Is Access not about lazy journalism but deep datasets? Is filing an FOIA request what you do for breakfast? Is cleaning dirty data a fun Saturday night?
And, most importantly, do you think that some of the most powerful and impactful accountability journalism can begin with a bunch of rows, columns, and curiosity?
Then this job is for you.
Connecticut Public the statewide public broadcasting network with both Television and Radio distribution throughout Connecticut as well as into Massachusetts and New York has an immediate opening for an experienced, ambitious, and resourceful data reporter to join a new three-person team dedicated to producing high-quality, high-impact local investigative journalism.
This reporter working with our investigative editor and investigative reporter will function as a tight-knit team but also work hand-in-hand with our journalists across all disciplines and departments, audio, video, visuals, and digital of the 40+ person Content team.
Our investigations will be meticulously reported and produced, well-presented stories on issues, people, and news events affecting Connecticut. The team will be expected to generate short-term and long-term investigative narratives from team members, and journalists across the group. This team’s work will be published across all our platforms and in all our formats, long-form radio, television documentary and digitally using the written word to advance the story and reach of our work.
Great investigative reporting, editing, and project management skills are a must, as is demonstrated talent for ferreting out and efficiently producing revealing, world-changing stories.
The art of storytelling is at the core of all of the Connecticut Public’s initiatives. Those initiatives have exploded in the last several years, as it has pursued a bold new direction within the turbulent news industry: transforming a significant portion of its corporate headquarters and staff into a journalism focused organization.
Applicants must have substantial investigative data reporting experience to be considered.
Our Data Reporter provides a wide range of services. Applicants must have the ability to complete the below essential functions and have substantial experience with statistical or data-driven reporting.
- Conducts comprehensive, impactive, data-based investigative reporting with the courage to take on difficult subjects with objectivity, balance, fairness, and free from bias; stories may challenge individuals ethics.
- Wrangles data, including deeper dive utilizing the FOIA process, then scraping it, cleaning it, analyzing it and preparing it for publication.
- Plans and executes quantitative analyses — and interprets results — in support of investigative stories and accompanying visualizations.
- Coordinates with editorial and team leaders on newsletter, digital and linear TV/Radio project strategies.
- Works with editor and other reporters in News Team to keep the stories flowing and maintain pipeline.
- Balances daily enterprise investigative work with longer-lead projects and supports Investigative Team with data and research, as needed.
- Use skills and experience to advise on best approaches to data-led storytelling and the development and publication of data-led projects.
- Seeks opportunities to produce quick-turn, deep reporting on breaking news situations.
- Generate ideas for data-driven content and for how they might be developed and visualized as part of investigative stories and projects
- Explores and summarizes data using relational database software; visualizes and seeks patterns in spatial data using GIS software and uses statistical tools to identify significant data trends.
As one might imagine, the Data Reporter has many responsibilities. Duties include, but are not limited to:
- While focused on essential functions, be readily available for collaboration and consultation within the department and across the organization, and to fill in with reporting needs as circumstances require.
- Focuses on significant topics that support the overall direction of CT Public content team and meets standards for journalistic excellence.
- Includes a compliment of diverse voices in reporting; works with editors on approach for short-form, long-form narratives.
- Considers creative ways to tell stories on radio, television and digital and contributes to multi-platforms, radio talk shows and visuals journalism.
- Works with outside news organizations on collaborative projects.
- Plans for special coverage opportunities on major upcoming news, or special, events.
- Assists fellow reporters with data brainstorming, acquisition, cleaning, integrity-checking and analysis and provides training, as needed.
- On-air fundraising and outreach activities, on-air and off.
Additional duties may be required.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) process, computer-assisted reporting, and data-driven reporting along with familiarity of legal issues related to investigative news reporting.
- Libel law, open records law, data reporting, digital publishing and working with legal teams.
- News judgement and an understanding of how to write for radio about state and New England regional issues and current events.
- Audio editing.
- Investigative reporting and editing techniques and news tools that support reporting, including Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe Audition, Smartsheets, and other necessary data and digital editing apps.
- Writing, editing and producing content for multiple platforms: broadcast, digital and social.
- Operating with a steely and unshakable sense of journalistic ethics.
- Writing and comfort with burrowing into data and mining public records, especially in breaking news.
- Principles of narrative journalism, long form storytelling in multiple formats.
- Data reporting and analysis with deep experience in open records request.
- Working on data projects in a newsroom or experience doing statistical or data-scientific analysis, either in academia or in another research setting.
- Sound-rich storytelling in words, audio and video, research, and journalism.
- Experience delegating, assigning, setting objectives, providing positive feedback and taking corrective action, if necessary.
- Attentional-to-detail, scheduling, and strong organizational skills.
- Investigative reporting projects that have produced identifiable change in policy or practice.
- Understanding and the ability to use news management software and editing, preferably, iNews and Avid.
- Identify with the mission and purpose of Connecticut Public.
- Adapt, be audience focused and possess a curious mindset with a commitment to creating an inclusive work environment.
- Learn and adapt to a multiplatform narrative journalism including the written word, full-length television documentaries and narrative audio.
- Possess a visceral distaste for office politics and gossip.
- Maintain high journalistic standards under pressure, including uncompromised standards of objectivity, balance and fairness to CT Public and NPR in order to produce regional and national-quality broadcasting.
- Work with reporters, producer, the Visuals Team and other editors in environments that include remote offices.
- Solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in diverse situations and with diverse constituencies.
- Work in a collegial, supportive, highly team-oriented environment, yet possess initiative, self-motivation and work with minimal supervision.
- Lead large complex projects, working in a fast-paced environment, making snap decisions under pressure and under strict deadlines, while handling multiple and changing priorities simultaneously
- Maintain high journalistic standards including standards of objectivity, balance and fairness that meet CT Public, NPR and PBS standards in order to produce regional and national-quality broadcasting.
- Take creative direction/feedback from a supervisor or colleague.
- Work with editors and producers in environments that include remote offices.
- Solve and define practical problems, collect data, and establish facts to draw valid conclusions as a change agent, as well as deal with a variety of concrete variables in diverse situations.
- Pay close attention to detail; and be unwilling to settle for talking points, clichés, and platitudes.
Job functions are typically performed in a combination of indoor administrative and field work. Some field work may be performed in extreme outdoor temperatures. Travel is required on a regular basis.
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.
While performing the essential functions of this job, the physical activities of this position may include frequent in-person interactions. It is essential to be able to remain at a desk/computer workstation for prolonged periods, perform extensive data entry and other computer-related tasks. Must have close visual acuity to perform an activity, such as preparing and analyzing reports and writing stories, transcribing, viewing a computer terminal, or extensive reading. High stress environment with deadline pressures. Additionally, the employee must have the ability to concentrate for extended periods with frequent interruption, understand, and relate, to the concepts behind specific ideas.
The typical physical requirements are: Camera operation, hauling camera equipment, computer and editing machine(s), and transporting of equipment weighing up to 60 lbs. May include climbing, pushing, standing, hearing, walking, reaching, grasping, kneeling, stooping, and repetitive motion. These physical demands, with or without reasonable accommodations, are required to perform the essential functions of this job.
Position Type/Expected Hours of Work
This is a full-time, hourly, non-exempt position. Duties are routinely performed Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.; however, reporters should expect non-standard hours akin to evening, weekend, and holiday support depending on the operational tempo.
Education and Experience
Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Communication, Broadcasting, or other, closely related degree field and five (5) years of direct journalism experience with a strong, and proven, record of achievement in data reporting at a major news organization AND/OR an equivalent level of education, training, and experience.