Chalkbeat

Local schools in Newark, New Jersey

Location: Newark, N.J.

About the News Organization: Chalkbeat is a nonprofit news organization covering one of America’s most important stories: the effort to improve schools for all children, especially those who have historically lacked access to a quality education. Chalkbeat is mission-driven, believing that every child deserves an excellent education and that a strong press is vital to making that happen. Through unbiased reporting, Chalkbeat helps the public examine how schools are operating, scrutinize key policy and legislative developments that often happen behind closed doors, and gain access to important data and context that would not otherwise be made transparent. The news organization practices local-first reporting, with the majority of reporters living in the communities they cover.

About the Position: This Report for America corps member will expand Chalkbeat’s Newark bureau and work closely with the bureau chief to report on critical education news in the area. This reporter will help the Newark team build a loyal base of readership among local education stakeholders: parents, educators, nonprofit leaders and policymakers. Embracing Chalkbeat’s local-first approach, the reporter will attend school board meetings, press conferences and community events in Newark.

Additionally, this reporter will help plan and organize community engagement events, such as office hours and listening tours, to draw in traditionally harder-to-reach readers. To do this, Chalkbeat will work with local distribution partners, such as newspapers, radio and television news stations, and other online news outlets to organize and publicize events. The reporter’s engagement work will create ongoing opportunities to exchange ideas with partners to understand how Chalkbeat’s content is serving its audiences, allowing the news organization to continually improve its approach.

Preferred Skills: Daily journalism experience covering a specific beat, fluency in Spanish, experience with reader engagement digitally and/or in-person. Data reporting experience would be a plus.