Pacific Standard is seeking a smart and speedy all-purpose staff writer with experience reporting on one of our core justice areas: education, economics, or the environment. The ideal candidate is as comfortable producing daily analysis and scoops for the site as she is weaving long-burning and deeply reported 5,000-word narrative features for the print magazine; the writer also understands and is excited about the value and potential of both. She will obsessively cover one of these three beats—so special knowledge of the subject and working relationships with potential sources are plusses.
The staff writer should have experience doing real, investigative reporting—working the phones, requesting and fighting for public records, observing scenes and meeting people on the ground, following leads and tips, cultivating new sources, etc.—and be deeply reliable and accurate (that means going through the trouble of double checking numbers in your own copy before a fact-checker gets his or her hands on it and issuing corrections or updates online, if necessary). Our staff writers also need to know their way around important public documents and databases and have the ability to perform term searches and data analysis when the story calls for it. But being excellent reporters is not enough. Writers should be able to synthesize information, find the right narrative structure and framing, and produce electric, magazine-quality prose, sometimes on short notice.
The candidate for this position should be comfortable taking the “second-day analysis” approach on news, utilizing research and data to help Pacific Standard become a stronger voice in the daily national conversation. This means knowing how to mix original reporting, aggregation, and curation to best inform our audience. It also means knowing when and how to publish smaller, iterative scoops on the way to completing a bigger and more ambitious reporting project.
Pacific Standard writers should be able to distinguish between same-day viral potential for the Web and feature-style reporting for the magazine. They are excited by the prospect of juggling several projects at any given time, and they have a sense of humor and are comfortable collaborating with multiple editors: Our news editor oversees daily analysis and shapes the beat reporting process and long-form editors handle narrative features, essays, and scene-driven pieces.
Our ideal candidate has demonstrated the ability to seek out ledes, track down sources, and file stories quickly. They also have experience working within a specific beat. This full-time position with excellent benefits is based out of our office in Santa Barbara, California, and will report directly to the digital director. We will not consider candidates looking to work remotely. Given the ranging workload, candidates with less than three years experience need not apply.
If you're interested, email Max Ufberg (firstname.lastname@example.org) with a resume; salary requirements; a short cover letter outlining your experience; and brief ideas for news analysis and feature stories, with details on the research and reporting you’d do to complete them. State your desired beat in the subject line. Applications without all of these elements will not be considered.