Chittenden County Development and Retail Reporter

Burlington, VT, USA Req #24596
Tuesday, July 26, 2022
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The Burlington Free Press seeks a savvy journalist adept at staying on top of the constantly shifting ground in Vermont’s retail and development landscape. Vermont is a state of small businesses, where seemingly minor developments can have big impacts and where local shops often prevail over national chains. That means covering retail and development requires working at the grassroots level, digging through records at town hall and staying in touch with local business owners.

On the development side, this reporter focuses on how development projects shape and change communities and lives, including but not limited to how a project might affect the environment, and the character of a neighborhood through heights, scope, change of use and traffic. Who gains and who loses should be central questions in covering this beat.

On retail, this reporter delivers timely news on store openings and closing, as well as tell the stories about the people behind the storefronts and their place in the community. The beat also includes tracking the comings and goings of national chain, of which there are relatively few compared to most states. The lack creates intense reader interest in, especially, the arrival of many national chains.


Job Details:

·The scope of this beat largely excludes restaurants.

·Our target audiences, increasingly diverse, benefit from relevant and compelling reporting. Being inclusive in our sourcing and in our consideration of the impact of development and changes in retail businesses is a vital part of this reporter’s mission.

·This reporter will be committed to increasing the Free Press’ reach in under-served communities through relationship-building and different delivery methods for our content. Becoming more trusted and more reflective of the affected communities through inclusion of neighborhood voices and through authenticity in storytelling is a crucial aspect of this coverage.

·This job generates the content the organization needs to build digital readership and subscriptions and to be perceived as a reliable and relevant source of reporting on the impact of development and changes in the retail business sector.


Typical Job Duties:

·Researches, reports, writes, and helps create compelling text and multimedia journalism about how development, and changes and trends in retail businesses mainly in Chittenden County touches Vermonters’ lives.

·Provides thoughtful insights into public and private development to answer the “who,” “how” and “why” questions regarding the impact of projects on people’s lives.

·Pays special attention to the issues and trending topics impacting diverse segments of Vermont’s population. Displays cultural competency in navigating coverage.

·Works with Free Press editors to shape storytelling to meet audience needs and interests on every platform.

·Develops relationships with sources in Chittenden County and around the state, including diverse officials, residents, and experts, to provide unique insight into the impact of state government decisions and actions on readers and communities.

·Makes it a mission to inform and engage readers through immediacy, enterprise reporting and riveting storytelling.

·Acts as a public ambassador through social media, video presentations and some community outreach.

·Collaborates with editors and digital producers to provide all the appropriate elements for stories (i.e.: photos, videos, and graphics). Captures basic photos and video as needed.

·Exercises individual judgment within standard practices and procedures; can resolve moderately complex problems as they occur.

·Deals with issues that require review of a variety of factors.

·Researches, reports and writes news articles for publication.

·Recognizes newsworthy events and trends and understands how to connect with our audience on multiple platforms.

·Understands the standards and ethics around newsgathering and can competently execute most of its primary forms, including source interviews, use of public records, data analysis and primary and secondary source research. 

·Can write news stories on deadline with little guidance and basic enterprise pieces with routine guidance from editors. 


Knowledge and skills:

·Social media skills and some video production knowledge required.

·Data reporting knowledge and experience helpful. Database skills/Microsoft Excel skills preferred. (Data training will be part of successful candidate’s onboarding steps.)

·Exceptional core journalism skills, particularly reporting and writing.

·Deep understanding of the questions the audience seeks answered in our journalism.

·Self-motivation and self-direction.

·Effective communicator; able to get along with diverse personalities.

·Able to multi-task and excel under intense deadline pressure in a rapidly changing environment.

·Knows how to use time effectively in an always-on workday.

·Works collaboratively within a cross-functional environment.

·Must embrace peer-to-peer feedback and training.

·Applies innovative, creative thinking to support the company’s goals.

·Writing, spelling, grammar, AP, and local style.


Required Work Experience, Training, and Education:

·Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Journalism or equivalent in experience and education, or college degree in related field.

·1-3 years of reporting experience, which could include freelancing, internships, and college publication work.


We are eager to learn more about you and how you fit this role. When you apply, don’t limit your upload to a resume; show us what you’ve done. To do so, put together a single document file that includes the following, in this order:

1.Your resume – one to two pages.

2.A cover letter that outlines how you would approach the job.

3.Links to 3-6online samples of your work. Show us what you’ve produced or had a hand in that best reflects what you can do in your desired role.


It is important that these items be assembled into a single document and uploaded in PDF format. Completing these steps will ensure that your application receives the highest consideration.
 
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Other details

  • Job Family Frontline Journalists
  • Job Function Consumer
  • Pay Type Hourly
Location on Google Maps
  • Burlington, VT, USA