Local Investigative & Watchdog Fellowship - Reporting

California, USA Req #26691
Wednesday, February 8, 2023
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Local Investigative & Watchdog Fellowship - Reporting


The Ventura County Star/vcstar.com, the leading news organization for a diverse region of 850,000 residents and part of the USA TODAY NETWORK, is looking for two experienced reporters to join its news staff through a one-year fellowship in local investigative and watchdog reporting. These are grant-funded positions with the chance for renewal of a second year.


The ideal candidates will have the advanced reporting, writing and data-mining skills needed to do stories that hold public officials and civic leaders accountable, expose injustices and abuse of power, and shed light on challenges faced by everyday people in Ventura County.


Ventura County is a coastal region north of Los Angeles with a remarkably diverse geography, economy and population.


Many of its nearly 840,000 residents are employed in higher education, health care, agriculture and in jobs at the Naval Base. They enjoy an enviably temperate climate and easy access to beaches, mountain trails and locally grown food. The county also is vulnerable to wildfires and suffers from a severe lack of affordable housing and a growing homeless population — all fodder for watchdog reporting.


Job details:


The fellow will have a primary beat. You will produce watchdog stories in a variety of formats, from deep-dive exposés to enterprise pieces and news stories. The reporting will be both independent and collaborative with the news staff.


The fellow will use data, public records, social media and other investigative tools to tell stories that help residents better understand their community. You will seek to include voices of the underserved and underrepresented.



  • Provide thoughtful analysis of complex issues.
  • Produce journalism that leads to change.
  • Participate in audio-visual presentations on the reporting process.
  • Connect with the community through social media, public forums and other outreach.
  • Routinely incorporate photos, video and graphics into stories.
  • Monitor metrics to better engage audiences. 



  • Bachelor's or master’s in communications, journalism or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • At least 5 years’ daily reporting/newsroom experience.
  • Experience shooting photos and videos is required and will file quickly across platforms: mobile, desktop and social media.
  • Strong command of AP grammar and style. 
  • Strong copy-editing skills and the ability to produce content that is clean, accurate and "publication ready." 
  • Is passionate and enthusiastic about news and content that will work well with audiences on social platforms.
  • Comfortable in fluid, fast-breaking, stressful situations.
  • A desire to grow and develop a key beat in our newsrooms.
  • Is comfortable using social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to enhance reporting and promote stories – not only to share information but also to listen for what the community is talking about.
  • Understands reporting ethics and sourcing. 
  • Excels in a fast-paced news environment and understands the digital first mission. 
  • Collaborates well with others and can work with a team on the biggest stories.
  • Ability to speak Spanish is preferred.  
  • Willing and able to work some nights and weekends as needed by the news cycle.
  • This role requires a valid driver’s license, reliable transportation, and the minimum liability insurance required by state law.
  • Employment is contingent on passing a post-offer pre-employment background check, motor vehicle record check & drug screen.  


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. A cover letter that outlines how you would approach the job.
  2. Your resume – one to two pages.
  3. Links to 3-6 online 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.
  4. If your work is behind a paywall, please provide PDF copies of full articles.


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.





Gannett Co., Inc. is a proud equal opportunity employer committed to building and maintaining a diverse workforce. As such, we will consider all qualified applicants for employment and do not discriminate in connection with employment decisions on the basis of an applicant or employee’s race, color, national origin, ethnicity, ancestry, citizenship status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, marital status, personal appearance (including height and weight), sexual orientation, family responsibilities, physical or mental disability, medical condition, pregnancy status (including childbirth, breastfeeding or related medical conditions), education, genetic characteristics or information, political affiliation, military or veteran status or other classifications protected by applicable federal, state and local laws in the jurisdictions where Gannett employs employees. In addition, Gannett Co., Inc. will provide applicants who require a reasonable accommodation, as a result of an applicant’s disability or religion, to complete this employment application and/or any other process in connection with an individuals’ application for employment with Gannett Co., Inc. Applicants who require such accommodation should contact Gannett Co., Inc.’s Recruitment Department at Recruit@gannett.com.

Other details

  • Job Family Fellow
  • Job Function Consumer
  • Pay Type Hourly
  • Required Education Equivalent Experience
Location on Google Maps
  • California, USA