Tuesday, November 16, 2021
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The Des Moines Register/desmoinesregister.com, part of the USA TODAY NETWORK, is seeking a passionate opinion writer dedicated to solutions-oriented journalism and to community engagement and improvement.
The opinion columnist will write signed columns as well as unsigned editorials presenting the consensus view of the Registers editorial board. What the Registers editorial board says has impact, from improving local quality of life to changing state law to resonating on the national stage, especially leading up to the Iowa caucuses.
Original research is a hallmark of Register opinion columns and editorials. Strong writing and reporting skills are a must. The opinion columnist should have a reporters mindset: attending meetings, examining public records and cultivating sources. Indeed, investigative and enterprise reporters would be ideal candidates, with the know-how to produce opinion content in the form of series, projects or other ambitious journalism.
Theres always plenty to write, dissecting the latest bills from the state Legislature, policy directives from the governors office or decisions by local governments in the Des Moines metro, the fastest-growing major metro in the Midwest, with 700,000 people. The columnist will be expected to consistently pitch strong ideas to write as columns or to develop as editorials in a collegial and collaborative fashion with the editorial board.
Community engagement is also a primary responsibility of the position. The ideal candidate will enjoy digging into community issues and fostering discussion and involvement with an eye toward helping drive solutions. The opinion columnist will organize and lead virtual and in-person town halls, debates and other forums and will seek out diverse voices to contribute letters and op-eds.
The columnist also will share in digital and print production duties with the opinion editor. The ideal candidate will be a digital innovator, looking for new ways to present opinion content across a variety of platforms, including social media, and incorporating audio, video and compelling digital design. The columnist will understand and use audience metrics to continuously build audience for the Registers opinion content.
- Demonstrate strong news judgment to help create and accurately deliver news, via stories, video, graphics and other visuals, Facebook, Instagram or any other platforms to reach our audience.
- Use metrics to inform content choices and platforms to shape engagement and audience-building strategies.
- Identify opportunities for audience and platform growth.
- Provide analysis of trends and issues that affect the daily lives of readers that will inform our content and engagement strategies.
- Work closely with news, graphics, photo, video teams to ideate and/or create content.
- Comfortable with community outreach, talking to groups both internal and external.
- Bachelor's or masters degree in communications, journalism, marketing or related field preferred or equivalent combination of education and experience.
- 5 years of demonstrated writing and editing experience in a newsroom environment.
- Experience developing a following around personal journalism through use of social media.
- Strong copy-editing skills and the ability to produce content that is clean, accurate and "publication ready."
- Passion and enthusiasm about news and content that will grow audiences on social platforms.
- Understanding of reporting ethics and sourcing.
- Ability to excel in a fast-paced news environment and understanding of a digital-first mission.
- Ability to collaborates well with others and work with a team to arrive at and present a consensus, including positions that differ from personal views.
- Employment is contingent on passing a pre-employment, post-offer background check.
We are eager to learn more about you and how you fit this role. When you apply, dont limit your upload to a resume; show us what youve 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 and ideas for improving and expanding current opinion offerings.
3. Links to 4-6 online samples of your work. Show us what youve produced or had a hand in that best reflects what you can do, in any medium. You dont need to have experience as an opinion writer, but you should demonstrate strong reporting and writing skills.
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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In addition, Gannett Co., Inc. will provide applicants who require a reasonable accommodation, as a result of an applicants 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.
Columnist and Journalist