Brighton and Hove News is looking for a qualified senior reporter as part of the BBC-funded Local Democracy Reporting Service.
The job will involve covering the meetings of Brighton and Hove City Council and its committees – and the decisions taken by councillors and officials.
It may also entail writing about other locally based public bodies such as the Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group.
The service is part of a ground-breaking UK-wide initiative by the BBC and local publishers.
Brighton and Hove News is working with Johnston Press, publisher of the Brighton and Hove Independent, to provide more and better coverage of the city council and its decisions.
The job, offered on a two-year fixed-term contract, requires political awareness but impartiality, the ability to write clearly and quickly – and involves flexible working and unsocial hours.
Candidates should have a recognised journalism qualification, such as the NCTJ National Qualification in Journalism (NQJ) or its equivalent, and a certified shorthand speed of 100 words per minute.
Applications should be sent by email to email@example.com by 6pm on Friday, 2 February 2018.
About the scheme
This unique scheme, funded by the BBC and local news publishers, is designed to increase coverage and scrutiny of local authorities across the country.
The key aim will be to ensure deeper scrutiny of the way that local government institutions operate, the decisions that they make and how they spend public money.
The successful applicant will play a vital part in the start of the scheme and help ensure that it is a success, with the aim of expanding it in future years.
As well as being a trusted source of news and an ambassador for the scheme, the successful applicant will be adept at identifying issues and stories buried in council agendas which need to be brought to the public’s attention.
This role involves reporting to the editors while offering the chance to be involved at the start of a high-profile initiative and help shape the future of the scheme.
• Delivering strong content daily, mainly written, but also providing images, audio and video as and when required
• Producing engaging material and demonstrating SEO and social media awareness to attract audiences
• Ensuring that all content is politically neutral and balanced, providing a fair reflection of views
• Scrutinising agendas for councils and public bodies, identifying issues and stories which need to be brought to the public’s attention
• Delivering live content, providing two-way interviews for broadcast media
• Providing monthly reports on key issues and themes from public authorities for other media organisations which subscribe to the service
• Ensuring that all matters, decisions and issues relating to the public authorities covered by the Local Democracy Reporter Scheme editorial brief are covered in a timely, impartial and audience-friendly way
Who can apply
To be considered for this role, you will be qualified to NCE or NQJ standard or equivalent, with two years‘ experience working to daily deadlines. A certified shorthand speed of 100wpm is expected.
These essential criteria will go hand in hand with your ability to provide outstanding content in text, audio and video format.
You will be able to demonstrate a deep understanding of the workings of local government and a track record of delivering great ideas for content and building contacts.
A solid working knowledge of social media and the way it can be used to drive audience and engagement is essential for this role.
You will be an excellent communicator, enjoy working under pressure and thrive on the unique challenge that this role offers.
The Brighton and Hove reporter will be expected to work from home but is likely to spend much of their time reporting directly from the council chamber.
The job comes with a £22,000 a year salary as well as five weeks’ annual leave plus bank holidays. Ideally, annual leave should be taken when there are few or no local authority meetings.
About Brighton and Hove News
Brighton and Hove News is an independent local news website founded in 2009 and incorporated in 2015. It is owned and run by two experienced journalists, Frank le Duc and Jo Wadsworth.