The Seattle Times, a Pulitzer Prize-winning news organization, and one of the few remaining independent news organizations in the country, is looking to hire a part-time Outdoors Reporter to lead our coverage of the outdoors.
Outdoors exploration is a way of life among Washingtonians, and many of our readers spend their weekends and vacations enjoying the diversity of outdoors lands that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. From climbing and hiking to skiing, snowboarding, kayaking, sailing, mountain biking and mountaineering, our readers are an adventurous bunch.
We’re looking for an outdoors writer who’s equally adventurous — both in their outdoor pursuits and in the way they approach the craft of journalism and how they look for stories. Ideally, you possess a deep understanding of and familiarity with the Pacific Northwest’s outdoors scene, with an established network of contacts. You should also have an interest in examining how the outdoors beat transcends typical “go do” stories about hikes to take or places to ski, and to dig deeper into how outdoors issues relate to business, the environment, the economy, government, public policy, equity and social movements.
This is a part-time job, 20 hours per week. Work schedule will vary based on coverage needs. Some travel, and occasional night and weekend work is to be expected.
- Keep a finger on the pulse of stories and issues that are trending, timely and worth examining as relates to the local outdoors industry, outdoor recreation, outdoors activities and outdoors lands in the state of Washington.
- Work the beat and develop a reliable network of diverse and knowledgeable sources within and around the outdoors industry in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.
- Keep abreast of breaking news on the outdoors beat and be able to file stories quickly on deadline.
- Conceive, pitch, report, and collaborate with photo, graphics and video teams within our newsroom to write and produce balanced, fair, accurate and well-rounded outdoors stories and packages for online and print.
- Work with editors and producers to develop and write timely, ambitious and thought-provoking stories about the outdoors industry and various outdoors activities in the greater Puget Sound area, with the goal of establishing The Seattle Times as one of the most reliable news outlets for outdoors stories in the region.
- Ability to frame stories to appeal to outdoors enthusiasts as well as general readers who may never lace up a hiking boot.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of diversity and inclusivity in our outdoors coverage and constantly be on the lookout for underrepresented sources and diverse viewpoints.
- Use web analytics, market research and listening tools like polls and Hearken to identify what our readers want to know about the outdoors, and then design coverage to serve those needs. Also look to expand that audience by identifying unmet needs.
- Help guide the digital presentation and dissemination of outdoors stories to ensure they reach the broadest audience.
- Work with editors to help determine strategy for our outdoors coverage.
We are committed to diversity and creating an inclusive newsroom and encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply. If your profile doesn’t match this job description exactly, you may still be a candidate for this position. Please let us know how your skills and experience relate to the role and its objectives in your cover letter.
- Experience: At least three years of outdoors reporting experience, preferably at a metropolitan daily news organization or a niche outdoors-related publication.
- Education: Bachelor’s degree or relevant equivalent experience.
- Strong familiarity with and interest in a variety of outdoors activities within the Pacific Northwest outdoors scene required.
- Be a curious, thorough reporter who can identify good, unique stories and pitch them.
- Be inquisitive about a variety of outdoors subjects.
- Be adept with social media and comfortable using all available platforms (including but not limited to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn) as both a reporting tool and an avenue through which to promote your work.
- Must reside in, or be willing to move to, the greater Seattle area.
- Have excellent grammar and language skills.
- Possess cultural competence and familiarity with best journalistic practices related to equity and inclusion.
- Possess sound news judgment, but able to analyze facts and make decisions about relevance, newsworthiness, fairness and balance while under pressure and on deadline.
This position requires a criminal background check and drug screen for controlled substances (including marijuana) once an offer is made. This position also requires you to join a union and pay ongoing union dues regularly.
Founded in 1896, The Seattle Times continues its tradition as a family-owned, independent newspaper that cuts through the clutter and provides readers with timely, relevant news. As the largest newsroom in the Pacific Northwest, we serve the region with thoughtful journalism that makes a real difference in our community. And as a media solutions company, Seattle Times Media Solutions combines cutting-edge digital capabilities and service with the values and integrity of respected traditional media… with an established audience of 1.9 million. At The Seattle Times, you’ll find work that matters.
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