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Lexington County Reporter (2950)

McClatchy   Columbia, SC   Full-time     Writing / Editing
Posted on June 1, 2022
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The State is seeking an aggressive journalist who can deliver exclusive reporting that informs and engages readers in the region. The reporter will be expected to move fast when news breaks while producing deeper stories that make a difference in the lives of our readers by holding officials accountable and unearthing the impact of their actions.

Lexington is one of South Carolina’s most conservative counties. More than 67 percent of its residents voted for Donald Trump.. Its residents are more religious than other communities, and they strongly support the Second Amendment. This reporter covers local issues that connect with these readers’ interests. 

The county recreation and aging commission has 22 sports complexes, including major facilities for tennis, soccer and baseball. Recreation is at the center of many Lexington County families, as is Lake Murray, one of the Midlands biggest attractions. People fish, boat and swim there almost year-round. Restaurants and other businesses cater to people who enjoy the lake. Some of Columbia’s most expensive homes are found along the shoreline. Neighborhoods are sprouting up almost daily. This beat covers all of those activities and more.

The position will require not just the ability to build sources and ferret out facts, but also a talent for framing, writing, shooting, producing and promoting a story via search and social media to ensure that it reaches and resonates with our readers. It will require a demonstrated commitment to change -- to constantly adapting to the ever-evolving ways in which readers seek out and interact with journalism. And it will require enthusiastic participation in ongoing conversations about what’s working and what’s not -- and an equally enthusiastic commitment to adapting accordingly. 

Minimum requirements:

  • Strong writing and reporting skills and excellent news judgment
  • Unwavering commitment to accurate, ethical journalism
  • Demonstrated ability to use social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to reach audiences
  • Fluency in the science of readership and engagement, including an understanding of how to use analytics such as page views, time on site, referral sources and “shares and likes” to help determine which stories resonate with which audiences
  • A demonstrated ability to tell stories using a variety of tools and platforms, including video
  • A demonstrated ability to learn new skills and technologies, including content management systems; social media platforms; video editing software; Omniture, CrowdTangle and other analytics tools; and any emerging storytelling tools and platforms
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including empathy and the ability to take and give constructive criticism. The new workflows require constant conversations between reporters and editors and between reporters and their audience as a story evolves. 
  • Demonstrated ability to work comfortably in a job that will be fast-paced, data-driven, shaped constantly by feedback and experimentation and always evolving

Education & experience:

  • College degree preferred.
  • At least 1 year of local news experience preferred