Digital Breaking News Reporter

NPR (Washington, D.C.)

Posted 10 months ago


A thriving, mission-driven multimedia organization, NPR produces award-winning news, information, and music programming in partnership with hundreds of independent public radio stations across the nation. The NPR audience values information, creativity, curiosity, and social responsibility – and our employees do too. We are innovators and leaders in diverse fields, from journalism and digital media to IT and development. Every day, our employees and member stations touch the lives of millions worldwide. 

NPR’s award-winning Washington Desk produces sophisticated yet accessible coverage of the White House, Congress, the Supreme Court, the Justice Department and electoral politics. Vital to our mission: original reporting, breaking news, breaking ideas with clarity and context and excelling at explanatory journalism. Known for our work ethic, the Washington Desk aspires to great storytelling both on air and online. Our coverage is featured on Morning Edition, All Things Considered,, the NPR Politics Podcast and Up First.

The Digital Breaking News Reporter will drive our online coverage of political news that breaks late in the day. The position requires being able to respond quickly and sharply to news on all of the beats our desk covers in the afternoon and evening, working collaboratively with the beat specialists ranging from DOJ and the Supreme Court, to Capitol Hill, the White House and the campaign trail. The position requires deep knowledge of Washington and politics; demonstrated news judgement and instincts; clean, accurate and vibrant copy; enthusiasm for breaking news; thriving under immediate deadlines and a strong collaborative spirit. The ideal candidate can frame stories well with little direction and present breaking news in a way that leads the pack in speed and style. 

The vast majority of the position involves filing quick-turn digital stories, along with filing occasionally for NPR’s top of the hour radio newscasts and other platforms. 

The position is based in Washington, D.C., with an afternoon/evening schedule, subject to news demands.


  • Writes stories as assigned by Washington Desk editors, in collaboration with beat specialists.
  • Drafts headlines, teasers and social language for stories. 
  • Selects photos and writes captions.
  • Pitches news stories for NPR’s website.
  • Fulfills administrative obligations arising from assignments, such as filing prompt and accurate expense records and program information/summaries; maintaining contact with editors and appropriate producers; keeping editors and appropriate producers informed about assignments.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, Economics, History, Journalism or another writing-intensive discipline and/or equivalent work experience. 


  • At least five years’ reporting experience, with a substantial interest or preferred experience in covering national politics.
  • Ability to work quickly under deadline pressure.
  • Demonstrated ability to file accurate, clean copy in a timely manner. 
  • Knowledge of AP style guidelines. 
  • Ability to develop, report and write stories of interest to a national audience.
  • Willingness to work varied shifts.
  • Proven ability to consistently work well with others, demonstrating at all times respect for the diverse constituencies at NPR and within the public radio system.


  • Familiarity with analytics and strategies for competitively covering breaking news online.
  • Experience with audience strategies including SEO and social media. 
  • Experience managing a digital news budget and/or editing digital stories.

Does this sound like you? If so, we want to hear from you. All applications must include a resume and cover letter to be considered. 

Apply here.

NPR offers a competitive compensation and comprehensive benefits package including health and wellness benefits, retirement, and work/life balance programs, as well as opportunities for career growth and development.

NPR is an Equal Opportunity Employer. NPR is committed to being an inclusive place to work that welcomes diverse and unique perspectives, all working toward the same goal – to create a more informed public.  Qualified applicants receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender, gender identity or expression, age, national origin or ancestry, citizenship, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, veteran status, membership in the uniformed services, genetic information, or any other basis protected by applicable law.

Want more NPR? Explore the stories behind the stories on our NPR Extra blog. Get social with NPR Extra on Facebook and following @NPRExtra and #NPRLife on Twitter and Instagram. Find more career opportunities at and on Twitter at @NPRJobs.

Job Features

Job CategoryDigital, Radio