MPR News is looking for a curious, dynamic reporter with a track record of breaking news and telling engaging stories in any medium to cover southwestern Minnesota as part of its regional reporting team.
Where you’ll work:
You’ll be based out of our bureau in Worthington, Minn. Your coverage area is broad: It includes the 16 counties south of the Minnesota River where it elbows at Mankato. It runs across Minnesota’s southern border with Iowa and all the way to the South Dakota line. It encompasses the regional hubs of Marshall, Mankato and New Ulm and the rural areas, small towns and reservations in between.
Agriculture and energy dominate the physical landscape of southwestern Minnesota, and you’ll cover the changing natures of both. And while the nature of the ag industry is shifting in myriad ways, it’s not the only thing that’s in flux here. Demographics are changing. Politics across the state are becoming more purple. And next year’s election and Census will naturally play a role in your reporting.
Who you’ll be working with:
While your day-to-day work will be mostly solo and often on the road, you will be joining a collaborative team of all-star reporters who cover Minnesota from our regional bureaus.
Our team is made up of people whose curiosity is inexhaustible; who are energized by a good story, un-mined data or a well-sourced scoop; who challenge each other to sharpen their reporting, experiment with form and grow in their work; and who genuinely love the work that they do.
We work hard to incorporate context and nuance and sense of place in our stories. We take accountability and empathy seriously. And we’re eager for you to join us.
How we work:
While each member of the reporting team works remotely, reporters are in daily contact with one another and with their editor, who is based in St. Paul. Our team members typically file their stories from their respective bureaus, but you’ll need to be comfortable filing remotely and producing on your own. (And if you’re new to radio, we’ll teach you!)
In addition to your immediate team, you’ll be supported by a newsroom full of other reporters, producers, photographers, newscasters, editors and hosts who are eager to collaborate.
The MPR News radio signal can be heard by 95 percent of the state’s population. We are an NPR member station, partner with more than 40 news organizations across the region and work under the same umbrella as APM Reports, Brains On!, Marketplace, The Splendid Table and more.
What we offer:
In addition to on-the-job training opportunities and the inherently flexible schedule of a newsroom, we offer a full range of benefits as part of the American Public Media Group.
Our newsroom is a union shop, which means that you’ll need to become a member of SAG-AFTRA.
Who we’re looking for:
A role like this can be an absolute dream for the right person: Your regional reporting colleagues say it’s liberating, exciting and challenging, all at once.
We’re looking for someone who’s entrepreneurial, thoughtful, and eager to explore this region with fresh eyes. We want you to be able to tell stories from southwest Minnesota in a way that is accessible and engaging to listeners and readers across the state — and beyond. We want you to be the kind of reporter who makes listeners and readers understand a little better and care a little more. We want you to tell the stories of the many communities around your region, and particularly those who aren’t covered often. We want you to test your own assumptions.
We want you to be a team player and bring the same type of generosity of spirit, in your reporting and in your team work, that your colleagues have come to appreciate and depend on in each other.
It goes without saying, but we’ll say it: We want your ethical, thorough and empathetic reporting to be the foundation upon which all of your work stands. We want you to be able to build relationships across the communities you cover. We want you to be comfortable diving into data and public records to develop your beat and your coverage. And we want you to play an active role, along with your team and your editor, in defining your areas of focus, the needs of your region and the balance of daily and enterprise coverage on your beat.
- Report daily and breaking news and compelling enterprise stories online, on the air and on social media
- Work with your editor and regional reporting team to shape your beat, priorities and focus areas
- Deliver distinctive coverage of the region and the areas of focus you develop
- Cultivate a broad base of sources and engage with the communities you cover
- Identify themes, trends and key players — and develop specialized knowledge of the region and its stories
- Advise show and digital colleagues on approaches for expanding our coverage of southwestern Minnesota beyond your reported pieces
- Provide live reports when needed
- Lead or assist in special reporting projects.
- Maintain active and engaging social media accounts relevant to your beat and coverage area
- Occasionally take and file photos as part of your reporting
- Other duties as assigned
Required Education and Experience:
- Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience
- Three or more years’ experience reporting or related experience
- Experience in – or an eagerness to learn – radio and digital reporting
Required Skills, Knowledge and Abilities:
- Ability to develop a beat, dig deeply into stories and uncover new information
- Ability to step back and offer context, explanation and analysis on complicated stories
- Ability to manage multiple assignments
- Ability to use interviews, documents and public records, internet tools and social media to gather information, report and tell stories in compelling, engaging ways
- Comfort with navigating data and finding stories within it
- Ability to work simultaneously on short- and long-term projects and enterprise work
- Ability to meet deadlines and turn stories quickly
- Ability to deliver stories authoritatively and competently
Preferred Skills and Experience:
- Conversational in a language other than English, particularly Spanish
- Demonstrated reporting accomplishments
- Demonstrated competency in visual journalism, particularly photography
- Ability to write and use sound in an engaging way
- Familiarity with open records laws and procedures
- Experience managing a beat or a region of coverage
Reporting To This Position: None
Physical Demands and Working Conditions:
- Must be able to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
- Ability to travel regularly around the region
- Physical Demands:
- Required to move about in an office environment and sit for extended periods of time
- Required to move about in the community
- Frequent use of hands for data entry/keystrokes and simple grasping
- Working Conditions:
- Moderate noise level
- Occasional exposure to prevalent weather conditions