Type: Full-time, two-year employment contract (renewal possible). 

Location: Anywhere in the continental United States. LMA/LMF and all affiliates are virtual organizations. You need reliable internet access and a commercial airport nearby for occasional travel, when conditions allow. 

Open: Starts as soon as possible, target February 2023. 

Reports to: Managing Director, Word in Black. 

Compensation: $55,000/year plus a competitive benefits package, including a choice of health plans, 401(k), technology stipend, and generous PTO/holidays. This is a two-year employment contract that may be renewed depending on funding. 

Job Summary: We seek an experienced journalist who is well-informed about the challenges presented by racism and its resulting inequities — and curious about and committed to solutions — to follow and cover environmental issues and climate change and their effect on Black people. The climate justice reporter will pitch, report, and write on a range of climate and environmental topics impacting the Black community, with an eye toward how the coverage will narrate and shape the lives of Black children and adults.

The reporter should have a strong understanding of climate and environmental trends, policies, and challenges at the state, local, and federal levels, and should have a diverse contact list of sources. The reporter should be able to read beyond study summaries and break complex climate/environmental issues down in a relatable way so that readers can easily understand why they should care and care now, while also ensuring that produced stories and analysis are suitable for sharing with both legacy and new media across the collaborative. This position will also join and have their reporting amplified by the LMA Covering Climate Collaborative, an initiative of Local Media Foundation, which is a collaborative of 25 local news outlets and six leading science partners, committed to humanizing and localizing the effects of climate change, and reporting on responses and solutions.

Essence of the job:

From the outset, most of the Reporter’s efforts will focus on these responsibilities: 

  • Identify and pitch solutions-oriented stories on climate, environment, and justice issues.
  • Write two to three stories — including quick news and analysis pieces — each week.
  • Keep up on best-in-class journalistic practices.
  • Assist with other reporting duties, like research, production, fact-checking, and copy-editing as needed.
  • Work with the data team to help guide visual storytelling. 
  • Develop and contribute to multiplatform offerings, including newsletters and live events.

Desirable skills include: Knowledge and understanding of the disproportionate impact of racism on climate/environment outcomes, and the resulting toll on Black lives, and a relentless dedication to amplifying solutions that address the root causes of climate change while simultaneously addressing a broad range of social, racial, and environmental injustices. Must be comfortable reading and analyzing climate research. Familiarity with local, state, and federal environmental/climate databases is a plus.

The ideal candidate must have:  

  • Optimism and passion about the news and its role in serving the Black community. 
  • A track record of working remotely and a demonstrated ability to think creatively and entrepreneurially in order to excel and achieve goals.   
  • Experience as a reporter. 
  • Experience working with and reporting on the Black community.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, solid editorial judgment, and the ability to write quickly and cleanly.  
  • Receptive to feedback and flexible with regard to shifting work responsibilities.
  • A bachelor’s degree or comparable experience is required. A degree in journalism is a plus. 

We are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion; diverse candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

It probably won’t work out if: 

  • You don’t believe there is a relationship between racism and climate disparities.
  • You are not a team player.  
  • You don’t believe that legacy media and digital media can coexist.  
  • You don’t share the belief that a strong, independent, Black-owned press is vital to a healthy democracy.  

Want to be considered? Send a résumé and cover letter explaining why you’re ideal for this role to: wibjobs@localmedia.org.

Deadline: The deadline to apply is Monday, January 16, 2023, but we will review applicants on a rolling basis.

About Word In Black 

Word In Black is a groundbreaking digital startup backed by 10 of the nation’s leading Black-owned publishers, and managed by the Local Media Foundation. This collaborative seeks to confront inequities, elevate solutions, and amplify the Black experience with a solutions journalism approach. 

About Local Media Association / Local Media Foundation 

Local Media Association brings all media together to share, network, collaborate and more. More than 3,000 newspapers, TV stations, radio stations, digital-only publications, and research and development partners engage with LMA as members or constituents of our programs. As a 501(c)(6) trade association, LMA is focused on the business side of local media. Its programs and labs focus on revenue growth and new business models. LMA helps local media companies develop their strategies via cutting-edge programs, conferences, webinars, research, and training. 

Local Media Foundation serves as the innovation and transformation affiliate of LMA. Incorporating our four strategic pillarsbusiness transformation, journalism funded by philanthropy, industry collaboration, and sustainability for publishers of color — LMF helps provide local media companies the strategies and resources for meaningful innovation and impactful journalism projects.