The Seattle Times, a family-owned news organization, and one of the region’s premier news sources, is hiring an Arts Economy Reporter. This is a full-time (40 hours/week) grant-funded role that is subject to grant renewal. Funding for this role is not guaranteed beyond the 2024 calendar year, though renewal is the goal.
We’re looking for a journalist who is arts literate; understands how arts organizations, nonprofits and cultural philanthropies operate; and has a knack for telling numbers- and data-heavy stories in language all readers can understand.
Using solutions journalism, watchdog reporting and other reporting tools, we want you to help us shed light on how arts organizations in the greater Puget Sound region approach programming, finances and audiences now. How are trends in arts philanthropy evolving? How are real estate prices and inflation affecting arts organizations and artists? How do ticket prices affect access? How are cultural institutions’ revenue models changing? Who are the economic winners and losers on today’s arts landscape? How are artists making ends meet in an increasingly expensive city?
- Build and maintain relationships with a wide array of sources within the arts community of the greater Puget Sound area.
- Be comfortable analyzing 990s, balance sheets and other financial documents as relates to reporting on nonprofits.
- Be comfortable filing public records requests and using records to inform stories or advance your reporting.
- Pitch solutions-oriented stories that examine possible responses to problems.
- Be well-versed in how the arts world and nonprofits operate and have a general understanding of the issues and operational challenges they face.
- Stay on top of Seattle-area arts and entertainment news.
- Be a versatile reporter who can react quickly to breaking news, work on medium and long-range enterprise stories (at least two per month) and find stories off the beat that are relevant and engaging to our audience.
- Be comfortable using social media and other audience engagement tactics to identify story ideas and interact with readers.
- Work with an editor to identify and build coverage priorities and a good variety of story ideas. We seek stories that are locally focused, but that might also have national appeal.
- Be a team player and work with other members of our newsroom (graphics, photo and video teams, to name a few) and our arts and entertainment team to find, conceive of and execute the best and most relevant stories for our readership.
- Understand and look out for opportunities to diversify our coverage of the arts and entertainment sector, while always keeping marginalized and underrepresented communities in mind.
- Demonstrate a commitment to equity and inclusion in story choice, sourcing and framing.
Please let us know how your skills and experience relate to the role and its objectives in your cover letter.
- Experience: At least 3-5 years of reporting experience, preferably in both business and the arts, and preferably in a major metropolitan newsroom.
- Education: Bachelor’s degree or equivalent relevant experience.
- Experience covering the economy or a business/industry beat. Experience/interest in covering the arts and/or the nonprofit sector is a bonus.
- Able and willing to file public records requests and use documents to inform your reporting.
- Demonstrates an understanding of how to build sources on a beat and work a beat to find stories.
- Team-oriented, with a collaborative spirit.
- A good communicator.
- Ability to analyze facts and make judgments about relevance, newsworthiness, fairness, etc., under pressure and on deadline.
- Cultural competence and awareness of best practices related to inclusive journalism.
- Ability to write clearly, accurately, and creatively on multiple platforms and social networks.
- Experience in traditional, shoe-leather reporting, as well as using social media to find and source stories. Familiarity with digital news production, live blogging, and analytics are also a necessity.
Compensation: The full salary range for this position is $41,600 to $96,600. We typically pay between $55,000 and $85,000, depending on experience and qualifications.
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