The Press Democrat
Santa Rosa, CA
Application Deadline: October 2, 2021
At a time when many news organizations are freezing salaries or jettisoning jobs, The Press Democrat of Santa Rosa, California, has a different strategy: We’re expanding our staff. Specifically, we are recruiting for a new investigative reporting team that will work with our Newsroom’s current enterprise/watchdog writers to strengthen our commitment to “Big J” public service journalism and better serve our subscribers and readers.
We are seeking a big-thinking, fire-in-the-belly investigative business reporter to dig into the economic cycles, business practices and financial performance of key companies and industries in Northern California. We’re not interested in incremental, turn-of-the-screw coverage that comes from quarterly statements or press releases. Instead, we want revelatory analysis and hard-hitting data-generated content that is enterprising, investigative and exclusive. You must be fearless, fair and willing to challenge the business agenda. You must be comfortable developing key relationships with sources in and beyond the boardroom, digging through large datasets to uncover prominent stories and wading through SEC documents.
We want to bring a fresh eye to the major industries that drive the Sonoma County economy: wineries, grape-growing operations, cannabis, casinos and public health institutions. This position offers great flexibility on the issues and topics we cover, including public agencies whose missions intersect with local companies and commerce.
We believe investigative journalism is essential to the long-term sustainability of media organizations like ours. Success means a steady flow of sophisticated, hard-edged journalism told extremely well that directly affects the consumers, companies, employees, suppliers, taxpayers and constituents of Sonoma County and Northern California. The Press Democrat is the flagship Newsroom of Sonoma Media Investments and the largest news organization between San Francisco and the Oregon border. We have a proud tradition of aggressively covering breaking news and delivering high-end, award-winning enterprise reporting, with an emphasis on strong beat coverage and public service reporting that holds governments accountable to taxpayers. In fact, we won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news reporting; further indication that we swarm news as it happens. We despise “meeting agenda” journalism. That means you must develop a strong network of sources that will enable you to break stories and dig deep on the enterprise-reporting front well before those issues surface in SEC quarterly statements or company press releases.
You must be a self-starter, intellectually curious and have a strong understanding of how actions related to our local marketplace affect residents, taxpayers, communities, employers and the workers they employ. You also will get the opportunity to collaborate with other members of our Newsroom team on important community issues while also holding local officials and government agencies accountable. Candidates must bring a deep portfolio of ambitious work that defends the First Amendment. We’ll be looking for compelling stories that resonate with readers.