What You’ll Do:
Provide freelance reporting of critically important Shasta County news.
Where You’ll Be Located:
Where you choose, within Northern California. This position is remote.
What Kind Of Job Is This?
What You’ll Earn:
$250 for 800-1200 words
We are open to increasing this rate if the writing quality is high and there is a commitment to regular reporting.
What To Know About This Job:
Shasta Scout is looking for freelance news reporters to join our emerging news team. This is a unique and exciting opportunity to join a pioneering local news startup in its second year, helping to shape our coverage in a community deeply divided by politics and eager for more in-depth, independent news. You will produce stories in a highly supportive and collaborative environment, while being immediately deployed into community news coverage. Strong writing skills are required, but previous journalism experience is not a necessity.
One large advantage of a small newsroom is our flexibility and adaptability to individual strengths and passions. Freelancers will work remotely, researching, conducting interviews, crafting stories and gaining experience (if needed) in public records requests skills and data gathering and analysis. If desired, you will also have opportunities to engage directly with the community during public meetings and protests.
The ideal freelance reporter for Shasta Scout appreciates the value of service-oriented journalism. When appropriate, we will encourage you to deepen your reporting with historical context and diverse commentary. We are a “slow news” organization, meaning that we value accuracy, community engagement and depth of content over speed of production.
Curious about our newsroom style? You can see more about how we report here.
It’s Important To Us That You:
- Will report and write in-depth and engaging community news stories of 800-1200 words, as agreed by contract.
- Will sign a freelance contract that includes agreement to our editorial process and the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics.
Additionally, We’d Particularly Love To Work With You If You Are:
- A strong writer who can tell engaging stories in a news journalism format
- Flexible, curious, and highly collaborative.
- A strong critical thinker who is interested in bending the traditions of journalism.
- Able to work independently and quick to reach out for support when needed.
- Eager to contribute to the health and well-being of local communities through accurate and fair journalism.
We highly value lived experiences and strongly encourage you to apply, even if you don’t believe you meet every one of the qualifications described.
Studies have shown that women, trans, non-binary people, and BIPOC are less likely to apply for jobs unless they believe they meet every one of the qualifications as described in a job description. We are committed to building a diverse and inclusive organization, and we are most interested in finding the best candidate for the job. That candidate may be one who comes from a background less traditional to our field of work, and we welcome the new insight such a candidate would provide.
What You Should Know About Shasta Scout
At Shasta Scout we believe a democratic community requires access to just and equitable news. We are a non-profit, independent, digital-only news service, focused on Shasta County’s under-reported diverse and investigative stories. Using research, interviews, documents and data, we scout out the truth to tell stories that build an informed electorate with the power to create educated change for our community. Shasta Scout is currently focused on government accountability, civic affairs, environmental issues, Indigenous affairs and religious and political movements.
We are a proud member of the Institute for Nonprofit News and a Local Independent Online News (LION) Publisher. During our first year we were proud to be selected as a division finalist for the national Next Challenge for Journalism and Media and were highlighted by Jay Rosen’s students as part of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at City University of New York’s Coming From project.
What You Should Know About The Community We Cover:
Shasta Scout serves Shasta County, a rural far northern California community with a population of approximately 180,000. Shasta County is located two and a half hours north of Sacramento and an hour south of the Oregon border. The area is of significant environmental importance to California. In addition to beautiful public lands and forests, several culturally, economically and ecologically important rivers flow through our region, which is also home to Shasta Dam, the keystone of the Central Valley Project.
Shasta County is home to a dense Indigenous community including multiple tribes, several of which are federally unrecognized. Some of these, particularly the Winnemem Wintu and Pit River Tribes, are engaged in high-profile resistance movements against development projects that threaten their tribal cultures and ancestral lands.
Demographically, Shasta County is predominantly white and conservative. We’ve been a hotspot for the State of Jefferson movement and recently received national media attention for militia-connected political activism, including the successful recall of a Shasta County Supervisor. Bethel Church, an international megachurch with both local and national political influence, is one of the largest employees in our region. Our community also faces many social health challenges, including poverty, a lack of affordable housing and high rates of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and other traumas.
You can apply below and should expect a response within 2-4 business days. If you do not receive one, please email [email protected] We also welcome you to reach out to us at that email, prior to applying, if you have questions. Thank you!