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Senior Reporter, National Security

The Center for Public Integrity is expanding its national security staff, having added two reporters so far in 2015. We are now looking for an additional, experienced investigative journalist who can join a team that will deeply probe recent actions and decision-making at a federal agency responsible for helping to protect the nation’s security.

The job requires significant reporting skills; an ability to cultivate key sources and to collect and assimilate complex data and information; familiarity with the process of national security policymaking and with its relevant participants; and a demonstrated ability to present new information in colorful, narrative accounts about specific government work, all in a compelling, fair, and eye-catching manner.

One of the Center’s principal ambitions is to hold public officials accountable for mismanagement, waste, fraud, and abuse, and so a successful candidate for this position must be able to parse conflicting data and testimony to find nuggets of relevant and irrefutable fact. We never skim the surface in our reporting, but always dig deeply, and so a boundless curiosity, plus the desire to make oneself an authoritative expert on the agency that interests us, are both essential.

Reasonable skepticism, plus extraordinary persistence, charm, and a passion for helping the public sector perform its work with more success and higher ethical standards, are also essential attributes. But this is not a job for policy analysts or for journalists who have not broken news or who lack a track record of successful investigative reporting. It is a job for an experienced journalist who has written assertive, lively, narrative accounts of official actions and decisions that mattered but were not well-known or understood.

Your work for our collegial, national security team will lead to major stories co-published with multiple broadcast, website, magazine and newspaper partners of the Center that reach a national audience. It will require some travel, occasionally partnered with a videographer, and some off-hours work. You could start as soon as June 1, 2015. The salary is competitive.

Responsibilities and Expectations

  • Use sources, documents, computer-assisted reporting, and other journalistic tools to develop, report, and write exclusive accountability stories and investigative projects related to national security and federal defense programs, including the flow of money surrounding policymaking.
  • Work with the Managing Editor in the development of story and project ideas, and the development of outreach strategies for those projects and stories – including identifying, building, and supporting reporting and distribution partnerships with major news outlets.
  • Work with Managing Editor, communications, development and web team to maximize impact and reach of all stories and projects – including building an audience for your articles using social media, blog entries and other tools and creating appealing multi-media and social media content related to your stories and projects.
  • Coordinate with the Center’s computer-assisted reporting experts to integrate data into these stories and projects.
  • Compile documentation to facilitate fact checking of all articles you write.
  • Adhere to Code of Ethics and Editorial Standards and Practices of the Personnel Policy Manual and Employee Handbook. 
  • Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications

Education:  University degree.

Experience/Accomplishments

  • 5+ years of experience as a journalist covering defense and national security, undertaking for a significant portion of this period deep-dive reporting and research.
  • An ability to find good stories; to craft attention-getting, long, vibrant, and well-organized narratives; and to meet deadlines.
  • A track record of appealing writing that demonstrates meticulous attention to detail and rigorous adherence to the highest standards of accuracy and fairness
  • Exceptional organization skills and a proven ability to work collegially with others.

Conditions

  • Ability to juggle multiple projects and deadlines and fulfill the responsibilities and expectations listed above
  • Ability and willingness to collaborate with other Center reporters, editors, and all of our media partners
  • Some travel and off-hours work. 

TO APPLY:

Click here to apply. All applications, including a cover letter, resume, and no more than five (5) news clips should be received by May 15, 2015. No phone calls please.