Job Opening: Staff Writer
Are you a journalist enthralled by the history, policy and science behind Western water issues? The journalism team at the Water Education Foundation is looking for a full-time writer who is deeply knowledgeable about the West’s most precious natural resource in California and the Colorado River Basin, enjoys a fast-paced environment and possesses strong multimedia skills.
The ideal candidate has experience writing in-depth articles as well as shorter “reporter notebook” articles, posting breaking news on social media channels such as Twitter and staying current on Western water issues. This position reports to our Deputy Director, News & Publications, but works with many of our team members. The Water Education Foundation, an impartial nonprofit based in Sacramento, has been covering water news for some 45 years under an executive director with a strong journalism background.
Specific Duties and Responsibilities Include:
- Reports and writes articles – either an in-depth, reporter’s notebook or a Q&A with top policy leaders, scientists or other key water figures – for our monthly Western Water online news magazine. The magazine features articles that explore the science, policy and debates centered around drought, groundwater, sustainability, water access and affordability, climate change and endangered species involving key sources of supply such as the Colorado River, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and more.
- Assists in packaging articles by collecting photos/graphics/assisting with online layout.
- Monitors emerging trends and issues involving water.
- Provides ideas for insightful articles that can set apart the Foundation.
- Develops sources from diverse perspectives and demographics.
- Assists with email blast of our weekday water newsfeed known as Aquafornia that is compiled by a freelancer. Acts as backup to our freelancer.
- Alerts social media followers of breaking water news on Twitter and sometimes LinkedIn.
Online & Publication Writing
- Updates key terms in our online water encyclopedia, Aquapedia, generally one per week, to include the latest news and information. Adds news terms as needed.
- Updates guides on key water topics for our series of Layperson’s Guides, generally one per year.
- Works on other writing projects, such as crafting text for water maps, special online projects and the occasional history book.
- Like all team members, attends roughly one tour to a key water region per year to assist our programs director but also to generate story ideas and sources for Western Water articles. Occasionally takes photos/videos during tours and other events, and posts updates on social media.
- Proofs items written by others when needed, especially our weekly news announcements.
- Ability to travel, mainly across California.
- Ability to juggle multiple assignments, and both short-term and long-term tasks.
- Flexibility and a commitment to teamwork.
- Other duties as necessary.
- Ability to explain complex water resource issues in a clear, concise and engaging style.
- Commitment to accuracy, fairness and balance.
- Strong news judgment.
- Good knowledge of AP news style.
- Good photography skills. Video skills a plus.
- Demonstrated social media experience, specifically with Twitter.
- Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, education or science preferred; will consider other related fields and experience.
- Ten years experience as a journalist; five of them covering water issues in California or the Colorado River Basin. Ideally both regions of the West.
- Familiarity with key water people – scientists, policymakers and other leaders – and issues.
This is a salaried position with an annual salary range starting at $67,000, depending on experience and qualifications of selected candidate. Excellent benefits – 100 percent employer-paid medical, dental, vision; paid vacation, sick time and holidays; 403(b) retirement plan with generous employer contributions starting at 7% of salary.
Please note: This job is based in our Sacramento office. However, the Foundation team at this time works on a hybrid schedule with some days in the office and some at home.
To be considered in the first round of applicants, please send your email package by Jan. 27.
The Water Education Foundation is an impartial, nonprofit 501(c)3 organization whose mission is to inspire understanding of water and catalyze critical conversations to build bridges and inform collaborative decision-making. Learn more at www.watereducation.org