If you are a journalist with a deep curiosity about how the justice system really works in Mississippi — from policing to prisons, from civil liberties to courts — you might be the reporter Mississippi Today seeks to create a statewide justice beat.
Mississippi Today’s justice reporter will produce both longform and daily news stories. We expect this person to explore the ways the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the justice system: Delayed trials, cancelled visitations, outbreaks and vaccine availability are just a few issues facing the state right now. The justice beat encompasses more than the state’s jails and prisons — this reporter will also cover inequities in the criminal justice system and explore possible solutions and barriers that impede progress.
The justice reporter will produce stories that support Mississippi Today’s vision and mission, which is to hold elected officials accountable and inform citizens about how the policy and decisions implemented by the state’s powerful affect their lives.
This position will be based in Mississippi. Mississippi Today staff are currently working remotely, but in-person meetings are possible and the office may reopen this fall. The deadline to apply is Nov. 1 at midnight CST.
- Report and write longform and short stories and multimedia presentations about Mississippi legal issues, including legislation, criminal and civil cases, civil liberties, and trends.
- Investigate Mississippi’s justice system, with an eye for racial justice and inequity.
- Closely cover the Mississippi Department of Corrections, building relationships with MDOC staff, justice reform advocates and individuals affected by MDOC systems.
- Report regularly on the pandemic’s impact on Mississippi’s jails and prisons.
- Use a solutions lens to explore grassroots efforts and state programs that are working to improve the lives of those touched by the justice system.
- Develop sources and report in diverse communities, including urban and rural, and engage members of the public in identifying breakdowns in the criminal justice system.
- Proven ability to work independently under deadline pressures.
- Collaborate with the Audience Team to think creatively about formats and tools for communicating justice topics to a broad, statewide audience.
- Collaborate with colleagues on stories and projects — while there will be plenty of opportunities for solo stories, Mississippi Today is a collaborative newsroom that often shares bylines.
- Work with the Mississippi Today politics team to cover how prominent criminal justice issues influence key statewide elections, and cover discussions about criminal justice reform at the state Capitol.
- Help cultivate collegial and productive relationships with other news organizations, with a goal of co-publishing and broadcast partnerships.
It is a plus if you have:
Experience covering legal/justice issues, with an understanding of how the court system works and how legislation advances.
Experience with filing records requests and working with data is encouraged but not required.
What you’ll get:
- The opportunity to work alongside award-winning journalists and make significant contributions to Mississippi’s only fully staffed, nonprofit, nonpartisan digital news and information source.
- Competitive salary with medical insurance, and options for vision and dental insurance.
- Cell phone stipend.
- 29 days paid time off.
- Up to 12 weeks of parental family leave, with return-to-work flexibility.
- Simple IRA with 3% company matching. Group-term life insurance provided to employees ($15,000 policy).
- Support for professional training and attending industry conferences.
How to Apply:
The deadline to apply is Monday, Nov. 1 at midnight CST. Fill out an application at this link.
We’re committed to building an inclusive newsroom that represents the people and communities we serve. We especially encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply for this position, including women, people of color, LGBTQ people and people who are differently abled.