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 cover the justice beat.
Equity is at the heart of everything we report at Mississippi Today. Perhaps no government system is more inequitable than the justice system, which is vastly undercovered in Mississippi, where just two reporters cover the beat full time.
Moved by the Black Lives Matter and #MeToo movements, justice issues have become the focus of campaigns in statewide and legislative elections. Additionally, criminal justice reform remains a key conversation at the state Capitol. This reporter would work closely with the top political reporting team in the state to cover the confluence of these issues and politics.
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.
Mississippi Today launched in 2016 as the state’s first nonprofit newsroom with one of the largest editorial teams in the region. Mississippi Today is recognized as a leader in independent, nonpartisan journalism in the Deep South.
This is a grant-funded position, and the salary range is $40,000-$50,000.
The deadline to apply is Sunday, April 10. Submit your application here.
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.
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.
Collaborate with the Audience Team to think creatively about formats and tools for communicating justice topics to a broad, statewide audience.
Work with our data, visual and social media journalists to create compelling story presentations.
Communicate with colleagues on stories and projects — while there will be plenty of opportunities for solo projects and 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.
It is a plus if you have:
Proven ability to work independently under deadline pressures.
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.
Must be Mississippi based, but working remotely from our Ridgeland-based newsroom is an option.
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.
-Highly 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:
Submit your application here. The deadline to apply is Sunday, April 10.
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.
You can also schedule a call with Kayleigh to answer questions about this position here.