What’s that? You like to write? Well, that’s great. My question: Do you also like to report? Really report. Report news that matters — or should matter — to a community’s readers.
Have you been a little reluctant to sign up for a tour of duty with a corporate-owned print and digital news operation because you worry today’s paycheck will be tomorrow’s layoff notice? Yeah, I get it. Truth is, we are all struggling at times, trying to navigate the news waters. Ours is a family-owned operation that’s now in its 104th year of serving readers, and that gives us something of a position, a standing in the community we serve. We are not some basement dweller cranking out a blog or flinging news releases on a website and calling it “news.” We do the real work here, for our print products and for our digital platform. We are the Index-Journal, located in beautiful Greenwood, South Carolina. I’m Richard Whiting and I’ve been a part of this family operation for nearly a quarter century now. Don’t worry. I’ve not quite hit the curmudgeon stage, but I am seasoned.
Sure, if you come to work in my newsroom you’ll have to do the occasional stories that make any new or seasoned journo groan. But you’ll also get to do real journalism, covering our core governing taxpayer-funded officials with depth and breadth. You see, we don’t shy away from real investigative work. We hold public officials accountable and we have the awards to show for it.
As with any newsroom of late, we’ve had to pull our coverage fence line in a bit. Still, we are covering our core area of Greenwood city and county, along with Abbeville County and, as can, McCormick County. However, I am looking for someone who can take the reins of the Greenwood beat. Mind you, I don’t want or need a stenographer. Most meetings around here are livestreamed anyway. No, what I need and want is a reporter who knows what these elected officials are doing before they do it and who will go well beyond the basic meeting reporting. Plus, you’ll be a key point person when it comes to reporting what our local delegation is doing to and for their constituents. And believe me, they need watching.
But hey, it’s not all fun and games with meeting coverage and investigative work. It’s not all “emulate Watergate.” It’s great if you want to be the next Carl Bernstein or Bob Woodward, but you’ll also have to produce some interesting features that take center stage on 1A, rotating that duty with our other reporters. You’ll have opportunity to build on that portfolio so you’re not pegged as a government-only reporter. As already noted, you’ll get those groaners on occasion. After all, we aren’t the Washington Post newsroom. Wait. The Washington Post newsroom isn’t what it used to be, either. We’re a small staff in a small newsroom with little cubicles where everyone can hear your conversations and, truth be told, the after-effects of a good lunch. In other words, we’re like family. We help each other and tolerate each other’s quirks.
Interested so far? Good. Show me what you’re made of by sending some work samples and a legit resume. Cover letter? Nah. Those are always BS, fill-in-the-blank with the recipient’s name, the name of the newspaper and the city it’s in. And sometimes, applicants even forget to do that. So cut to the chase. Tell me why in hell I should have you in my award-winning small daily newsroom in a great section of South Carolina.