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Local Government Reporter

Job Details

Columbia Expansion - Columbia, SC
Full Time


The Post and Courier in Columbia is looking for a digitally minded journalist who can report on a dynamic local government and politics scene in South Carolina’s capital city. Populous and ethnically diverse Columbia and Richland counties are fiercely blue in a deep red state, creating a simmering environment for policy innovation and solution-seeking, but also political friction, resistance to accountability and festering corruption.


We need someone who becomes immersed in Columbia and Richland counties political conversations, quickly knowing the players without getting played. The right candidate will be able to provide effective sustained coverage of government and political activity, while also generating investigative and analytical enterprise reporting. The ability to not only write and report but find ways to expand storytelling through social media and video is also a plus.


You will also work alongside our award-winning Columbia news team, often coordinating efforts with those on other beats. This is one of the most-read and highest-impact beats in our newsroom, and we’re looking for someone who will quickly become a star in this role.




  • Become immersed in the public-policy scene of Richland County and Columbia to craft informative and impactful stories about top issues and political personalities.
  • Produce story ideas from the assigned beat or from conversations with sources and other members of the community, including voices outside of public office.
  • Develop and produce frequent investigative stories based on public records, interviews and other information while maintaining ongoing beat coverage.
  • Frequently and strategically issue FOIAs to assist in reporting, analyze the results and effectively use these materials in published articles.
  • Coordinate your assignments and schedule with editors, keeping them well-informed about developments and potential challenges.
  • Produce work that is accurate in fact, tone and implication. Understands libel law and the rules governing plagiarism.
  • Effectively use social media to engage the community.
  • Develop and maintain photo and digital skills.
  • Effectively learn and use all job technology and systems.
  • Learn and follow all department and company policies and procedures.
  • Meet all assigned deadlines.
  • Develop a list of knowledgeable, diverse sources.
  • Other duties as assigned


Requirements, minimum education level, and experience


  • Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Communications, English, History or Political Science preferred.
  • Experience in AP style writing.
  • Flexibility to adjust hours to cover evening events, breaking news, or occasional weekend news developments.
  • Valid driver’s license, good driving record, reliable and insured vehicle
  • Reliable access to internet service


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities


  • Strong writing and editing in AP style skills
  • Basic knowledge of how local and state governments are supposed to function is essential, with S.C. knowledge a plus.
  • Strong written and oral communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to prioritize workload and self-manage projects, handle multiple tasks and meet strict deadlines
  • Good customer relation skills with the ability to easily and professionally speak and work with readers and the public daily
  • Excellent social media skills
  • Ability to react quickly to breaking news
  • Knowledge of the community and surrounding cities a plus
  • Ability to adapt to a fast-paced ever-evolving industry and workplace
  • Strong, professional work ethic
  • Ability to work independently remotely, if necessary, in a suitable workspace that meets safety guidelines


Physical Requirements, Work Environment and Travel


Regularly required to sit for long periods of time; close eye work on computer screen; required to stand, walk, reach with hands and arms, bend and stoop; light to moderate lifting 15–30 pounds.


The worker is frequently subject to inside environmental conditions, which provide protection from weather conditions but not necessarily from temperature changes, and is sometimes subject to adverse outside environmental conditions.


Local and occasional regional travel is required. The Post and Courier is an equal opportunity, drug-free workplace.