LNP | LancasterOnline is seeking two data-savvy, detail-oriented reporters who are curious about how money influences campaigns, elections and policy decisions at the most local of levels – school boards, municipal governments and the judiciary – in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
The reporters, working with a team of seasoned editors, will help our award-winning community news organization launch an ambitious project to digitize, analyze and report on campaign-finance records in local and countywide elections.
The work in the initial phase will include scanning documents and helping to organize and manage the large number of electronic files generated. You’ll be working on site, as a guest in a government office environment, representing LNP and coordinating remotely with the project team lead.
You’ll play an important role in ensuring the integrity of the process – accurately documenting the work and verifying, when necessary, discrepancies in the records. You’ll also help ensure the work does not disrupt the day-to-day operations of the office and help build relationships with local government officials and staff.
We are seeking candidates who are:
- Familiar with spreadsheet programs including Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets.
- Highly organized, with some experience in file management.
- Comfortable and effective at working independently — but also conscientious of their role when part of a team.
You will also stand out if you:
- Display strong interpersonal skills.
- And are excited about the potential impact of the work!
There will also be an opportunity to continue on through the next phase of the project, helping to analyze and report on the data we’ll collect from the scanned documents. Candidates with a genuine interest in this phase of the work should also highlight their experience exploring datasets to find stories and preparing data findings or visualizations for publication.
Please feel free to let us know about other relevant skills and qualifications that may be of interest to us. Reaching diverse talent is incredibly important to LNP and if you do not have the exact combination of skills listed above, but think you can contribute to the project, we’d still love to hear from you. We especially encourage members of underrepresented communities to apply, including women, LGBTQ people, people of color and people with disabilities.
Our expectation is that the initial work assignment will take about six months to complete, with the possibility of the work extending through the end of the year. During this phase of the project, the position is part-time, with the work occurring on weekday afternoons, from about noon to 4 p.m.
The second phase of the project will require the successful candidate to work at least 30 hours a week and up to 37.5 hours a week. Benefits are offered to those working an average of more than 30 hours a week.
The hourly rate is $20.50, and the reporters in this position will report to the project manager.
This job is based in Lancaster, Pa. Because of the nature of the assignment, the work cannot be done remotely.
LNP, based in historic downtown Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is one of the largest-circulation daily newspaper in Pennsylvania. It is one of the oldest in the country and among the few remaining family-owned newspapers.
These fellowship positions are funded by the Lancaster County Local Journalism Fund, for one year, at which point they will be up for renewal.
We expect to extend final offers by March 1. Please address questions to Tom Murse, executive editor of LNP | LancasterOnline, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or project manager AmyJo Brown at email@example.com.
Instead of a cover letter, we’ll ask you a series of questions that get at the heart of what we’d like to know from all our candidates. Use these questions to show us how your experience intersects with what we listed in our “what we’re looking for” section above.
We do not expect to give candidates a hiring test as a part of the application or interview process. We will ask about projects you’ve worked on in the past and our interest is in learning more about how you work.
- Tell us about your interest in the project. What drew you to apply for this position?
- Share with us at least one, and up to three, projects that help showcase the skills or approach you would bring to the job.
- Project description (optional: w/ link or file upload)
- Tell us about your role on the project and how you contributed to the final deliverable. (We will be particularly interested in learning about how you ensured the final outcome’s accuracy or integrity).
- Tell us about any other experience you have that you think would inform your approach to the job.