The RequirementsAlabama Media Group is seeking a well-rounded reporter with a history of success in digital media and the ability to cover the spectrum of transportation topics and related consumer issues. Whether you’re an industry veteran enthused by the digital platform and excited about transforming your career for the future; or someone who is new in your career but enjoying attention from writing an engaging blog, this role could be the perfect fit.
To be successful in the role of Traffic/Roads Reporter, you will need:
A bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Communications or related field (preferred), or the equivalent experience
including a strong track record of writing success.
- A minimum of 2 years of journalism experience with a proven ability in reporting and writing. You should be able to use a broad set of tools to tell stories and engage the audience. Quick question for you - click here
- Specific experience covering traffic, roads, other consumer issue(s), or topics of related interest.
- Proven experience building, maintaining and engaging an active audience.
- The ability to work independently under deadline pressure and prioritize tasks appropriately.
- Demonstrated reporting, writing and organizational skills.
- Solid understanding of news writing, journalistic ethics and story structure.
- Experience with search engine optimization (SEO) practices. Quick question for you - click here
- Comfort working in breaking news situations including understanding the standards and philosophy of real-time news.
- The demonstrated ability to capitalize on high-value topics by engaging audiences with frequency and urgency.
- Understanding of the methods and tools used to deliver content across a variety of platforms such as Moveable Type CMS, SCC Budgeting and Archiving System, smartphones.
- Understanding the imperatives of multiple platforms – print, mobile, Internet, etc.
- A mastery of social media and digital interaction; experience using social media to source and promote content is highly preferred.
- The ability to leverage relationships with sources to deliver content that differentiates the organization from its competitors.
- The drive and ability to work independently and remotely.
- The ability to work a flexible schedule, as needed, to provide 24/7/365 media coverage.
- The ability to travel on occasion and to come into the office for a meeting or training approximately once per month.
- Posting photographs and/or short videos to the web and other internal production systems.
- Remote web reporting using laptops and smart phones.
The RoleAs the Traffic/Roads Reporter, you will report and produce news stories on high-value topics about and around how people travel in Birmingham and the extended community. You will need to be a Reporter comfortable with consumer-based topics, and clear on the impacts of transportation, be they economic, environmental, cultural, etc. You will develop ideas and interesting ways to cover any traffic or road-related event that has the potential to impact a large group of people, and then identify related stories to maintain interest.
The reality of news in the digital age is that it is instant. With a tech-savvy audience that engages daily news through multiple platforms, this beat is particularly well suited for the use of social media and other digital outlets. You’ll keep your finger on the pulse of the commute, stay up to the minute with information, and share that news quickly and effectively. You’ll be accountable for meeting audience demand for immediacy, depth and engagement, through real-time news and digital media interaction. To be an outstanding Traffic/Roads Reporter, you’ll develop strong, collaborative relationships with the Public Safety and other government reporters covering economics/funding, policy, court cases, community news, or related topics, and partner with other Traffic Reporters across the state as needed.
Specifically, you will:
- Gather information and write journalistically sound news elements for use in all existing and future media platforms. Your stories should be balanced and factual; timely and topical; and, well-sourced and contextually correct.
- Learn and employ all techniques for effective digital “beat-blogging” and reporting across all platforms.
- Frequently and incrementally post throughout the day.
- Engage in story aggregation and topical link-posting.
- Monitor and engage in reader comment streams; elevate comments into new posts when appropriate.
- Interact on social media platforms via story shares, objective commentary, topic promotion and the Alabama Media Group’s content initiatives.
- Effectively employ various means of monitoring audience interest and competitors’ posting on your topic, including setting up Google alerts, Twitter and RSS feeds. Quick question for you - click here
- Maintain operational communication with the editor and production center, when appropriate.
- Learn and understand audience traffic tracking systems and analytical reports.
- Develop and maintain relationships with other reporters, creating mutually beneficial partnerships, and working as a team when needed.
Because this is an instant world, you must be quick on your feet and strong with grammar and self-editing. You’ll also need to be highly ethical because you don’t want to put anything out there that isn’t true. You will have a producer to talk to and collaborate with as necessary, but you will be field-based, without a desk or office, so being independent is key.
Note: this description is intended to give you a general overview of the position and is not an exhaustive listing of duties and responsibilities.
Keys to SuccessTo excel in this role, you will be a driven, dynamic reporter and writer with the ability to deliver a high volume of content every day. You should be able to proactively identify stories in your assigned area and respond quickly, keeping the quality of content consistent and engaging. Nothing of interest to the readership should be missed. Because we are an online, daily operation, you will also need to be comfortable working in a fast-paced environment. You should be someone who excels and thrives under pressure and can produce quality work regardless of the deadline you're under.
Additionally, in order to be an outstanding Reporter, you will be autonomous and enjoy working independently. You will have a great deal of autonomy in this role, from choosing your content topics to posting your own articles online -- so you should be at ease in a self-directed environment and eager to hit the ground running and make an impact right off the bat.