CPI seeks one freelancer in each state for research and reporting gig on govt accountability

The Center for Public Integrity is hiring 50(!) freelancers – one in each state – for a part-time gig over the next year. Pay is $7K for the year. More info HERE and below. 


The Center for Public Integrity is looking for top-notch journalists to investigate the risk of corruption in their state governments. We're hiring one reporter in each state to carry out a combination of research and reporting into state government ethics, transparency and accountability laws, and their enforcement. Your work will lead to nationally-distributed stories and state-by-state rankings of government accountability, complete with scorecards, grades and stories that demonstrate where states succeed and where they fail.

The State Integrity Investigation will rely on original, in-depth reporting and detailed data collection in each state to uncover areas of corruption risk in our statehouses. The project will cover a wide range of “integrity indicators,” including campaign finance laws, state budget processes, auditing capabilities, procurement practices, financial disclosure and more. Each reporter will gather data through a combination of research and interviews and then write an accompanying narrative on the findings in that state. Examples of state scorecards, categories and stories from our initial State Integrity Investigation in 2012 can be found at www.stateintegrity.org.

Reporters will have to answer some 200-300 questions with specific, well-sourced data over the first two months of work. Reporters will work with partner organization Global Integrity to register and verify their research. They will be expected to meet rigorous standards for accuracy and sourcing based on methodology developed by Global Integrity. Reporters must be well-versed in the laws, procedures, and inner workings of their state government, and ideally maintain an extensive network of contacts and sources both in and outside of state government.

To apply, please upload a short cover letter, two or three clips and a resume with three references. No phone calls please.

About the Project

The State Integrity Investigation is a collaboration between the Center for Public Integrity and Global Integrity. This new effort will refine and update a project first carried out in 2011-2012 (for more, see www.stateintegrity.org). At the time, the project represented the first in-depth, data-driven account of government transparency and anti-corruption mechanisms in all 50 states, using on-the-ground reporting and data analysis. A list of detailed questions, or “integrity indicators" are answered through a combination of research and interviews with knowledgeable experts and used to generate scorecards for each state.

In the weeks following its launch, The State Integrity Investigation was featured in more than 1,100 print, online and broadcast outlets across the country. Since then, it has led to the adoption of new laws or statutes in seven states and proposals in five more. The project was a 2013 finalist for the Harvard’s Goldsmith Investigative Reporting Prize. A new round will allow states to measure any progress they have made, will raise the pressure for passage of reforms and will serve as a critical tool for state government reporters across the country.

About the Partners

The Center for Public Integrity was founded in 1989 by Charles Lewis. We are one of the country's oldest and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative news organizations. Our mission: To enhance democracy by revealing abuses of power, corruption and betrayal of trust by powerful public and private institutions, using the tools of investigative journalism. The Center won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for investigative journalism and has also been honored for its work by Sigma Delta Chi, the White House Correspondents Association, the Overseas Press Club, Investigative Reporters and Editors Inc. and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Global Integrity works with local journalists and researchers to generate cutting-edge data and reporting on corruption and governance issues globally at both the national and local levels.

Experience and Skills:

Ideal candidates will have:

  • 5+ years of experience covering state government, and a background in deep-dive, detail-oriented research and reporting.
  • Meticulous attention to detail, accuracy and exceptional organization skills.
  • Ability to deliver quality work on hard deadlines with limited supervision.
  • Solid computer skills and ability to learn a new software platform.
  • Experience in investigative reporting is a plus.

Reporters should expect to work on the project on a part-time basis starting this fall through early 2016. Reporters should be prepared to make a substantial time commitment in the first two months following their hire date, with regular but more sporadic work through the rest of the contract. Timetables may vary depending on the reporter’s schedule. Reporters must be able to manage their own time and will be required to hit hard deadlines throughout the process. Pay is $7,000.

pdf icon State-Reporters-CPI.pdf

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