We're looking for a writer to ply the backroads of North Carolina to write about health care in rural parts of the state for NC Health News.
We are one of North Carolina’s growing group of online-only publications, a member of the NC Press Association and recognized for our high-quality reporting (including winning NCPA prizes). Last year, our readership grew by 23 percent, and we anticipate that we’ll grow even more this coming year.
This most recent presidential election highlighted the needs that are in rural communities and the fact that many of them are being left behind. This is an really cool opportunity to get out and explore our state, to delve into the issues affecting rural patients and to do stories that no one else in the country is doing.
A good candidate will have a license and a car and a willingness to travel some of North Carolina’s backroads, an ability to talk to anyone and at least some experience (if you're a graduate of a journalism program, that’s helpful), because you’ll need to hit the ground running. Knowledge of health care or science is a big plus. Knowledge of/ experience with multimedia or social media are also a double big-plus (send examples).
This is not a job where you write about "10 ways to control your diabetes," rather one where you might track what the a community is doing to reduce the number of people who have diabetes there, where you might visit a county jail to report on how inmates are receiving health care services, or visit a local health clinic to report on a teen pregnancy prevention program. You’ll be talking to physicians, local health officials, sure, but you need to also get out and meet people who are being affected by the health care system. Those could be people who are struggling, could be those who are participating in an innovative new program. Sometimes, the story will be a profile, other times, it will be a higher level examination of what happens when a rural hospital closes.
We’ll help you find those first stories, we have the contacts and some ideas of where you need to go. But as time goes on, you’ll be expected to develop contacts and story ideas in the communities where you visit.
We are looking for someone with journalism training. WE WILL ONLY CONSIDER YOUR APPLICATION IF YOU INCLUDE A RESUME AND THREE WRITING SAMPLES. Academic writing samples (e.g. studies or papers you wrote for class) are not acceptable. Samples need to be of published materials, stories that have a lede, arc and show an understanding of journalistic writing.
We'd be looking to employ you at a salary that’s competitive in North Carolina, the final number will depend on your experience and clips. This position includes health insurance.
The expectation is that you’ll spend about a quarter of your time per month on the road (give or take), reporting stories from the rural parts of North Carolina, getting out into communities, and talking to people. This means you *must* have a license and reliable transportation. Your travel expenses are covered. Your time will be divided, spending about 3/4ths of your time doing the rural reporting and the rest of the time, doing social media and picking up occasional other stories. Our last rural reporter developed a side beat in mental health… we’re open to you developing your interests!!
You could be located anywhere in NC, but preference will go to someone who is within about an hour of or located in Raleigh as you may need to help cover the legislature on occasion.
You’ll be part of a small but energized team of reporters and editors and you’ll get intensive mentoring/ editing of your work. Your work will be published in North Carolina Health News, and will often be carried by our North Carolina partner organizations: Carolina Public Press, Coastal Review Online, and several national partners, including the Daily Yonder, MedPage Today and Medscape (starting later this year). We also have a growing number of publications around the state that are syndicating our work.
Send a cover email of interest, along with a resume and links to 3 published stories to editor at northcarolinahealthnews dot org
We are looking to hire someone to start sometime in May, so you can overlap with our outgoing rural reporter.
Salary range: $38,000-$41,000, depending on experience.