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Correspondent – Climate & Environment

Wedged between the mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Santa Cruz County is the beneficiary, the steward and occasionally the victim of a wide range of environmental issues. The Environment and Climate Correspondent is responsible for not only keeping score on each of the above, but anticipating what’s next and what could be better (or go wrong if it isn’t done.)

Like all correspondents, this position has crossover with the others, though likely significantly more than his/her/their colleagues. For example, though rebuilding following the CZU fire has a strong housing element, there is a strong argument it is also an environmental issue. And, though questions about homelessness policies could be seen as a political and housing issue, it can also be seen through an environmental lens.

So, in addition to breaking and anticipating news about the physical geography of Santa Cruz County — and humans’ impact on same — the correspondent needs to be always aware of possible environmental angles of the work being done by his/her colleagues. Very often he/she/they will be called upon to provide the larger environmental context to a political, housing, business or education issue.

As we are a relatively small staff, correspondents are also called on to cover breaking news, court hearings and meeting that may or may not be on their beat. The editors work to keep that at a minimum, but it does comprise between one-third and one-half of the overall workload in any given week.

Given all this, the tentpoles of the environmental and climate correspondent are:

  • Explaining the work of researchers and scientists who are focused on local environmental matters
  • Looking at the impacts of farming and fishing in Santa Cruz County and exploring the tensions between economic viability and environmental stewardship
  • Looking at the impacts of transportation and transit — the Rail/Trail controversy specifically — on both the land and the people who live on it
  • Health issues arising from environmental issues (asthma, etc.) and the use of public records to probe inequitable policies
  • Keeping an eye toward places similar to Santa Cruz that have “solved” or at least made progress toward addressing seemingly intractable problems
  • Profiles of people who are doing interesting things in the environmental space — either for good or for ill

If this sounds like you, send a resume and cover letter to jobs@lookoutlocal.com and dan@lookoutlocal.com that addresses the following:

  • Your experience in writing and producing multimedia journalism.
  • Why this beat interests you and how you would approach it.
  • Your knowledge of the area or, if you’re not local, how you would educate yourself.

Correspondents are full-time employees. We offer a highly competitive salary and benefits. As we are looking for people who are true voices of the community, the position is in-person and remote work is not being considered.

Experience & skills:

  • Rock-solid journalism judgment, intuition and taste.
  • A minimum of two years of professional (post-collegiate) experience
  • Experience and comfort with the pace of digital-first journalism, and the digital technologies that power it.
  • Ability to engage diverse local communities in Lookout’s work.
  • Ability to think through visuals that will aid storytelling and work with colleagues to activate them.
  • Demonstrated adaptability, especially with new topical coverage areas and communities.
  • Comfort learning new technology and experience working in content management systems, producing, editing and dressing stories with related media (photos, videos, etc).
  • Comfort with the format of Lookout’s correspondent-focused model, and the personality it brings to the work.
  • Desire to work in an entrepreneurial, fast-growth startup environment, embracing the agility and flexibility required to thrive within a new business.
  • Bilingual abilities are a plus.
  • Data reporting skills are a plus.
  • Audio/video experience is a plus.

Benefits and Application

The Government and Politics Correspondent is a full-time Lookout Local employee. We offer competitive employee benefits.

Lookout Local is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or veteran status.

As we interact with the public on a regular basis, a vaccination against COVID-19 is required for employment absent documented disability or religious reasons.

Please apply, with cover letter and resume to jobs@lookoutlocal.com.

Jessica M. Pasko has been writing professionally for almost two decades.She cut her teeth in journalism as a reporter for the Associated Press in her native Albany, NY, where she covered everything from...