Neil Budde, executive editor of Gannett’s Louisville Courier-Journal, tells readers this morning that his journalists have to reapply for new newsroom jobs. He writes:
Recently, we stepped back and asked ourselves, “If we were starting today, with a certain number of reporters, what subjects would we cover to meet the needs of our community? How should we approach coverage of those subjects?”
The result of that exercise was a revamped set of “beats” for news and sports. It’s actually a few more beats than we’ve had in recent years.
“You’ll see a common theme” in the new job descriptions, writes the tipster who sent me the C-J list of new beats. “Most are designed for our new target audiences: ‘young achievers, young families and food enthusiasts.'”
The word “younger” appears nine times in the job descriptions and, by my count, “young” shows up 36 times.
The job descriptions are after the jump.
LVL Columnist – Government Watchdog – Local Politics: Home of the new Senate majority leader in Mitch McConnell as well as a potential presidential candidate in Rand Paul, the politics beat in Kentucky is as rich as it has ever been. This reporter would write about high-profile candidates and races in the commonwealth and in Indiana, keeping readers informed about important issues. He/she also would monitor political fundraising and dig into the stories behind the scenes as part of the watchdog component of this beat. Young readers are highly interested in politics, and this beat would serve to keep our fingers on the area’s political pulse.
LVL Columnist – Louisville Life – Arts: The arts have long been a strength of Louisville culture, and this beat will continue to showcase such well-known institutions as Actors Theatre, the orchestra, the opera, and the ballet. But the arts touch a wide swath of the community in so many more ways. Even as the major arts institutions seek to appeal to a younger audience (witness the hiring of 20-something creative directors), we will show how the arts connect with young families and make new connections into the community (the Speed’s NuLu gallery, for instance). This beat produces a variety of stories, from brief items to in-depth enterprise and profiles, as well as covering breaking news as warranted with frequent focus on the participation of GenX and millennial readers in the arts. The reporter also provides entertaining and thoughtful analysis to complex issues. The reporter is expected to generate discussions with the public via social media channels and attending and spearheading events.
LVL Columnist – Louisville Life – Music: Louisville has a vibrant music scene with numerous local bands that are in the national spotlight. The city also is home to several large music festivals including Forecastle Festival and Abbey Road on the River. These festivals, along with many of the popular bands and music clubs, have a large following among young adults. The music reporter covers the local music scene, staying abreast of current music and trends in the industry. The writer cultivates and maintains ties to the local music scene and is in the loop when bands and venues have news to share with readers. The writer has comprehensive knowledge of a variety of music genres past and present and can write authoritatively to our core readers and young adult audience. The music beat is a key way to reach our targeted young adult audience. This beat includes previewing concerts and reviewing them, and keeping up with local music festivals and music-related events.
LVL Community Content Editor: With an initial focus on opinion, this person will work to help bring new voices to our Community Forum pages. Over time, the community content function will expand to include other content for different communities, including Southern Indiana
LVL Content Coach – Communities and Writing: This coach will help younger reporters in particular, but also work with all reporters on writing skills. This person will take the lead on coverage of issues that impact local communities in Louisville and Southern Indiana, including growth and development and education. (For supervisory purposes, this position will oversee seven reporters.)
LVL Content Coach – Investigative: This content coach will help shape a renewed focus on investigative and watchdog work across all reporters with a strong emphasis on using data to inform projects and engage readers. (For supervisory purposes, this position will oversee four reporters.)
LVL Content Coach – Louisville Life: This content coach will work with key reporters who deliver the lifestyle content that appeals to younger audiences, including beverage, music, food, fitness, arts, faith and spirituality, paying back. This position will have a heavy emphasis on creative story telling across media, especially mobile, as well as on events and other forms of community engagement. (For supervisory purposes, this position will oversee seven reporters.)
LVL Content Strategist – Content Coach: The content strategist/content coach will assist the news director on overall strategy as well as work with reporters covering government watchdog, politics and the environment to ensure that coverage is approached in new ways that will connect with new audiences.
LVL Engagement Editor II: This person will be the leader in shaping a new form of community conversation and engagement, including the daily Community Forum pages and the Sunday Forum section, social media and events. He/she will organize and manage an editorial board to help shape editorial stands. He/she will write editorials on key topics a few days a week. He/she will bring new, younger voices to the discussion and seek to engage groups representing families and young professionals.
LVL Reporter I, II or III – Communities – Courts: This reporter will cover the criminal courts in Louisville and Southern Indiana, focusing on the most interesting cases and working to produce watchdog and trend stories with interesting, unique human drama. The reporter also will help readers understand what decisions mean and cost the public.
LVL Reporter I, II or III – Communities – Development and Transportation: Over the next few years, the metropolitan region will be reshaped as the new bridges open. On both sides of the river some areas will see expanded business and residential development; others may see decline. What areas will appeal to young families? Seemingly greater regional cooperation could foster new approaches to attracting business. Older Louisville and Southern Indiana neighborhoods are seeing new investment – including out-of-town investors – as young professionals move back to the urban core. This beat will look at where we are going, focusing on how these trends are shaping the growth and development of the region and what that means for those living in different areas. It will look at the impact of new transportation options change what areas are popular with different segments of the community.
LVL Reporter I, II or III – Communities – How Government Affects You: This reporter will drive multi-tiered coverage of issues of statewide importance that carry particular relevance with young achievers, young families and their pocketbooks. Through watchdog enterprise, investigative work, breaking news stories and subject-area expertise, this reporter will break down what the General Assembly, state government and other state institutions are doing about issues such as drugs, guns, technology, politics, higher education and childcare – and connect them with the personal challenges of real people.
LVL Reporter I, II or III – Communities – Indiana: The opening of the bridges will bring dramatic change to Southern Indiana even as the tolls may isolate it. This reporter will develop sense-of-place stories, keeping in touch with small city officials and neighborhood activists in Southern Indiana. The reporter would pay particular attention to communities where young achievers and young families reside, writing about trends and developments that impact the areas. The reporter would also keep tabs on businesses opening and closing in various communities and would work closely with the “Where are We Going” development and transportation reporter.
LVL Reporter I, II or III – Communities – Job Creation: Readers tell us they are concerned about what will generate the jobs of the future – and not just the lower-wage logistics jobs that have flocked to be near the UPS hub. This beat will focus on how well we are retaining and growing jobs at our large manufacturers (GE and Ford, among them), how the growth of health-care jobs is progressing (especially our special focus on eldercare), and the entrepreneurs and innovations creating new jobs. It will spotlight younger entrepreneurs willing to take risks and think creatively about the new world they’re shaping.
LVL Reporter I, II or III – Communities – Kentucky: Louisville is a city made up of many unique communities, including more than 80 small cities, that people closely identify with. This reporter would develop sense-of-place stories, keeping in touch with small city officials and neighborhood activists in Louisville and surrounding counties. The reporter would pay particular attention to communities where young achievers reside, such as NuLu, Butchertown and the Highlands, writing about trends and developments that impact the areas. The reporter would work closely with the “Where are We Going” development and transportation reporter and would keep tabs on businesses opening and closing in various neighborhoods.
LVL Reporter I, II or III – Communities – Our Signature Business: Spirits, horses, tobacco, gaming, logistics. The reporter on this beat will cover these and other key signature businesses and related issues in Kentucky and Southern Indiana that are of interest to younger audiences. The beat will explore local issues that don’t necessarily show up in traditional business coverage across the country but scream “sense of place.” The focus will be on the business of bourbon/beer/wine, Churchill Downs Inc./Kentucky Derby, hemp/marijuana. Other coverage areas include casinos (Southern Indiana and generally), Kentucky and Indiana tracks, Instant Racing, Lottery, charitable gambling, major horse racing events (Breeders’ Cup, Triple Crown), alcohol regulation, agriculture, business issues in Frankfort and UPS.
LVL Reporter I, II or III – Government Watchdog – Education K-12 Watchdog: Jefferson County Public Schools is one of the most diverse urban school systems in the nation, offering parents an abundance of choices of magnet and option programs that range from a concentration in the arts to math, science and engineering to traditional education. It’s the state’s largest school system that also has struggled with underachieving schools and discipline problems. This reporter will focus coverage on the school system, detailing how decisions in classrooms, schools and at the district level affect students and families. This person will write breaking news and enterprise stories, looking also at how state and national changes affect Louisville-area students and parents. The reporter also watchdogs how taxpayer money is being spent and uses social media to reach out to students and families about education issues they care about.
LVL Reporter I, II or III – Government Watchdog – Education K-12: Within a short distance of Jefferson County Public Schools are six school systems, including four districts in Clark and Floyd counties in Southern Indiana and one each in Oldham and Bullitt counties in Kentucky. This reporter will cover these school systems (including private and parochial schools), looking for local education trend stories that impact young families and covering breaking news and enterprise stories. The reporter will work closely with the Jefferson County Public Schools reporter and will watchdog how taxpayer money is being spent and use social media to reach out to students and families about education issues they care about.
LVL Reporter I, II or III – Government Watchdog – Environment Watchdog: Quality of life issues are a key concern to young professionals and those raising their families in Louisville. That includes the quality of the air we breathe, the water we drink and swim in, the energy choices we make and the environmental sustainability of our infrastructure, including how we provide for more parklands and protect the tree canopy. This beat will explore the intersection of the environment with business, energy, science, politics, health, agriculture, faith, the natural world and sustainability. It will be enterprise-based, looking to produce in-depth story-telling not available elsewhere in our market, across all platforms, while keeping up with breaking news. The reporter will engage with those interested in exploring these issues more widely both online and in events.
LVL Reporter I, II or III – Government Watchdog – Local Government Watchdog: Government and accountability is a hot topic in the Louisville area, where a passionate debate took place recently over raising the minimum wage. This reporter will monitor public officials and their actions and will work to hold institutions and leaders accountable. This reporter will be an expert on metro government, city budgets and the issues that readers, particularly young achievers and young families, care most about. Coverage will examine the spending of public money, the performance of elected and appointed officials and the effect of public institutions on people’s lives. The beat will focus on enterprise reporting and include breaking news.
LVL Reporter I, II or III – Government Watchdog – Statehouse Watchdog: From accidental gun discharges to sexual harassment claims, the Kentucky legislature has had its share of non-legislative, newsworthy moments. This beat is designed to keep an eye on all things statehouse, including lawmakers’ antics and misbehavior. This reporter would delve into legislature that affects all Kentuckians, particularly young families and young achievers, and use data to support his/her watchdog enterprise. That could include data to check links between lobbyists and legislators as well as key legislation. This reporter would also help monitor key political races in the state.
LVL Reporter I, II or III – Government Watchdog – Working for Equality and Celebrating Diversity: Today’s young professionals have grown up with friends who are much more diverse — by race and nationality. The city has embraced international trade and sought to make Louisville a more welcoming and compassionate city. Readers tell us that they recognize the disparity between different parts of the city and realize that improving the lot of those in the West End, in particular, is vital to the overall vitality of the city. This beat will mine for stories that reveal and explore issues of inequality and their potential solutions. The reporter will aim for stories that resonate with millennials, focusing in particular on poverty and social issues/ justice, immigration and international communities, the area’s military population and, on occasion, problems facing Appalachian Kentucky.
LVL Reporter I, II or III – Investigative – Court System, Judicial and Legal Ethics: Coverage of key issues being decided in the courts, such as same-sex marriage, resonates well with younger readers. This position looks at those issues as they move through federal courts and the Kentucky Supreme Court, as well as civil litigation in Jefferson Circuit Court. The reporter also writes about lawyers and law firms and judicial and legal ethics. Additionally, the reporter does investigative reporting and profiles, including campaign profiles in election years.
LVL Reporter I, II or III – Investigative – Police and Public Safety: This reporter tackles the larger issues of crime and public safety, identifying topics and trends of interest to young achievers and young families. The reporter will hold public officials accountable and produce strong watchdog work through FOIL requests and data-based reporting. The reporter also will cover breaking news as warranted.
LVL Reporter I, II or III – Investigative – Social Services: Young achievers care deeply about social responsibility and the well-being of all part of the Louisville area. This reporter will write about the intersection of criminal justice and social services, focusing on the most disenfranchised in our community, and bringing to light issues of poverty and racial inequities, mental health and substance abuse, the neglect of children and the elderly. The reporter also will examine the fragile safety net that so routinely fails to protect the weakest among us – the overburdened criminal justice system, an overflowing prison system, a child protective service shrouded in secrecy that so often goes unchecked.
LVL Reporter I, II or III – Louisville Life – Food and Restaurants: The Louisville area is obsessed with local eats and ranks nationally for its many locally owned restaurants and top chefs, some of whom have competed on various reality TV shows. The food/restaurants reporter will write about food and dining trends as well as hard-hitting enterprise stories about the local food economy, food justice and the trend toward locally grown food. Louisville also is home to Yum! Brands and Papa John’s – two fast food mega giants – that the food reporter also will cover.
LVL Reporter I, II or III – Louisville Life – Health and Fitness: The Louisville area has its share of health issues: high rates of smoking, cancer, chronic disease and a sedentary lifestyle. There’s also a push by city officials and others to get healthy, get out and get moving. Officials and activists are building a hike and bike loop around the city – a major attraction for active young achievers and young families. The mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement draws thousands, and an abundance of parks and weekend run/walks draw young people and families from throughout the area. This reporter will write local stories about the area’s health and fitness scene, offering tips that help readers make smart wellness decisions so they can improve or safeguard their health as well as that of their significant others, including spouses, children and aging parents. The beat will include strong enterprise stories about topics including pediatric health issues, such as vaccination, healthy eating, injury prevention, childhood diseases, etc., as well as women’s health issues, such as cancer screening, breastfeeding, personal and family nutrition, fitness and exercise and stress reduction. The reporter also will cover issues related to young achievers and minorities such as health disparities, workplace wellness, health innovations and procedures, fitness for fun and maintaining a proper balance between work and family and looking after mom and dad. The reporter also will promote issues and discussion on social media and contribute to the greater good of the community through insightful analyses, watchdog journalism and community outreach ventures.
LVL Reporter I, II or III – Louisville Life – Outdoor Adventure and Entertainment: Young achievers and young families are looking for outdoor and active activities, and Louisville is positioning itself to be an outdoor recreation mecca. This reporter will help readers on their quest to discover unique places, quirky events, cool gear and cutting-edge technology that helps them live an active lifestyle. This reporter will be the go-to resource for family friendly fun and will write stories and produce videos that specifically cater to young families and young achievers. The reporter also will keep readers in the know about things to do and entertainment.
LVL Reporter I, II or III – Louisville Life – Religion, Faith, Spirituality and Paying it Forward: Louisville has a strong religious heritage. It is home to two major seminaries and a significant Catholic Archdiocese. One of the largest mega-churches in the country is here. And it is increasingly diverse in the range of religions represented. In addition, the church is often the center of many activities for young families, and young professionals are beginning to look at their spiritual beliefs. This beat should produce a wealth of coverage that will appeal to those readers. In addition, it will look at young professionals and young families are getting involved through political, social and community activism to serve their communities or solve critical problems in the city.
LVL Reporter I, II or III – Louisville Life – Sit, Sip and Relax – The Lifestyle of Bourbon, Beer and Bars: Louisville is known for bourbon and also has a growing craft beer and bar scene. The sit, sip and relax reporter will cover the social side of bourbon, beer and other spirits and will be first to know when a new spot opens. The reporter also will look for trends and new developments, with a focus on readers ages 25 to 44. The reporter also will write about alcohol sale and consumption and will work closely with the native business beat reporter.
LVL Reporter I, II or III – Sports – Digital Buzz: This position will keep up with online chatter regarding any sports teams/figures in our area, with a focus on UofL and UK, including former players. This type of content has shown it has a huge audience with great social sharing, especially among young sports fans.
LVL Reporter I, II or III – Sports – Enterprise: This reporter will be tasked with balancing a load of short- and long-term enterprise work – including investigative reporting, in-depth features and profiles and public-records-driven reporting. Short-range assignments might include offering some more in-depth insight into trends and buzz-worthy storylines other beat writers are covering. Long-range assignments will focus on reporting with a depth and energy that our competition cannot to offer truly one-of-a-kind stories.
LVL Reporter I, II or III – Sports – Horse Racing: This reporter will focus on becoming the go-to resource for local horse-racing fans and handicappers. A strong emphasis on local horses/trainers/owners/stables is required, as is a dedication to consistently breaking locally focused news. This reporter also will work to connect with younger readers by helping educate them on betting as well as showcasing younger players in the industry.
LVL Reporter I, II or III – Sports – Indiana High Schools: This reporter serves as the primary reporter covering Indiana high schools. This reporter will use analytics to better understand popular topics and angles and adjust beat coverage, in conjunction with freelance help, accordingly. Connecting with high school athletes and establishing our coverage as a resource for them is a priority.
LVL Reporter I, II or III – Sports – Kentucky High Schools: This reporter serves as the primary reporter covering Kentucky high schools. This reporter will use analytics to better understand popular topics and angles and adjust beat coverage, in conjunction with freelance help, accordingly. Connecting with high school athletes and establishing our coverage as a resource for them is a priority. The reporter will also connect through regular video appearances and engage with the community online and occasional events.
LVL Reporter I, II or III – Sports – Seasonal Sports: This reporter will use analytics and good news judgment to balance finding interesting stories on a variety of seasonal beats, including Louisville women’s basketball, Louisville non-revenue sports, Bellarmine and Spalding athletics; the Louisville Bats; Louisville City Football Club; and other recreational sports. This reporter will be tasked with keeping our readers up to date with interesting, important and buzz-worthy topics from all of these beats while in season rather than putting an emphasis on daily preview and game coverage.
LVL Reporter I, II or III – Sports – U of L Basketball: This position would be primary for men’s basketball, including game coverage and enterprise. It also would handle football recruiting and be the backup during football season. A greater emphasis will be placed on analysis than on game coverage. All writers must have more voice.
LVL Reporter I, II or III – Sports – U of L Football: This position would be the primary for football, including game coverage and enterprise. It also would cover men’s basketball recruiting and backup for men’s basketball coverage. A greater emphasis will be placed on analysis than on game coverage. All writers must have more voice.
LVL Reporter I, II or III – Sports – UK Basketball: This position would be primary for men’s basketball, including game coverage and enterprise. It also would handle football recruiting and be the backup during football season. A greater emphasis will be placed on analysis than on game coverage. All writers must have more voice.
LVL Reporter I, II or III – Sports – UK Football: This position would be the primary for football, including game coverage and enterprise. It also would cover men’s basketball recruiting and backup for men’s basketball coverage. A greater emphasis will be placed on analysis than on game coverage. All writers must have more voice.