If you’re an investigative reporter skilled at public record requests, data analysis, source development, navigating court cases, turning complexity into compelling narrative and tirelessly checking under every rock, you’re going to love this job doing deep-dive work about the state of California. 

Follow the money? California has a $286 billion budget and it received $657 billion in federal COVID assistance. Billions were spent on no-bid contracts to questionable vendors including a $1.7 billion renewal for a problem-plagued company. Meanwhile, the state’s troubled Employment Development Department acknowledged at least $20 billion in fraudulent uninsurance claims. And the state’s dysfunctional licensing process left nursing home residents vulnerable to troubled owners. And that’s just what we’ve reported recently. This state requires much more accountability journalism to reveal important stories with high stakes for public cost and the well-being of Californians.

CalMatters, launched seven years ago, is an award-winning nonprofit, nonpartisan news venture dedicated to explaining the policy and politics of America’s biggest state and the world’s fifth largest economy. We produce vivid, original journalism and data-driven news analyses and watchdog reporting that’s distributed to more than 250 media partners on calmatters.org and NPR partners statewide. 

Our next investigative reporter will work with a growing I-team at CalMatters that has already won awards for work on unseized guns and extreme incarceration. The team is also supported by our data team and a Pulitzer Prize winning editor. Responsibilities for the job include:

  • Deep-dive research into California’s three branches of government to find and report the stories that hold state government officials accountable for the programs and oversight that protect and serve Californians as well as any conflicts or malfeasance related to special interests and other issues.
  • Extensive use of court records, public documents and public record requests as well as work with the state budget, legislative records and other state documents.
  • Source development in the California state Capitol and keen awareness of the legislative, budget and regulatory process.
  • Collaboration with other parts of the newsroom: beat reporters and the newsletter, photo, data, engagement, product and production teams. 
  • Public speaking at private and public events as well as broadcast media.

Required:

  • At least five years of professional experience, preferably including coverage of government and the policy-making process.
  • Experience with investigative reporting and training in investigative skills.
  • Exceptional writing skills, particularly for longform stories but also crisp and insightful news analysis.

Compensation and Benefits:

The base salary for this position is $70,000 per year; higher compensation may be available for someone with advanced skills and/or experience. 

CalMatters offers a complete benefits package with medical, dental and vision insurance (we cover 90% of the cost for employees and 70% for dependents) from a range of HMO and PPO providers. We’ll match contributions of up to 4% of your salary to our 401(k) program, provide life insurance at no cost, and give you an allowance for personal use of your cell phone and a budget for professional development opportunities like classes and conferences.

We are an expanding and collaborative newsroom, successfully forging a new model for sustainable, intelligent, nonprofit journalism. We’re committed to reflecting the people of the state we serve and especially encourage members of underrepresented communities to apply. If you’re interested, please provide a resume, a cover letter that outlines how you would approach the job, and links to at least six online samples of your work.

If you have trouble with this form or prefer to apply by email, write to jobs@calmatters.org with the job title in the subject line.