MindSite News, a new nonprofit digital journalism site focused on mental health news, is seeking an experienced investigative reporter with deep experience and knowledge about the workings of the criminal justice system and an understanding of the ways that system sweeps up people with mental health and substance use disorders.
We are looking for a veteran journalist who will focus largely on producing in-depth investigative and enterprise stories. These might look at suicides in jails and prisons, explore the generally minimal mental health services available to many if not most incarcerated people, and document the failure of multiple systems to provide support and treatment to people with mental illness who need help. While this will mostly be an enterprise beat, the reporter may be asked to produce the occasional quick-turnaround story when important news breaks on this beat.
This reporter will lead our efforts to report on this important area, supplemented by the work of freelance journalists. We will want someone who has experience reporting at prisons and jails and is comfortable talking with people who have committed crimes and/or been incarcerated, who understands and has covered criminal court proceedings and has written about the mental health aspects of criminal justice. We’ll also want someone who understands how to navigate bureaucracies, file public records requests, and doggedly follow stories despite roadblocks.
We will also want a reporter who can report and write stories that are solutions-focused, looking at efforts to reform systems and to create new models and alternatives to incarceration – stories that must be done rigorously and skeptically, with an eye on evidence and not just claims of success.
The position is remote, and the reporter can be based anywhere to work with editors and a home office in the San Francisco Bay Area. Some travel will be involved. The position is open immediately, and we hope to have someone in place in early 2022.
The ideal candidate will be able to visualize and contribute to multimedia reporting formats, capturing high-quality audio, video and still images as needed. Bonus for Spanish-language proficiency. We would like someone who is a team player and ready to jump into team projects and breaking news stories in other areas as needed.
Salary and benefits will be competitive with other reputable nonprofit journalism organizations. This position is grant-funded for one year and is a core piece of our mission, so extending it will be a top priority.
Please send your cover letter, resume, and a minimum of 6 clips to email@example.com and put “Criminal Justice Reporter” in the subject line of your email.
MindSite News is a new nonprofit, nonpartisan digital journalism organization dedicated to reporting on mental health in America, exposing rampant policy failures and spotlighting efforts to solve them. We seek to create and sustain a sense of national urgency about the workings and failings of the U.S. mental health system and to impact that system through our reporting, making it more equitable, effective, transparent and humane in its care for individuals and families struggling with mental illness.