Staff reporter, Chalkbeat Tennessee

Posted On: February 7, 2014

Journalism Job

Media Organization: Chalkbeat

Company Description

Chalkbeat Tennessee is one of the first expansion sites of Chalkbeat, the nonprofit news organization covering the national effort to transform public education. Chalkbeat Tennessee focuses its coverage on Shelby County Schools and the statewide education debate that affects students across the state. The bureau is led by bureau chief Daarel Burnette II and includes a team of two reporters based in Memphis. We are mission-driven journalists who believe that an independent local press is vital to ensuring that education improves. We seek to provide deep local coverage of education policy and practice that informs decisions and actions, leading to better schools.

Chalkbeat was founded in 2013 as a merger of GothamSchools and EdNews Colorado, the award-winning news sites that are now known as Chalkbeat New York and Chalkbeat Colorado. While each local Chalkbeat bureau works together to sustain our operations, each bureau is editorially independent.

Job Description

Chalkbeat, the national education news organization covering local public schools, is seeking an experienced journalist to serve as a reporter for its Tennessee bureau, covering the state’s role in influencing education policy and practice, focusing on issues such as school choice, standards, and funding.

The position involves daily coverage of the legislature, the state board of education, Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman and the Tennessee education department, and the growing set of advocacy groups who seek to influence education in Tennessee. The reporter will also cover how the state law- and policy-making apparatus affects daily practice in schools, with a focus on the Metro Nashville Public Schools and Shelby County Schools.

The ideal candidate will have experience covering public policy issues — ideally K-12 education — and statehouse politics for a major news organization. He or she will be mission-driven, entrepreneurial, creative, energetic, and a tenacious reporter. The reporter will be based in Nashville.


We are seeking candidates who are energized by our mission and excited to help us build a news organization that re-imagines daily newsgathering while embracing traditional journalistic values. Candidates should have strong reporting skills, a passion for (and ideally, a familiarity with) covering education, and experience or strong interest in covering statehouse politics.

In particular, you should have:

• At least two years of journalism experience, preferably covering education, the statehouse, or related subjects.
• A high level of comfort with the exciting opportunities and challenges inherent in helping to launch a start-up newsroom
• A cursory understanding of education issues such as standards, school choice, and school finance

Compensation depends on experience and is competitive, with full benefits package and, after one year of service, a 401k.

To Apply

Please send a resume, five relevant clips, and a cover letter explaining your interest in the position to Chalkbeat Tennessee’s bureau chief Daarel Burnette at

While awaiting its non-profit designation from the IRS, Chalkbeat is a project of the Colorado Non-Profit Development Center (CNDC). CNDC is the legal governing body of this organization and is responsible for legal and fiscal oversight of this project; all positions are employees of CNDC. CNDC is dedicated to equal employment opportunities in any term, condition, or privilege of employment. CNDC prohibits unlawful discrimination against applicants or employees based on race, color, national origin, ancestry, creed, religion, sex, age 40 and over, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status, gender expression or any other characteristic protected by state or local law.