Staff Openings

Energy & Environment Reporter, Virginia Mercury

The Virginia Mercury, an award-winning nonprofit online news organization covering Virginia government and policy, is seeking an energy and environment reporter to join its staff in Richmond immediately.

The energy and environment reporter will be based in Richmond and report to the editor in chief. The reporter will cover issues including climate change, sea level rise and Virginia’s transition to a more diverse energy portfolio, as well as water quality, air pollution, wildlife and other environmental areas.

Virginia is a particularly dynamic place to be reporting on energy and environment issues. The Hampton Roads region is experiencing the second-fastest rate of sea level rise in the U.S., jumpstarting policy debates on issues from how to design infrastructure for a changing landscape to when and how coastal retreat should occur. In 2020, Virginia passed a suite of laws widely seen as the most progressive climate legislation to come out of the South, but the state’s electorate remains divided on how best to respond to climate change. High-profile fights over environmental justice have also added a new dimension to environmental decision-making that offers a range of opportunities for meaningful investigative work.

The energy and environment reporter will be expected to glean stories from not only the legislature, state citizen boards and public utility commission, but from field reporting around Virginia. Willingness to collaborate with other reporters is key, as is an eagerness to look outside the box for ways to demystify complex policy topics.

The Mercury is part of States Newsroom, a growing network of nonprofit news sites covering state government around the country.

Job Responsibilities

  • Produce regular, high quality reporting on the state’s top environmental and energy matters.
  • Contribute regularly to The Bulletin, the Mercury’s briefs section
  • Generate story ideas with the editorial team
  • Pursue story leads with strong self-direction and news judgment
  • Collaborate with other reporters and assist with research and pertinent knowledge when/if available
  • Establish and expand social media presence representing the outlet
  • Use personal social media accounts to amplify site’s content
  • Take quality photos to illustrate stories
  • Must possess reliable personal transportation since travel to other parts of the state will be essential

Qualifications

We’re looking for a self-starter with at least three years of journalism experience, sound news judgment, and the ability to simultaneously manage ongoing short- and long-term projects. Previous experience covering energy and the environment or agriculture is strongly preferred, as is knowledge of Virginia’s political landscape and leaders, agencies and environmental issues. States Newsroom journalists are expected to produce at least 4 posts per week.

The minimum salary for this position is $60,000 and rises with experience. Our generous benefits package includes:

  • Premium-free platinum health care for employees and their families (i.e., nothing comes out of your paycheck!)
  • Four weeks of vacation per year
  • Two weeks of personal leave per year
  • 20 hours of paid volunteer time per year
  • 7 holidays and 4 floating holidays
  • $75 monthly cell phone reimbursement
  • $200 cell phone replacement benefit every two years
  • $75 monthly fitness benefit
  • 401K with up to 3% match
  • 12 weeks of parental leave
  • Full-service EAP

New laptop and any necessary equipment will be provided.

About our Culture

States Newsroom is dedicated to producing journalism at all levels — from quick hit to investigative — but not at the expense of burning out its employees. We are supportive, exciting, welcoming and positive. We believe in creating sustainable careers for journalists on the crucial state government beat.

States Newsroom’s mission is to connect people to the power that shapes their daily lives through relentless reporting and incisive commentary on state government and policy. Journalism is a powerful force for social change, uniquely suited to challenging systemic inequality and racism. Our goal is to build an organization that fulfills that mission.

At States Newsroom, we believe we strengthen our work and improve our insights when we incorporate the perspectives of people who come from different backgrounds and have had different experiences. We are committed to diversity and prioritize equity in all recruiting and hiring. We are always working to better represent our communities and are supported in these efforts by a network-wide Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice committee.

To apply, send resume, references and samples of published work to jobs<at>statesnewsroom.com.

At States Newsroom, we believe we strengthen our work and improve our insights when we incorporate the perspectives of people who come from different backgrounds and have had different experiences. We are committed to diversity and prioritize equity in all recruiting and hiring. Read our full DEIJ statement for more information.