We’re hiring a national reporter to cover racial equity and higher education

Starting salary: $80,000/year
Location: Open

Open Campus is hiring a national reporter focused squarely on racial equity in higher education.

In this role, you’ll lead our efforts to shine a light on a critical issue that is often a part of many beats but rarely at the center of any. You’ll ask big questions about the role that race plays in nearly every aspect of higher education — including who gets to go to college and where, who leaves with debt and how much, and how well colleges are serving the neighborhoods right around them. You’ll scrutinize our nation’s stubborn racial gaps in education and wealth and how colleges are (and are not) helping. And you’ll elevate the voices of Black, Hispanic, and other nonwhite students that are often marginalized in these conversations.

You’ll be focused on smart enterprise stories — both big and small — that will run at Open Campus and with national distribution partners. (Here’s a recent story of ours in USA Today.) You’ll also write a regular email newsletter about colleges and race for an audience of civic leaders, researchers, higher-ed administrators, and policymakers. (See our current newsletters here.) And you’ll lead collaborations with our local network reporters at newsrooms around the country. (Our network map.)

The national reporter will report to the executive editor. We’re based in Washington, D.C., but reporters may work from anywhere in the U.S.

Here’s what we’re looking for in a reporter:

  • A curious, probing journalist who has demonstrated experience wrestling with complicated ideas — then translating them for the rest of us. Knowledge of higher education is a plus, but more important is experience understanding any public-policy system and how it matters to regular people.
  • Someone whose work clearly demonstrates why issues matter, what’s at stake for the public, and why readers should care.
  • A reporter who is adaptable and interested in exploring new forms of journalism and ways to connect with an audience.
  • A journalist excited about our mission and skilled at working with others. As a very small, but growing newsroom, we’ve put collaboration at our core, working with other newsrooms every day. Lone wolves won’t be a great fit.

We know there are important skills we haven’t thought of or strong candidates who don’t have this exact background. If that’s you, don’t hesitate to apply and tell us more. 

Covering the full range of higher education also means we’re very interested in applicants who attended community colleges, regional public universities, historically Black colleges and universities, and other minority-serving institutions. Graduating from a fancy college is definitely not a requirement.

Open Campus is committed to building an inclusive culture that reflects the full diversity of the nation. We encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply, including people of color, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities.

About Open Campus

Founded in 2019, Open Campus is a nonprofit news organization dedicated to higher education. We are building a local network of sophisticated higher-education journalists, supported by a team of national editors and reporters who are subject-matter experts. Open Campus local reporters are embedded in partner newsrooms. We currently work with seven newsrooms in six states. (See the map of our Open Campus network here.)

We believe limited journalistic scrutiny of the full range of American higher education fuels disconnection and distrust. That’s why we think more thoughtful, aggressive coverage of all parts of our system matters. Higher ed’s best chance to reclaim the confidence of more Americans is through greater transparency and accountability.

Benefits of working at Open Campus

  • 20 vacation days, plus sick leave and major holidays
  • Health insurance
  • Disability insurance
  • Life insurance
  • 401(k)
  • Up to 6 months paid family leave

How to apply

Interested candidates should apply here by August 6 , 2021. Have questions about this position? Contact Sara Hebel at sara@opencampusmedia.org. Please note: We are not accepting résumés or applications via email. All candidates must apply here.