Local democracy reporter, maternity cover – National World (South Yorkshire)

Are you passionate about politics and local government, and would like to work in one of the most beautiful parts of the country?

As part of a partnership with the BBC, The Star in Sheffield is looking for a new Local Democracy Reporter to provide coverage of local government and political issues in South Yorkshire with a particular focus on Barnsley and Rotherham. 

The Star is part of National World Publishing Ltd, a leading media company in the UK with brands including Yorkshire Post, The Scotsman, and Portsmouth News. We reach over 24 million users a month nationwide across mobile, desktop and tablet.

This is an exciting position for someone with the passion and ability to generate multimedia content which engages the public and which meets standards set by the partnership in terms of quality, consistency and legal accuracy.

The successful candidate will have strong digital skills and be full of ideas for coverage of council meetings and key political issues relating to Rotherham, Barnsley and the wider South Yorkshire area. 

Your content will appear in National World’s newspapers and associated websites, including The Star, and is also made available to other media involved in the BBC scheme.

You will be a public ambassador for the project, and become a trusted source of news and information about the public authorities covered.

This short video features some Local Democracy Reporters describing their work and their roles: https://www.stage.bbc.co.uk/lnp/ldrs/ldr_advice

Key responsibilities:

  • Deliver strong content in a multimedia way on a daily basis, focusing primarily on text but also providing images, audio and video as and when required
  • Write content in a way which engages and drives audience including through SEO and social media awareness
  • Ensure all content is politically neutral and provides a fair reflection of views
  • Ensure agendas for councils and public bodies are scrutinised, identifying issues and stories which need to be brought to the public’s attention.
  • Working with your content editor, identify which meetings need to be covered and reported
  • Build strong contacts for story-gathering within local communities
  • Be active on social media, in line with partnership policies, to build audiences and communities
  • Ensure all content produced has suitable metadata attached
  • Deliver live coverage as and when required
  • Provide two-way interviews for broadcast media as and when required
  • Provide monthly report on key issues and themes from public authorities for stakeholder media organisations

Key Experience / Characteristics:

  • Good writing skills, up-to-date legal knowledge, shorthand proficiency.
  • NCTJ or similar qualification required
  • A minimum of 2 years’ experience as a reporter in a daily news environment and/or working to daily news deadlines
  • Excellent communicator on social media
  • Excellent at working under pressure and identifying priorities
  • Self-starter
  • Be familiar with digital tools and techniques across a range of mobile devices
  • Strong understanding of working and processes within local government
  • Demonstrable experience of delivering great ideas for content
  • Strong contact-building skills
  • Proficiency taking images, shooting video and gathering audio

Please note – trainees approaching senior qualifications will be considered for this role.


National World is committed to being an equal opportunity employer with a diverse workforce.  We will consider all applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age.  We encourage and consider flexible working arrangements for all roles.   

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