Local Democracy Reporter (Southampton City Council)

Do you want to shine a light on the workings of a big city council, hold power to account and have a ringside seat at the heart of local decision-making? Then this could be the job for you.

We’re looking for a reporter to join the BBC-funded Local Democracy Reporting Service, covering the large unitary authority of Southampton City Council.

It’s a great job for a senior reporter, or possibly an experienced trainee looking to take their next steps. It’s a newsy council in a newsy patch. We’re looking for someone who can communicate clearly, quickly and in an impartial manner – primarily through writing but also using multimedia skills; video, social media and photography.

We’re looking for a self-starter who knows their way around local politics, and is happy working on their own, but you’ll also be part of a four-strong LDR team covering other Hampshire councils who will work together on investigations and joint projects.

You’ll have an eye for a story, and you’ll also make sure you can meet the standards set by the BBC’s Local News Partnership in terms of quality, consistency and legal accuracy. You will be a public ambassador for the project, and become a trusted source of news and information.

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

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

Key responsibilities:

  • Deliver strong content in a multimedia way daily, focusing on text but also providing images, audio and video where possible.
  • Write content in a way which engages and drives audience including through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and social media awareness
  • Ensure all content, including social media activity, 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 and impartiality guidelines to build audiences and communities
  • Ensure all content produced has suitable metadata attached
  • Deliver live coverage as and when required
  • Be capable of two-way interviews for broadcast media.

Key Experience / Characteristics:

  • Good writing skills, up-to-date legal knowledge, shorthand proficiency (e.g. 100 wpm)
  • National Qualification in Journalism (NQJ) (or similar) qualification, or a minimum of 2 years’ experience as a reporter in a daily news environment and/or working to daily news deadlines is highly desirable
  • 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.

For more information, please email LDR manager James Thomas james.thomas@jpress.co.uk.

Does this sound like you? If yes then please hit the ‘apply’ button.


National World is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment as an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age. Consideration will be given to flexible working and job share options for all roles.

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