Civic Reporter

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Job Description:

The Detroit Documenters Collaborative is seeking an Civic Reporter to report on local government as part of our Detroit Documenters program.

You should consider applying if:

  1. You are committed to producing local news and information that promotes civic engagement
  2. You have a passion for researching documents and getting answers to some of the most pressing questions facing local communities
  3. You are not satisfied with the status quo in local media today and are ready to do something about it

The Detroit Documenters team is a collaboration between City Bureau, WDET, Citizen Detroit and Outlier Media. Together, we manage the Detroit Documenters program, which trains and pays Detroiters to document public meetings via notes, live-tweeting and other digital formats. City Bureau’s web app collects and displays this documentation, along with minutes, agendas, transcripts and other official records from local government agencies, including the times, dates and locations of public meetings in Detroit and Chicago.

Our Civic Reporter will curate information from our document database, report on issues related to local government and produce editorial content published via Detroit Documenters partner organizations. The Civic Reporter will work from WDET’s office in Detroit, reporting to WDET’s News Director, and coordinate with Detroit Documenters partner organizations..

Some specific responsibilities include:

  1. Original reporting on local government
  2. Research into official governmental records
  3. Curation of documentation and Documenters content
  4. Creation of local content, including on-air appearances and text articles
  5. Regular communication with Detroit Documenters partner organizations


Applicants must

  1. Have experience creating journalistic content, preferably text-based and/or audio
  2. Be organized, precise, and detail-oriented
  3. Be a fast and clear communicator
  4. Enjoy challenges and learn quickly
  5. Have excellent time-management skills

We also expect applicants will have several but not all of the following:

  1. Experience working in a newsroom
  2. Sharp research and curatorial skills
  3. A comprehensive understanding of Detroit’s civic ecosystem
  4. Relationships and experience in Detroit’s neighborhoods
  5. Daily news consumption habits


This is a part-time, grant-funded position starting in the spring of 2019 and ending December 31, 2019. The Civic Reporter will work an average of 20 hours per week. Hours for this position can be worked remotely with the exception of weekly editorial meetings and regular recording and on-air appearances at WDET.




Applications for the Detroit Documenters Civic Reporter will close at noon (ET) on Monday, May 6th. Selected applicants will be interviewed via phone by Detroit Documenters staff and finalists will participate in an in-person interview.  A candidate will be chosen the week of May 20th.

About the Detroit Documenters partners:

City Bureau: City Bureau is a nonprofit civic journalism lab based on the South Side of Chicago. We bring journalists and communities together in a collaborative spirit to produce media that is impactful, equitable and responsive to the public.

Citizen Detroit: Citizen Detroit is a non-profit that works toward educating and engaging citizens to be more informed and civically engaged. Citizen Detroit aims to make Detroit the most informed and engaged city in the nation.

Outlier Media: Outlier Media is a Detroit-based service journalism organization. We identify, report, and deliver valuable information to empower residents to hold landlords, municipal government and elected officials accountable for longstanding problems in the housing and utilities markets.

WDET: WDET is Detroit’s NPR station and a community service of Wayne State University. We serve an engaged, diverse and curious audience through trusted news, inclusive conversations and cultural experiences that empower our community to move forward.


More Job Opportunities

If you love public radio or are interested in using your skills to make a difference in Detroit, we might have the perfect opportunity for you to join our team. Take a look at other job opportunities at WDET on our job's page.

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