Local Government Watchdog Reporter

Employer The Oshkosh Northwestern
Location Oshkosh, WI
Type Full time
Apply by Not specified
Posted on May 8, 2023


The Oshkosh Northwestern/thenorthwestern.com, part of the USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin, is seeking a local government watchdog reporter.

The reporter is responsible for local government and public safety coverage that holds public officials accountable and helps readers make informed decisions about their community, from the spending of their tax dollars to the safety of their neighborhood.

The watchdog reporter has a keen eye for important details found in agendas, court files and budgets while understanding that the best stories are about people.

This reporter also will monitor county government and the court system, the Oshkosh Police Department and Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office and focus on big-picture stories. Stories may come from neighboring townships and other jurisdictions as warranted.

Particular focus will be on producing content of interest for targeted audiences and finding new ways to engage readers and underserved communities.

Specifically, this position entails creating storytelling that accurately informs, entertains and engages our audiences.

The reporter will connect with the community through storytelling and outreach (social media, on camera, forums and community leadership) and will provide thoughtful analysis on complex issues, promote their personal brand and the brands of their colleagues, as well as the institutional brand.

Candidates must have the ability to produce top-notch watchdog journalism, exceptional cross-platform storytelling skills, a deep understanding and curiosity about competition for our customer’s time and money and have advanced knowledge of social media and how to engage audiences on digital platforms.


  • Dig through public records, attend meetings, interview community members.
  • Create storytelling that accurately informs, entertains and engages specific audiences.
  • Connect with the community through storytelling and outreach (social media, on camera, forums, community leadership, etc.)
  • Work with editors to evaluate what’s working and what’s not and develop ongoing plans to better satisfy audience needs, using metrics.
  • Collaborate with content team to provide all the appropriate elements for stories (i.e., photos, videos and graphics).
  • Provide thoughtful analysis of complex issues.
  • Promote personal brand, the brands of colleagues and the institutional brand.
  • Provide great customer service, helping readers find answers and solutions. 


  • Bachelor’s or master’s degree in communications, journalism or related field preferred or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Feels drive to beat the competition for our readers’ time and attention.
  • Is self-motivated and self-directed.
  • Knows social media and how to engage fan base on digital platforms in the public space.
  • Communicates effectively; able to get along with diverse personalities.
  • Able to multi-task and excel under intense deadline pressure.
  • Applies innovative, creative thinking to support the company’s goals.
  • Understands media law and Principles of Ethical Conduct.
  • Proficiency in the MS Office suite, CMS publishing skills and an understanding of and ability with photo and videography, storytelling techniques on multiple platforms and the use of metrics.
  • This role requires a valid driver’s license, reliable transportation, and the minimum liability insurance required by state law.
  • Employment is contingent on passing a post-offer pre-employment background check and a motor vehicle record check & drug screen (for driving roles only).

We are eager to learn more about you and how you fit this role. When you apply, don’t limit your upload to a resume; show us what you’ve done. To do so, put together a single document file that includes the following, in this order:

1.     Your resume – one to two pages.

2.     A cover letter that outlines how you would approach the job.

3.     Links to 3-6 online samples of your work. Show us what you’ve produced or had a hand in that best reflects what you can do in your desired role.

It is important that these items be assembled into a single document and uploaded in PDF format. Completing these steps will ensure that your application receives the highest consideration.

Apply here.