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Senior Reporter

Posted: May 14, 2024

American University is a student-centered research institution located in Washington, DC, with highly-ranked schools and colleges, internationally-renowned faculty, and a reputation for creating meaningful change in the world. Learn more about American University




Editor 2



Time Type:

Full time


Work Modality:

Hybrid 02 (On Campus 2 days/Week)



Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA)



This position is part of a collective bargaining unit represented by the Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA).This position is part of a collective bargaining unit represented by the Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA).



Job Description:

About the Department/Unit:

WAMU 88.5 is the leading public radio station in the greater Washington, D.C. area. We provide in-depth and enterprise reporting alongside essential daily news and information that aims to reflect and serve the diverse communities of our region. We believe in news as a public service and put our current and future audience at the center of our work.



Reporters in WAMU’s newsroom help carry out our regional news initiatives across broadcast and digital platforms. In consultation with newsroom editors, reporters develop sources and deepen and shape coverage for their assigned beats. Coverage will include narrative-driven, sound-rich breaking news, day-turn stories, explainers, two-ways, features and other enterprise work for audio and the web.

The Senior Reporter, DC Politics must have a passion for and deep expertise in politics in D.C. and the surrounding region as well as an extensive network of political sources. The Senior Reporter must have strong critical thinking skills and the ability to analyze and contextualize often complex political narratives.  The position will lead coverage initiatives and be the primary backup for the Politics Hour host, and Senior Editor.  The Senior Reporter will regularly share their knowledge with other staff members, particularly serving as a mentor and resource for less experienced reporters or those new to regional coverage.

This position focuses primarily on D.C. politics, playing a leading role in coverage of the mayor, D.C. Council, and other local institutions that shape life in this city. As part of the politics team, the Senior Reporter will also occasionally assist in coverage and projects about politics beyond the District.

The position requires curiosity, motivation, and a deep professional interest in local news. The Senior Reporter, DC Politics should have strong editorial judgment and the ability to write quickly, clearly, and with a distinctive and appealing style. In addition to beat coverage, all reporters will maintain regular breaking news shifts. 


Essential Functions:

Report and write political-based stories for on-air and online:

  • Evaluate leads, monitor major news developments, and contribute story ideas, or receive assignments from an editor

  • Determine a web and/or broadcast story's emphasis, length, and format and organize material accordingly.

  • Report both at a desk and in the field; collaborate with other reporters, as needed

  • Write 3-5 broadcast/newscast and web pieces per week, and regularly contribute features and enterprise work.

  • Cover at least one breaking news shift per week.

  • Establish and maintain relationships with individuals who are credible sources of information.

Serve as a back-up editor for audio, digital, and Politics Hour:

  • Serve as the primary back-up host and editor for our weekly program, the Politics Hour

  • When needed, help edit stories, or fill in for editors’ shifts

  • Lead coverage initiatives, particularly as they relate to regional politics

Produce stories:

  • Produce web stories in WAMU’s CMS, including finding images, writing headlines (with the help of an editor), and doing SEO work.

  • Write tweets and Facebook posts for stories, as needed.

  • Produce audio, utilizing field sound to create a sense of place and weaving appropriate sound bites together to paint a holistic portrait.

Engage audiences:

  • Engage with reader questions and feedback across platforms including social when necessary and as time allows.

  • Participate in events, both internal and external, as a representative of the station and subject matter expert.



  • Championing Customer Needs.

  • Evaluating and Implementing Ideas.

  • Developing Plans.

  • Making Accurate Judgments and Decisions.

  • Building and Supporting Teams.


Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

  • 35 hours/week, Full-Time.

  • This is a union-eligible position.


Salary Range:

  • Minimum Salary: $51.77 per hour.


Required Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent in journalism or related field.

  • At least 8 years of relevant experiencen reporting for radio, TV, or online.


Additional Eligibility Qualifications:

  • Effective and imaginative storyteller with a keen sense of how to shape content to suit different audiences--both as a reporter and an editor in both of our primary mediums (audio and digital). 

  • Top-notch writing and reporting skills.

  • Established reputation for covering politics in D.C. and the region.

  • Journalistic agility, or the ability to shift comfortably between writing radio scripts, online news articles, explainers, short and longer pieces.

  • Sharp interview skills.

  • Strong journalistic ethics.

  • Experience building audience connections using social media and mining platforms for story ideas, angles, and sources.

  • Willingness to try new storytelling methods and adapt to changing platforms and audience needs.

  • Ability to work collaboratively with others. 

  • Commitment to building and fostering an inclusive, encouraging, and diverse workplace. 

  • Creativity, flexibility, and resourcefulness.

  • Must be an effective and imaginative storyteller with a keen sense of how to shape content to suit different audiences--both on air (via local newscasts, live two-ways, feature stories, etc.) and online (via and social media platforms).

  • Must have a well-developed sense of how to create digital content that is compelling, sharable, visual, and impactful.

  • Hands-on audio and digital editing skills.

  • Deep knowledge of the D.C. region, particularly local politics.        




AU offers a competitive benefits package including a 200% matching retirement plan, tuition benefits for full-time staff and their families, several leadership development certificates, and has been recognized by the American Heart Association as a fit-friendly worksite. Click here to learn about American University's unique benefit options.


Other Details

  • Hiring offers for this position are contingent on successful completion of a background check.

  • Employees in staff positions at American University must deliver their services to the university from either the District of Columbia, Maryland, or Virginia, or perform work on-site at the university.

  • Please note this job announcement is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

  • American University is an E-Verify employer.


Current American University Employees

American University current employees must apply through their employee Workday account. If you are a current employee at American University, please log into Workday and select the Find Jobs report which will take you to our internal career listings.


Contact Us

For more information or assistance with the American University careers site, email [email protected].


American University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution that operates in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity and expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, veteran status, an individual’s genetic information or any other bases under federal or local laws (collectively "Protected Bases") in its programs and activities.

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