JOB: State watchdog reporter

The Flatwater Free Press is hiring a state government watchdog reporter to work on high-impact stories about the operation of Nebraska — its agencies, its lawmakers, its executive and judicial branches. 

This reporter will be focused on how decisions made in the halls of power affect the lives of everyday Nebraskans. They will visit small towns and major cities. They will report on the people working in fields and on ranches, in schools and in offices. They will tell stories of how Nebraskans’ lives are affected, for better or worse, by the actions of the state’s political leaders and its bureaucracy.  

This reporter is not obligated to cover press releases. They will not publish every day. They will not write stories about day-to-day debates in the Legislature. 

They will stay abreast of those developments in service of larger stories. Stories about campaign finance, government waste and fraud, abuse of power, the environment, Nebraska’s prison system, its education system, where tax money is spent… and not spent. They will do at least 25 stories a year, with many of those being projects or series.

In short, this reporter will identify and report stories that are not otherwise being done. Investigations. Explanatory work. Deep dives on issues or interesting features. 

The successful applicant will be selected based on previous work. Please ensure you either upload or link to examples of your best investigations.

The application period will end Thursday, August 18.

Send questions here.

Pay range: $45,000 – $70,000, commensurate with experience.

Benefits: Health and dental. 401k with match. Four weeks of vacation plus office shutdown during last week of the year.

Geographic requirements: This reporter must live in Nebraska or be willing to relocate to Nebraska. Moving expenses will be reimbursed. This position will require reliable transportation.

About the newsroom: The Flatwater Free Press is Nebraska’s first statewide, independent, nonprofit newsroom focusing on investigations and feature stories that matter. It is not meant to be a replacement for any news outlet. FFP focuses on investigative work and high quality storytelling, ensuring that both continue to have a role in the state. In that spirit, the Free Press publishes at and distributes its work for free to newspapers, other news websites, TV and radio stations around the state (and sometimes country). Between a dozen and two-dozen Nebraska media outlets run each FFP story. On average, each story reaches 350,000 Nebraskans.