VTDigger is a nationally recognized, born-digital nonprofit news organization. We are known for our award-winning investigative reporting and in-depth daily coverage of local and state news. Our mission is to produce rigorous journalism that explains complex issues, holds the government accountable to the public, and engages Vermonters in the democratic process.
At a time when the commercial local news industry is failing, VTDigger is one of a handful of nonprofit news organizations that has developed a model of sustainable funding for local journalism. The organization has grown quickly in just a decade, becoming the go-to source of news for the state of Vermont — with an average of 600,000 unique readers a month and 33 employees.
Two and a half years into the Covid-19 pandemic, Vermont’s health care and human service systems are facing colossal strains.
Health care spending is through the roof and state hospital regulators are pushing back on rapidly rising budgets. Medical providers are in short supply, leading to canceled surgeries and delays in care. Vermont’s mental health system is failing to keep up with a growing need, leading to a backlog of psychiatric patients in emergency departments. And pandemic-era federal funding for critical social safety net programs is starting to dry up, even though the need remains.
VTDigger is looking for a health care reporter to chronicle these challenges and search for solutions.
This is a wide-ranging beat that includes Vermont’s health care sector, public health, mental health, substance use disorder, homelessness, eldercare, child welfare and the social safety net. You’ll cover powerful institutions, such as hospital networks, insurance companies and the OneCare accountable care organization — as well as sprawling bureaucracies, particularly the state’s Agency of Human Services and its constituent departments. You’ll spend time at the Statehouse when the Legislature is in session, and you’ll keep close tabs on the state’s health care regulator, the Green Mountain Care Board.
As the state’s leading health care beat reporter, you’ll have the opportunity to break big stories and the responsibility to document continuing trends, such as the consolidation of the state’s health care system, the rising cost of care, the aging health workforce and the loss of providers in rural communities.
Most importantly, you will cut through industry jargon and tell compelling stories that clearly explain how the state’s health care and human service systems serve — or fail to serve — Vermonters. Your stories will feature the voices of Vermonters, answer the questions they ask and help them understand and navigate the sector charged with keeping them well.
This role is a fit if you …
Seek out scoops and embrace enterprise reporting.
Are committed to building relationships with diverse communities and know how to build a representative source list.
Can work independently but are an enthusiastic collaborator.
Are as comfortable writing a news brief as a magazine-length investigation.
Strive for accuracy and truth in reporting.
Are a skilled writer and storyteller.
Have a working knowledge of data reporting and enthusiasm for finding stories buried within reports.
Are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion — throughout your work and as it relates to your beat.
Enjoy engaging with readers and responding to their tips.
Are willing to engage with and represent the views of those on every side of a contentious issue.
Can spot trends and understand how they will play out.
Can explain complicated issues clearly and simply.
Writing 3-4 compelling stories a week.
Identifying and reporting out investigative projects.
Pitching ideas that result in ground-breaking stories.
Working collaboratively with editors and fellow reporters.
Cultivating diverse and representative sources.
Working with the editing team to ensure stories are accurate and fair.
Meeting deadlines set by you and your supervising editor.
Placing public records requests as needed.
Effectively and professionally communicating verbally and in writing with colleagues, sources and readers.
Listening intently to others and valuing others’ opinions.
Communicating openly and promptly sharing information and ideas with others throughout the organization.
Location: Montpelier, Vermont
Start date: October/November 2022
Compensation: Starting reporter salaries at VTDigger range from $40,000 to $65,000, depending on experience. The organization offers a highly competitive benefits package, which includes five weeks of paid time off to be used for sickness or vacation and eight weeks of nearly fully paid parental leave. Reporters are represented by the VTDigger Guild.
Where you’ll work: We are working remotely during the Covid pandemic, but we expect to return to our offices in Montpelier and Burlington.
How to apply: Using this form, please upload a resume, up to three samples of your work and a cover letter that explains why you want to work for VTDigger and why you’re the right fit for this job. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, Oct. 12, at midnight.
Please note: We recognize there are great candidates who may not fit the description above or who have important skills and experiences we haven’t thought of. If that sounds like you, don’t hesitate to apply and tell us more about yourself. VTDigger is committed to constantly improving our organization, in part by better reflecting the communities we serve. We are dedicated to creating an inclusive workplace for all people. We especially encourage members of communities that are traditionally underrepresented — and misrepresented — in media to apply to join our team, including people who are Black, Indigenous or people of color; women; LGBTQ+ people, and differently abled people.