Criminal Justice Reporter

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7 Min Read

The Sacramento Bee

Date Posted May 28, 2024
Industry Newspapers
Specialty Other
Required Education Bachelor’s Degree
Job Status Full-time

Criminal Justice Reporter 2


The Sacramento Bee seeks a hard-charging reporter to cover criminal justice issues, a journalist who not only loves to cover breaking news but also sees unfolding events as a way to drive revelatory, in-depth, accountability and solutions-oriented journalism that helps us understand how crime and laws affect us. 

The coverage area of this reporter’s beat is large and yet focused on various aspects of criminal justice in the Sacramento region and Northern California. The issues connected to crime, law, law enforcement and equity are myriad, playing out in courts, government budgets, the Legislature and our homes. As our criminal justice reporter, you would cover daily stories with an eye to using sources and information to develop comprehensive coverage about the laws we need, how we enforce them, how we measure effectiveness and how we ensure public safety and fairness.

On the breaking news front, we are looking for a reporter who excels at rewrite and can collaborate with colleagues and coordinate coverage. You will take the lead not only on delivering comprehensive coverage, but also on building stories that capture events and explain what they mean. We embrace urgency on all news fronts, and the nature of crime news makes that competitive approach crucial. This reporter would also cover courts, from judiciously selected key trials to significant criminal and civil matters.

On beat coverage, we are looking for a reporter who can not only cover the daily news, but can also stand back and see compelling stories about all the players on this beat, from cops to judges to DAs to activists to victims to problem solvers. You should be facile with police reports, court documents, public records, data and statistics. The successful candidate will develop stories on the beat with a keen eye for enterprise and investigative work. 

Sacramento is a growing city, the state capital and a fascinating combination of communities in a four-county region that’s home to nearly 2.5 million people. The Bee aggressively covers the attendant problems that often come with growth, from crime to homelessness. People are drawn to live here by a Northern California lifestyle, and we provide news coverage with an eye on solutions that preserve the best of what Sacramento has to offer.

We also expect you to have a strong grasp of the elements that propel your stories and make them accessible and interesting to our audience. You should understand the importance of SEO, analytics, key assets such as visuals and the elements of driving news in a digital space. 

What you will bring:

  • Strong writing and reporting skills and excellent news judgment
  • Unwavering commitment to accurate, ethical journalism
  • Demonstrated ability to access and analyze public records, including campaign finance data, court records, property records and salary information
  • A commitment to collaboration and working as part of a team
  • A self-starter who will develop a strong network of sources to find and pursue stories that will reach a broad audience
  • Ability to tell stories using a variety of tools and platforms, including video and data/graphics
  • An audience-first approach, as well as a commitment to tactics that grow readership
  • Interest in learning new skills and technologies, including content management systems; social media platforms; video editing software; analytics tools; and emerging storytelling tools and platforms
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including empathy and the ability to take and give constructive criticism
  • Demonstrated ability to work comfortably in a job that will be fast-paced, data-driven, shaped constantly by feedback and experimentation and always evolving
  • Enthusiasm for learning new skills and technologies, such as AI


  • A bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience in a related field
  • At least five years of professional journalism experience

 What we’ll bring:

As a journalist at McClatchy, you will join a supportive, flexible, collaborative team. McClatchy strives to be an employer of choice, and our benefits package is made with this goal in mind. With a focus on health, well-being, wealth and daily life, our package options include healthcare coverage for employees and their families, financial protection from expected and unexpected expenses, multiple no-cost wellness resources and even coverage for four-legged friends. Our overall benefit package also includes a 401(k) with employer match, competitive paid time off and corporate holidays, and a variety of mental health benefits. With an excellent support team and with focus on your well-being as a top corporate strategy, McClatchy provides benefits to support you and your family in achieving your health and wellness goals.

The anticipated base pay range for this position is between $38.05 and $53.85 per hour. Individual base pay may vary within that range depending on job-related knowledge, department equity, skills, experience and relevant education. The person filling this role can expect to work about 37.5 hours per week.  

To apply, include a persuasive cover letter, your resume and four to six examples of your best work.

About McClatchy

Our impact is growing every day. 30 growing markets. Over 65 million monthly readers. 57 Pulitzer Prizes. A strong portfolio of dynamic partnerships and smart investments. Our award-winning journalism, digital reach, and commitment to innovative growth have never been stronger. As a member of the McClatchy family, you are part of a flexible, empowering, and exciting culture dedicated to creating a work/life balance and consistent opportunities for growth — a place where you have a voice and the ability to impact our future. It’s an exciting time to be here. Our company is experiencing the most transformative period in its history. We’re growing rapidly in the digital space and delivering award-winning journalism in innovative ways.

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