The Virginian-Pilot and The Roanoke Times are seeking a sports writer to cover Virginia Tech football. The successful candidate will lead joint coverage of the beat, writing breaking news stories, features, explanatory and investigative articles. The successful candidate also will provide regular and consistent online coverage, including but not limited to a blog and social media content. This person will be self-directed in this regard, with the goal of making The Roanoke Times and Virginian-Pilot the preeminent sources for Virginia Tech football news. When football is not in season, this person will stay on top of the beat while also writing on various other topics, including sports from other Virginia colleges and universities. This person will report to The Roanoke Times sports editor from July 16-Jan. 15 and to The Virginian-Pilot sports editor from Jan. 16-July 15.
Essential Functions:
  • Conceives and executes original story ideas and spots daily stories of interest to Roanoke Times, Virginian-Pilot, and readers.
  • Possesses the mastery and understanding of the needs of sports readers online (through blogs, breaking news postings, Twitter, etc.) and understands sometimes those needs are different than what is required for the print audience; anticipates what readers online expect.
  • Works with sports editors to devise a “VT-365 plan,” with the goal of having Virginia Tech-related football coverage either in print or on the web most days throughout the year and every day during football season and when events, such as spring practice and recruiting season, dictate it.
  • Demonstrates a proven ability to be flexible on sports coverage and work collaboratively in a team-first environment. This reporter will deal on a regular basis with a number of people, both in-house and from the outside.
  • Serves as “the face” of Virginia Tech football coverage for The Virginian-Pilot and The Roanoke Times. This reporter must interact professionally with readers, representing The Virginian-Pilot and The Roanoke Times in other media (such as radio and TV interviews) and assisting in marketing plans that are approved by either the editors or sports editors.
  • Keeps abreast of potential Virginia Tech recruits, especially in the Hampton Roads and Roanoke areas.
  • Serves as the “lead reporter” and coordinates game day coverage or makes arrangements for the college to do the coordinating, if desired.
  • Files comprehensive game stories on deadline when necessary, recognizing the two papers have different deadlines.
  • Provides weekly “Game Day” packages or works with others who are providing this information and making sure they have accurate information.
  • Conceives photo and graphics ideas to help illustrate stories.
  • Develops a wide range of sources.
  • In the offseason, serves as a backup college sports and general assignment reporter as needed (although VT football responsibilities will remain primary).
  • Travels for sports coverage up to 50% of the time.
  • Responds to readers and sources in a timely, professional manner.
Minimum Qualifications:
  • Comprehensive knowledge of NCAA rules, regulations and legislation.
  • Precision and clarity in writing, with ability to present complicated information in a way that engages readers.
  • Track record of uncompromising accuracy.
  • Track record of urgency in reporting and writing.
  • Ability to meet deadlines and manage time.
  • Ability to locate and use data to inform stories.
  • Skilled in listening, learning and in understanding other people.
  • Collegial, collaborative and decisive; comfortable with change and able to adapt.
·         Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
·         Five (5) years reporting experience at a daily newspaper.
·         Experience contributing to online media content.
Apply online at EOE