If you’re a journalist inspired to follow stories about the intersection of policy and politics, then you may be the next politics and campaign reporter at CalMatters — an award-winning and influential nonprofit, multimedia news venture covering the cutting-edge state of California.
You’ll cover some of the nation’s most important political figures and issues. California’s governor is seeking a national profile and is on the short list of possible contenders for the White House. Vice President Kamala Harris, a former California senator, is a possible rival. And there is a hotly contested race in 2024 to replace Sen. Dianne Feinstein. When not covering campaigns, you’ll also explore the politics behind state policy decisions as dominant Democrats wrestle with major, contentious decisions about housing and homelessness, technology, climate change and inequality. This is a rich opportunity for stories that explain why decisions are made the way they are because of the political influences and stakes involved.
CalMatters produces vivid, original multimedia journalism and data-driven news analyses that appear daily on our website and are distributed for free to more than 250 media partners statewide. You’ll join a supportive, diverse staff of 60+ people across the state and a small award-winning team of Capitol reporters.
This position is based within regular commuting distance of Sacramento and requires frequent work at the Capitol covering state lawmakers.
- Report and write state-focused political stories in a variety of formats, including in-depth longform, smart enterprise, data-rich card deck explainers, concise newsletter items and occasional breaking news.
- Cover state elections leading up to California’s 2024 March primary and November general election, focusing on the electoral process, state ballot propositions,and races for the Legislature and Congress. In 2026, coverage will also include the contest for a new governor and other state constitutional offices. Stories should be attuned to statewide patterns and include candidate qualifications, stances on vital issues, the role of money, political alliances, campaign tactics and more.
- Help create CalMatters’ go-to online Voter Guide.
- Collaborate on inventive packages that may include video, audio and data interactives.
- Follow the role politics plays in legislative bills, state policy-making and policy-enforcing agencies, and keep apprised of academic research and advocacy efforts.
- Participate in public events and appearances on radio, television and social media platforms.
- Contribute to our story production, including work with our CMS, creating data graphics and using SEO best practices.
- At least three years of professional journalism experience, preferably including coverage of politics and the policy-making process.
- Sharp writing skills, with work samples that showcase the ability to engage readers and translate politics into relatable, human stories that tell our audience why it matters.
- Deep familiarity with California state government
- Deep familiarity with the state’s diverse communities
- Skilled in campaign finance collection and analysis
- The ability to report and write in English and Spanish.
CalMatters, launched eight years ago, is an award-winning nonprofit, nonpartisan news venture dedicated to explaining the policy and politics of America’s biggest state and the world’s fifth largest economy. We produce vivid, original journalism and data-driven news analyses and watchdog reporting that’s distributed on calmatters.org and to more than 250 newspaper, digital and radio outlets statewide.
Compensation and Benefits
The salary range for this position is $70,000 to $90,000 per year; higher compensation may be available for someone with advanced skills and/or experience.
CalMatters offers a complete benefits package with medical, dental and vision insurance – we cover 90% of the cost for employees and 70% for dependents – from a range of HMO and PPO providers. We’ll match contributions of up to 4% of your salary to our 401(k) program, provide life insurance at no cost, and give you an allowance for personal use of your cell phone and a budget for professional development opportunities like classes and conferences.
We are an expanding and collaborative newsroom, successfully forging a new model for sustainable, intelligent, nonprofit journalism. We’re committed to reflecting the people of the state we serve and especially encourage members of underrepresented communities to apply. If you’re interested, please provide a resume, work samples and a cover letter that outlines how you would approach the job.
If you have trouble with this form or prefer to apply by email, write to firstname.lastname@example.org with the job title in the subject line.