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Elections and Democracy Explanatory Reporter

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Date: Mar 9, 2023

Location: Washington, DC, US, 20005-4076

Company: Associated Press

The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting. Founded in 1846, AP today remains the most trusted source of fast, accurate, unbiased news in all formats and the essential provider of the technology and services vital to the news business. More than half the world's population sees AP journalism every day.


The Associated Press seeks a detail-obsessed journalist who is passionate about understanding and explaining the nuts and bolts of elections and their role in the American democracy. We’re looking for someone eager to both report that story directly, but also help colleagues in all media formats across AP’s newsroom bring transparency to our coverage of voters, voting and election outcomes through innovative and expansive explanatory journalism. This is a two-year grant-funded position with an opportunity to extend.



Reporting to the director of public opinion research, you will join a team of political reporters, data scientists and polling experts who make up AP’s decision team – the group of journalists responsible for declaring winners after polls close on Election Day. Your primary role will be explaining – and helping others at AP explain – the detail of how AP reaches its decisions to declare election winners, and developing new and innovative ways to tell that story. But that will only be the start of your work, as the job comes with an expansive assignment to help improve the explanatory storytelling of AP journalists who cover democracy and elections in the United States. That reporting range includes, but is not limited to, demographics, the election process and how the vote count will unfold. On election night, you’ll provide insight into how the winners won – providing an inside look at the how and the why of AP’s race calls.


Your work will serve a global, digital-first audience, with the goal of combatting misinformation and misunderstanding about and within the American democracy via rich and robust explanatory journalism. You’re a journalist who relishes finding new ways to explain complex topics so that they can be both easily understood and resonate with diverse audiences around the world, and do so with a team of journalists who work in all media formats – text, photo, video, audio, digital/social, interactive and graphics. 



You’re an excellent reporter who revels in exploring and probing complex topics – and then explaining them in clear and compelling ways. You will have a demonstrated interest in American politics and elections, and enjoy reporting that gets beyond the horse race to explain the why behind the winners. You’re interested in the quirks of American elections, including demographics and the myriad of rules that shape elections at the state and local level, and want to explain why they matter.


We’re looking for someone who works effectively as part of a team, has a great news sense and the ability to communicate and drive stories that people will want to share, like and talk about on social media and other platforms. You’re eager to pursue innovative and inclusive coverage techniques while maintaining AP’s standards for integrity and objectivity, and are able and willing to work at night and on weekends, as coverage demands, as AP is a 24/7 operation.


We will consider strong candidates who do not meet every listed qualification. You may use a cover letter to describe the unique qualifications you would bring to this role.


Other qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience, such as at least one year of full-time work as an editor, reporter or social media producer at a daily newspaper, broadcast station, online or digital news outlet or AP bureau.
  • All applicants must be able to work in the U.S. or be able to gain permission to do so.
  • Advanced-level professional competency in written and spoken English. Professional competency in a language besides English is a plus.
  • Strong organizational skills with the ability to juggle multiple projects across formats and deliver success on complex, challenging story lines.


Application Deadline:  April 9, 2023 @ 11:59 PM ET


AP seeks to build an inclusive organization grounded in respect for differences. We support all aspects of diversity and provide equal employment opportunity to all employees and applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, marital status, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or status as a veteran. We encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply.

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