MuckRock is looking for reporters to help us investigate public records in two places where in-state citizenship is required to access them: Alabama and Arkansas.
In these states (as well as five others), agencies can deny a public records request if the requester is not a resident. So, MuckRock has built a network of dedicated freelancers and volunteers in these states - locals who submit requests on behalf of our users and organization, ensuring that records across the country are available to all.
This role within the organization and the transparency community will be two-fold.
As a reporter, you’ll find interesting stories hidden in public records in your state. Pieces can range from investigations into government spending to dubious law enforcements to exploring interesting data sets you’ve stumbled upon. You can read the work of our freelancers in Virginia and Tennessee
As an in-state requester, you’ll be assisting with our users’ public records projects, including large scale reporting that has a national impact, by serving as a local resident for agencies that require it in your state.
The hours are highly flexible and set by you, and all work would be remote. We collaborate via Slack, Google Docs, and email.
Be a resident of Arkansas or Alabama.
Some prior reporting experience and writing samples, even if in an academic setting.
Availability to either receive some mail at your home and forward it to our main office, or to check a mailbox we purchase for you on a weekly basis.
Two references who have worked with you in some capacity.
Have a photo ID indicating state residency.
Two monthly articles based on a mix of public records, interviews with local transparency advocates, or external sources that either tells an interesting story based on public records or highlights important trends or changes in your state’s public records access (such as the public records law changing or major litigation).
Checking a mailbox convenient to you or at your home where some public records responses will be delivered, and forwarding them on as needed to our office for processing.
Communicating with MuckRock staff about edits, story ideas, and administrative details.
Following up with agencies to prove state residence on an occasional basis.
To apply, please send a brief cover, resume, and links to previous published work to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Public Records Freelancer.”