For the last two weeks we’ve been asking readers what new “beat” – in other words, what new topic – you’d like us to add to our coverage. The results are in.
As of yesterday, with 363 people voting, the most first preferences (106) are in favour of getting a reporter to write each week about Ireland’s immigration system and how it impacts immigrants living in Dublin. This beat also got 69 second preferences and 47 third preferences.
So we’re going to get started on doing what you’ve asked. We’re now looking for a reporter to start covering this beat for us (details below).
And if you want us to have a journalist keeping an eye on these issues, reporting on them, and writing about them regularly for us over the long-term – we’re asking you to subscribe today, and to ask others to do so as well.
Building up expertise and contacts in a new subject, and making sure we’re telling stories that are meaningful and that add on what’s already being reported and written – that all takes a bit of time. So we hope you’ll stick with us while we work to navigate that.
We’re a reader-supported paper – we don’t sell ads – so support for this beat from you and other subscribers is what will make keeping it going over the long-term financially possible for us.
If you’re already a subscriber, thank you, you make what we do possible, and help give us the stability we need to keep trying to be better. We really appreciate your support.
Aside from immigration, readers also voted to ask us to add coverage of policing and community safety (84 first preferences), food, writ large (63), family life (49), childhood (43), and consumer affairs (43).
There were lower levels of first-preference votes for expanding our coverage geographically, but quite a few third preferences: 58 for covering Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, 52 for Fingal County Council, and 39 for South Dublin County Council.
Even if you didn’t vote for the immigration beat, and even if you suggested something I haven’t mentioned here – we’ve heard you, and we’re grateful that you took the time to let us know what you want from us.
Some of the things you said you’d like to see us cover are things we already do, and will try to do more of, including: housing generally, overcrowding, mould, Airbnbs and other short-term lets, renting, the Residential Tenancies Board, homeless issues, transport, cycling, walking, council meetings, council budget, arts and culture, video games, environment and climate change, litter and waste-management, the architecture of Dublin, the history of Dublin, disability and disability inclusion, little profiles of people we share the city with, Stamp 3 holders’ issues, and community groups.
Others are things we’ll keep in mind for the future. We’d still really like to add the other beats that were quite popular in the voting these last two weeks, particularly policing and community safety, food, and family life. But we’ll have to wait until our subscriber base grows a bit more so we can pay for that additional coverage.
For now, our new focus is going to be on covering immigration. So we’ll need a reporter.
Wanted: Immigration Reporter
Our current reporters are busy enough already, so we’re looking for someone new to cover the immigration system and its impacts for us.
We are not confident enough about the future right now to hire a new, full-time permanent staff member, unfortunately. So we’re looking for a freelancer.
It takes time to learn a new “beat”, to understand the issues, to learn to navigate the institutions, to build up contacts. We want someone who will stick with us for a good long while and build up that expertise, learn to separate the signal from the noise, and take the coverage to a deeper level.
The reporter will be responsible for finding stories, pitching them to our editor, reporting them, writing them, and then working with us through the editing process.
We don’t really care what your education or experience level is, as long as you can do this job well. Personal experience of the Irish immigration system is a plus.
Unfortunately, also, you’re probably going to have to have pretty thick skin, as we have found that basically any coverage of immigration or race attracts at least some level of trolls, bots, and online abuse. We’ll do our best to help support you through that.
We’ll pay you our new freelance rate for reported articles, which is €150 per published article. We want to publish one story from this beat in each of our weekly online editions going forward.
You’ll also have a seat and vote at our co-op meetings, where the team discuss and decide together on future plans for the newspaper, including financial decisions. (We’re not legally a co-op yet, but we’re acting as one for now, and working towards it.)
To apply, please send us a CV, two articles you’ve written, and three ideas for articles you’d want to write for us on this new immigration beat – remembering, again, that we’re not looking to replicate stories already out there. The deadline for applications is midnight 16 June.
If you’ve questions, concerns, or want to apply, you can reach us, as ever, at [email protected]
UPDATE: As of June 2020, we have filled this role as of June 2020. You can see some of the work we’ve published since then here.