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Parliamentary Reporter - internship

Closing date: Wednesday 11th October at midday

About Us

We are Newsdirect, an independently-owned political intelligence company providing daily monitoring of political news and parliamentary proceedings. We specialise in reporting proceedings of the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly, but staff also monitor Westminster, the European institutions and the broader political arena. We work from offices on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile and in Cardiff Bay, close to the devolved assemblies that we report on.

Our service is all about the intelligent scanning of the day’s news and political output. Though we’d love to spend the time analysing and pondering the nuances of a particular speech or policy announcement, that’s not our core service. We need to hit the ground running early in the morning (07:00), getting eyes onto the daily digest of news, questions, motions and speeches while being vigilant to the potential relevance for each of our clients. For this reason, text handling and fast typing is just as important as political knowledge and we’re looking for staff who like to work in an organised and collaborative way.

Our clients include large public agencies, influential trade bodies, well-known companies and campaigning charities. Our reputation is built on the talent and dedication of our research and reporting teams who work closely together to provide a seamless service. Staff training is of the utmost importance to us, with everyone participating in a structured development programme - from intern to senior account manager - with regular support sessions and weekly team meetings.

Our Team

  • Account Managers look after a portfolio of clients and delivery of their contracted daily and weekly reports
  • Reporters are responsible for news scanning and write-ups and the provision of a live summarising service for parliamentary proceedings.
  • All staff contribute to daily monitoring reports, writing up news, collating forward business and researching future events. 
  • The senior team (Team Leaders, Head of Monitoring, Head of Research and Director) provide additional and strategic support.

Our Service includes:

  • Daily and weekly tailored monitoring reports
  • Daily bulletins on generic policy themes
  • Live reporting of Ministerial statements
  • Month-ahead forward planners and consultation/legislative trackers
  • Monthly management and board reports
  • Biographies and contact sheets for elected members or officials
  • Blogs on topical and procedural issues
  • Party conference and event reporting
  • Latest polling data and political appointments

Shifts

Either 07:00 to 15:30 or 08:00 – 16:30

Shifts are 8.5 hours with an hour’s unpaid lunch and paid breaks

Week/Rate

37.5 hours/week, £8.45/hour + overtime

Contract

Initial 13-week contract with potential to extend

Deadline

Midday on Wednesday 11th October

Start date

Applicants must be available to start in early November

Interviews

Stage 1: Friday 13th October (by phone)

Stage 2: Wednesday 18th October (in person/Skype)

We are looking for a skilled and enthusiastic intern to support our wider research term. Working within a small team and managed by our Chief Reporter, the successful candidate’s duties will include:

  • Live summarising of parliamentary debates and committee meetings
  • Identifying themes within the discussion and linking these into concise reports
  • Preparing listings of future parliamentary business, consultations, legislation and events
  • Scanning parliamentary and other websites for newly-published information
  • Selecting information relevant to clients and writing these up in an agreed style
  • Assisting with other research projects, as required

Hours & Location

The position is full-time and based in Newsdirect’s Edinburgh office. The nature of our work requires occasional hours to be worked in the evenings and at weekends.

Skills Required

During working hours, we are immersed in the day-to-day workings of the parliament and associated activity, so an excellent and up-to-date knowledge of Scottish parliamentary procedures is essential, including current inquiries, business scheduling, online sources and publication timings.

Of equivalent importance is a well-organised approach to task management and deadlines along with, ideally, some office-based work experience. You’ll also be able to demonstrate fast typing and a talent for reporting complex ideas in an accurate yet readable way. The position will require you to produce concise and informative copy to tight deadlines, therefore the recruitment process will also test your ability to summarise proceedings across a range of policy themes with minimal preparation.

How to Apply

To apply, send a 2-page CV plus 1-page covering letter. Please also indicate the notice period from your current role or your availability to start. Additionally, we would also like you to write 200 words on an issue, likely to be on the radar of the Scottish Parliament over the remainder of 2017-18. We’d like you to pick an issue that is less likely be given profile in the national media. Write from an informative and neutral standpoint. Your application should be emailed to catriona@newsdirect-uk.com by 12 midday on Wednesday 11th October. You will be asked to fill out an optional, confidential and anonymous equal opportunities survey on submission of your application.

Potential to Extend the Contract

We use 13-week paid internships as our primary recruitment method. Interns who are identified as having potential to develop further will be considered for any longer or permanent contracts that emerge during the placement.

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