Job posting

Job offer: Freelance journalist

If you are worried that you may not be qualified for this position but it is something you are interested in, do not hesitate to apply!


Usually $300 to $450 per story, depending on the story. This is a contract position where you are paid per story.

a bit about us

Santa Cruz Local is a local, online, member-supported media outlet serving Santa Cruz County, California. As seasoned journalists and newspaper editors, we founded Santa Cruz Local in 2019 to provide residents with a nonpartisan, fair, and accurate source of local information. We produce a bi-weekly newsletter, feature articles and a podcast. Our team of three is a small but mighty group with a background in journalism, product development, and community listening. We are collaborative, thoughtful and passionate about giving residents useful news and information.

The challenge

We strive to produce thorough, fair, and accurate reports on local government, housing, homelessness, health, environment, and other major issues in Santa Cruz County. We want to give Santa Cruz County residents the information and news they tell us they need.

The Opportunity

Our editorial team gave dozens of story ideas to our freelancers. Our stories typically focus on local government, housing, homelessness, health, and the environment in Santa Cruz County. Occasionally we provide coverage of city council meetings and other local government meetings. We also accept pitches on these topics.

  • Stories typically range from 650 to 1,800 words. We do not pay by word count. Our pay is based on the time and reports we estimate the story will take.
  • Your stories will be read and checked by two experienced editors. We like to give feedback on wording, order, style, and context. We often have questions to address in the editing process. We believe that our careful and intensive editing process makes your work stronger. If you are relatively new to journalism, we can help you build your portfolio of outstanding published work.


  • Must have writing examples to share. Short story writing samples are preferred. Factual samples of non-opinion writing will also be accepted.
  • Familiarity with local government, housing, environment, or health issues in Santa Cruz County.
  • Must be 18 or older.
  • Must be authorized to work in the United States
  • Must be based in California.
  • Must be fluent in English, written and spoken.

Qualifications preferred but not required

  • We prefer that you live in Santa Cruz County.

Bonus points for:

  • Fluency in Spanish, written and spoken.

Please apply even if you think you are not qualified. We are interested in the career development of journalists, especially for residents of Santa Cruz County. You do not need a journalism degree to apply.

Application and hiring process

We aim to respond to each application within two weeks. We will arrange a telephone interview if we are interested in your application. If you are not selected, we will let you know.

Questions? Email, call or text local editor/Santa Cruz co-founder Stephen Baxter, [email protected] or 831-566-7334.