The Trace seeks a hands-on, versatile, public-spirited senior editor to lead our nonprofit newsroom’s production of daily, cross-platform coverage that connects with our passionate readers and expands our reach.
This is a new position for our two-year-old organization, blending news writing and editing, audience engagement and growth, and managing a two- to three-person team.
At the heart of the job are a pair of big opportunities. This is a chance to make a critical contribution to The Trace’s mission of shining a light on America’s gun violence crisis through independent journalism. And also to tackle a central challenge for the single-subject news model: For sites dedicated to reporting on one thorny issue, what are the best strategies and tactics for informing followers and attracting new readers every day?
There’s no one career path that provides the necessary preparation for this unique role.
You might be a quick-thinking news editor laboring under an output quota and eager for the chance to focus a little less on quantity, and more on quality — while pursuing growth goals tied to building a community of readers and supporters, rather than ad contracts. Or a social media manager looking to add writing and editing your own smart, quick-turnaround articles to your flair for knowing what, how, and when to share colleagues’ work. Or a digitally savvy print magazine section editor looking to switch to a new medium and immerse yourself in a hugely consequential beat.
You’re probably working in journalism, but outstanding applicants with other relevant experience and a journalistic ethos will also be considered. Regardless, your resume shows five or more years of full-time positions and at least one year of management experience.
The ideal candidate is someone who:
- Is a dynamic, fast, clean writer and an efficient, incisive editor
- Sees opportunities, as much as story ideas (though definitely generates a ceaseless stream of those, as well)
- Possesses a deft instinct for pairing an emerging coverage opportunity with the ideal story form and platform for serving the audience with the most to gain from that news or analysis
- Embraces the cues provided by audience-performance metrics — but still trusts his or her gut
- Is both self-motivated and innately collaborative
- Gives clear, effective guidance to the colleagues he or she manages and absorbs feedback eagerly
- Learns new beats quickly
- Is flexible about many things — but relentless in ensuring the accuracy, fairness, and clarity of every piece of coverage he or she touches
- Nimbly adapts to new systems, knowing when it’s necessary to ask for help and when it’s appropriate to propose better ways of doing things
This job is probably not for someone who:
- Is averse to fast-paced, evolving environments
- Has a hard time making decisions
- Prefers to work on long-lead assignments, one at time
- Really wishes this was an opening for a features editor position
- Collaborate with The Trace’s editorial director to refine and implement a strategy for engaging our influential core audience and reaching new readers with timely, short-form coverage
- Balance writing and editing a total of three posts per day for thetrace.org
- Manage The Trace’s email newsletters, whose growth and success are a top organizational priority
- Oversee colleagues’ stewardship of The Trace’s social media channels (currently, Facebook and Twitter), directing their use first as platforms for storytelling and connecting with current and should-be followers; second as a venue for curating relevant outside articles; and third as a means for distribution
- Track and analyze metrics across platforms, incorporating findings to improve future performance
- Supervise editorial fellow’s production of internal weekly and monthly metrics reports
- Work with deputy editor, senior editors, and investigative reporters to craft rollouts of features and special projects
Please send your resume; four relevant work samples; and a memo (two pages, tops) sketching how you’d approach the job to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis, with a final deadline of August 15, 2017.
The Trace is committed to diversity and strongly encourages applications from women, people of color, people with disabilities, and LGBQT people.