Date Posted September 18, 2023
Industry Newspapers / Wires
Specialty Not Specified
Job Status Full-time

Description:

The Boulder Monitor and The Monitor Online, a growing weekly paper and online news site in Jefferson County, Montana, is looking for a strong all-around journalist who is passionate about local news to lead our newsroom. This is an opportunity to produce innovative, high-impact local journalism that builds engagement and drives change in an energetic and complex rural community. 

The Monitor has served Jefferson County, a string of small cities and unincorporated places south of Helena, for more than a century. The editor-in-chief will go deep into these communities, spending time on the ground to explore networks and build trusted relationships, and providing and directing authoritative coverage of the institutions that ground civic life: Schools, businesses, and public safety. 

Beyond the day-to-day of rural places, we’re interested in the distinctively Western questions that will shape life in these places for generations to come: How, for one, will infrastructure and services keep pace with population growth?  How will government and developers respond to the need for affordable housing? And how do land and water use map against the demands of economic growth? These are rich stories that matter to our audience.

Under new ownership since 2018, the paper has recommitted to its tradition of rigorous reporting on local government, businesses, community groups, and the individuals who make the county what it is. We have made several strategic investments to better serve our audience and community while ensuring financial sustainability. These include:

  • A gradual shift to a digital-first publication strategy.
  • Deep investment in "tentpole" issues — economic development; aging and the elderly; mental health; and housing — that drive great enterprise reporting.
  • Expansion of distribution: The Monitor's paid circulation is up 50% over the last three years.
  • Online and offline engagement activities that catalyze constructive and inclusive public discourse.

We invest in coverage of the many challenges facing our community, explaining what’s wrong and why — and the Monitor enjoys a heritage of critical and independent reporting. We believe that understanding what’s broken is the first step toward fixing it, and that our leaders must be transparent and accountable. 

But we also know that, if people only read about what’s broken, citizenship suffers. That’s why the Monitor also reports on efforts to fix those problems, here and elsewhere. We hope that solutions-focused coverage helps bridge divisions, providing a platform for constructive discussions about the county’s present and future that can, in turn, advance thoughtful decision-making and investment.

This is who we’re looking for:

  • An energetic journalist who is passionate about local news and eager to explore rural communities.
  • Someone who lives (or wants to) in Jefferson County, Helena, or nearby. This job is all about being there. 
  • Understanding of and enthusiasm for a solutions-based approach to reporting.
  • An entrepreneurial aptitude. We provide plenty of support, but we’re looking for someone who’s comfortable and confident charting their own course.
  • "Swiss Army knife" skills – and/or the ability to learn. The editor will set content strategy, report, produce visuals, and design pages, directing a staff reporter as well as freelancers and volunteer contributors.

What we offer:

  • Competitive salary: $45k-$55k
  • A commitment to quality journalism: The Monitor has won the general excellence award among small papers in Montana for the last three years.
  • An opportunity to experiment, take risks, and pursue big ideas.
  • Flexibility and encouragement to combine weekly news reporting with longer-term enterprise projects
  • An unrivaled view into rural America

We also offer pretty great quality of life. Boulder is the seat of Jefferson County, a small rural city within 30 minutes of Helena, an hour from Bozeman and Butte, and two hours from Missoula. It sits in the Boulder River valley, ringed by the Elkhorn Mountains, and offers many recreation opportunities. Hiking, skiing, hunting, fishing, biking — if you're into the outdoors, this area is (quietly) calling your name.

Diversity of perspective, identity, and experience is important to us. We encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds to seek employment, and we make all employment decisions without regard to race, age, gender, sexual orientation, or any other factors protected by federal, state or local law. 

Send your CV, a letter of interest, and/or questions to Keith Hammonds, publisher, at keith@boulder-monitor.com

When applying, mention you saw this opening listed at JournalismJobs.com.