Cleveland Editor-in-Chief

Ohio Local News Initiative

Cleveland, Ohio

Date Posted November 17, 2021
Industry Nonprofit
Specialty Local News
Job Status Full-time
Salary Not Specified


A coalition of Cleveland-based organizations and the American Journalism Project are partnering to launch the Ohio Local News Initiative, a network of independent local newsrooms across Ohio that will start at launch with an independent, community-led, nonprofit newsroom serving Cleveland. The Cleveland newsroom — which will launch next year — is looking for its founding Editor-in-Chief.

The successful candidate is an experienced newsroom leader with a passion for local journalism; a track record of building and managing teams that produce impactful stories; and a strong perspective on equitable, audience-driven journalism.

You would be at the forefront of a movement to make local news a foundational part of civic life in Cleveland by enabling the kind of journalism that holds power to account while being accountable to the communities it serves.

The Role

The Editor-in-Chief, based in Greater Cleveland, will build, manage and scale a newsroom capable of carrying out this broad vision for a community-oriented primary news source. You will oversee daily editorial functions of the newsroom, including the aforementioned community bureau, beat reporting, research, multimedia production, and operational partnerships, such as with Cleveland Documenters. You will create a collaborative and inclusive environment, with a strong foundation and editorial processes for reporters and editors to identify and deploy community-driven reporting and services. 

You will lead the charge in making the startup newsroom’s journalism worthy of support from its audience, ensuring the newsroom is setting and meeting ambitious goals for producing local journalism, in terms of both quality and quantity, and distributing it in a way that reaches as many people in Greater Cleveland as possible, with an emphasis on Clevelanders who need it most.

You will work with the organization’s executive team to make a case for local funding, and push for the newsroom growth needed to fill Cleveland’s vast information gaps. You will play an active role in representing the organization in public forums to evangelize the newsroom’s mission, including by representing program strategy to current and prospective funders. As the organization’s top representative in Cleveland, you will be charged with cultivating relationships with key stakeholders across sectors. You’ll report to the CEO of the Ohio Local News Initiative, who will lead the organization’s business, fundraising and operations strategies and functions; over time, you may report to a statewide editor-in-chief as the organization develops.


The Cleveland newsroom

The Cleveland newsroom will be staffed by journalists who will report on the issues that communities care most about, including contextual coverage of housing, environment, education, and health, with the highest standards of editorial integrity and independence. Enterprise reporting will hold power to account, but will be done with self-awareness and a focus on solutions for local issues. It will also produce service journalism, to ensure information is relevant to residents’ everyday lives.

The new organization’s top priority will be to build trust with the communities it serves, through development of an innovative community-led reporting model. It will feature a community bureau, staffed by people experienced in journalism and community engagement, who will recruit, train, pay, and mentor residents to collaborate on gathering information for their communities. These community reporting efforts will help drive newsroom coverage, aid in story development, and hold the newsroom accountable for being responsive to community needs. 

The newsroom will also provide information without barriers. Coverage will be distributed across multiple formats and platforms, without paywalls or subscription requirements, to broaden storytelling formats and engage a wide range of audiences, no matter their literacy level, language or Internet access.


Responsibilities and priorities


You’re a good fit if…


Compensation and benefits

Compensation commensurate with experience. 

We’re committed to building an inclusive organization that represents the people and communities we serve. We encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply, including women, people of color, veterans, LGBTQ+ people and people with disabilities.