Crossroads Lab Editor
Fort Worth, Texas
|Date Posted||August 05, 2022|
|Industry||Newspapers / Wires|
|Required Education||Bachelor's Degree|
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram seeks an editor to lead a team of reporters to tackle some of the city’s most complex and important issues, which often disproportionately affect communities of color and underrepresented segments of our population. The editor will lead our Crossroads Lab, a philanthropically funded team of reporters focusing on solutions-oriented journalism.
In its first year, the Crossroads Lab has brought positive change, prompting a school system to reexamine its restraint policies and to more quickly roll out plans to provide internet access in underserved neighborhoods. Its work has called out inequities in education, in substandard housing and access to public swimming pools. It has encouraged people to get involved in solving problems, prompting people to donate and volunteer for important causes. One agency credited the Lab’s work with literally saving someone’s life by connecting the person to critical medical services.
The Lab’s work primarily centers around challenges related to education, healthcare, social services and racial equity. It strives to raise awareness and spark community engagement around these issues, to find new and innovative ways to tell these stories, and – most importantly – to drive change. Fort Worth is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country and is the 13th largest city in the United States. Its population is diverse, with about 35% of the population Hispanic or Latino, over 18% Black and about 5% Asian, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The Star-Telegram is committed to better representing the diverse North Texas communities we cover and to building an inclusive newsroom for staffers of all backgrounds. We encourage members of historically underrepresented communities to apply, including women, people of color, LGBTQ people and people with disabilities.
The Crossroads Lab editor must have the highest journalism ethics and sound judgment; extraordinary skills as an editor; a commitment to understanding issues on which their team reports; the ability to coach and collaborate with reporters and other editors to achieve high-quality journalism; a deep understanding of and enthusiasm for the modern, digital news ecosystem; a firm grasp of the art and the science of reaching digital readers through search, social media and other distribution channels; a complete commitment to defending the values of the First Amendment, holding leaders and institutions accountable, and speaking truth to
Our future lies in digital, and the editor will lead their team to focus squarely on serving the measurable needs and interests of digital readers and on finding ways to connect with new readers. This will require a passion for reaching digital readers and growing digital readership and subscribers as well as the ability to ignite that passion in others; the regular use of readership analytics and other data to inform decision-making; and a commitment to and skill in producing exclusive, high-impact journalism.
The Crossroads Lab editor plays a crucial part in coaching reporters to put our readers at the center of everything we do. The editor will discuss every story idea with a reporter or visual journalist, asking who would care about the story. When necessary, the editor must be the one to reject ideas or stories that do not fit McClatchy’s mission – freeing the reporter to spend time on work that matters to our readers. The editor will also monitor their reporters’ progress, ensuring everyone has the training and coaching needed to succeed in the new audience-focused mission.
This editor’s position will include other duties as necessary to fulfill our newsroom’s mission and goals.
The editor’s work (or the work of their staff) will be measured by the impact it has in the community, as measured by engagement-related analytics, as well as adherence to McClatchy’s mission pillars.
- The editor must have the highest journalism ethics and sound judgment; extraordinary skills as an editor.
- Skill and versatility as an editor and a writer, including the ability to shape everything from breaking news briefs to long-form magazine-style pieces in a way that best serves and engages the broadest possible audience.
- Sound news judgment, and a demonstrated ability to “see the story” that is going to matter to readers and to anticipate reader interests before they exist.
- An interest in and aptitude for storytelling using a broad range of media, including the written word, video, photography, podcasts and other audio, and whatever comes next.
- A commitment to understanding issues and topics their team reports on.
SKILLS AND DEMONSTRATED ABILITIES:
- To consistently find and frame stories that resonate with the largest possible audience.
- To write compelling headlines and relevant SEO metadata that will help the stories reach that audience.
- Use social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to engage with audiences.
- To use analytics such as page views, time on site, referral sources and “shares and likes” to help determine which stories resonate with which audiences.
- Ability to say no when stories are too incremental, lack value or otherwise don’t meet our standards.
- Ability to act as a proxy for our readers, asking the questions they want to be answered.
- Understanding of metrics, and the ability to discuss with their reporters what they mean.
- Willingness to have difficult conversations with reporters who are not meeting audience goals or core mission goals and to help them adjust their workflows, story selections or even beats to improve.
- The ability to collaborate with colleagues throughout the newsroom.
- Strong editing and writing skills and excellent news judgment.
- Strong interpersonal skills, including empathy (toward readers and staff) and a superior ear for tone.
- Comfort with a job that will be demanding, fast-paced, constantly evolving, and more outcome-oriented than task-oriented.
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE:
- Bachelor’s degree in journalism or a related field.
- Minimum of three years experience in a digital-first/analytics-focused news organization. Fluency in English and Spanish preferred.
- Required to work outside and may encounter extreme heat/cold and other environmental factors.
- Position involves regular contact with the public. Must be able to deal with angry or upset people in a professional and effective manner.
- Occasional breaking news assignments may require working in disaster areas, varying climates and under extreme physical conditions.
The position requires an experienced editor with an understanding of diverse communities and a track record of developing complex stories in a way that will engage audiences.
To apply please include a cover letter and samples of work.