Senior Desk Editor, Politics + Society

The Conversation U.S.

Any, United States

Date Posted August 16, 2022
Industry Newspapers / Wires, Newsletters
Specialty Politics
Required Education Bachelor's Degree
Job Status Full-time
Salary 87,000 to 97,000


Position: Senior Desk Editor, Politics + Society

Salary: $87,000 to $97,000 

Benefits: 401(k) matching, PTO, sick days, health insurance, dental insurance, life insurance, parental leave, vision insurance, paid holidays 

Position: Full time 

Experience: 15 years of journalism and editorial experience 

Educational qualifications: Bachelor's degree required 

Direct reports: Race and Equity Editor, Politics and Society Editor, part-time Democracy Editor 

Reporting manager: Managing Editor 

Location: U.S. 


TCUS is an independent, nonprofit media organization that publishes daily news analysis and explanatory journalism written by academics and edited by journalists for the general public. We take our work seriously, but we also offer a fun and flexible work culture with great benefits and many opportunities to shine and make a difference. 

We will consider candidates working remotely in locations across the U.S. We currently have offices in Boston and New York and can offer a hybrid of in-person and work-from-home for candidates in those cities. 

The Conversation is deeply committed to inclusion and diversity. We encourage members of traditionally underrepresented groups – including those who are Black, Latino/a, Asian American, Indigenous, LGBTQ, or armed services veterans to apply to join our team.

About the Senior Politics & Society Editor role 

The Politics & Society Desk at The Conversation U.S. covers politics from a public interest perspective. We cover government and how it works, why it was set up that way, and the effects on individual people, members of various demographic groups, and the nation as a whole. We help readers understand American democracy: what values and ideals Americans claim to uphold, the processes by which they seek to do that, and whether they succeed or fall short. 

The ideal candidate will have in-depth knowledge of American politics, a strong understanding of global affairs, and experience working in a daily news environment as either a reporter/writer or an editor. 

Key Responsibilities: 

  •  Leads The Conversation U.S.’s daily coverage of politics and social issues. The Senior Editor heads up a team of two full-time editors and one part-time editor who are expected to respond to current events by producing content that provides timely context and insight and, at the same time, proactively seeks out new academic research of relevance to the contemporary debate. 
  • Produces 3-4 clear, thoughtful, and important stories from academia each week that educate the public through expert analysis, commentary, and explanatory journalism. 
  • Creates clear, timely, and professional communications with academics and member university communication teams. 
  • Helps maintain The Conversation’s high standards by copy testing for other editors. 
  • Discovers scholars in member universities and creates enthusiasm and goodwill for them to write for The Conversation, with a special emphasis on discovering new voices and commissioning diverse scholars.
  • Works toward becoming a thought leader by attending subject-specific conferences. 

Editorial Management Responsibilities: 

  • Understand and promote TC’s culture of collaboration, respect, and editorial excellence. 
  • Work with senior editorial staff to create supportive ties and find opportunities to solve problems together. 
  • Provide leadership and guidance to more junior editors. 
  • Make sure that the editors you manage meet their various production targets, flagging any problems with the Managing Editor. 
  • Ensure that your desks provide engaging content to a range of audiences.
  • Promote a diverse group of contributors while working to ensure that member universities receive the appropriate consideration and feedback.
  • Help develop and document best editing and production practices.
  • Assist in building and sustaining a diverse newsroom by helping with recruitment and orientation of new hires and striving to manage all staff members equally and empathetically. 


  • Reporting skills and news judgment to generate ideas for stories and seek out meaningful or undiscovered new research.
  • Ability to work with scholar-authors to structure stories, simplify research without losing nuance, line edit copy into plain English, and fact-check.
  •  Ability to understand and avoid conflicts of interest.
  • Good grammar and story structure skills.
  • Attention to detail and excellent organizational skills.
  • Ability to choose appropriate and arresting photos, graphs, and other visual elements to accompany stories.
  • Ability to purposefully collaborate and be part of a dynamic team.
  • Excellent writing skills and willingness to learn and apply our house style.
  • Willingness to ask for help when needed. 

Every TC editorial team member is expected to: 

  • Understand and embrace our mission of democratizing scholarly knowledge for the public good.
  • Attend daily news meetings and other staff meetings as required.
  • Adopt a problem-solving mindset and the desire to move stories with a sense of urgency.
  •  Be part of The Conversation’s public outreach: run training sessions for scholars, participate in conference panels, and be willing to coach scholars in revising their written work.
  •  Hold office hours for one assigned member school and report on interesting research and faculty at that institution for two hours a week. 


  • 15 years of journalism experience, including significant experience editing, planning coverage, and managing staff.
  • College degree.
  • Ability to be productive remotely, take direction and work productivity with a variety of people.

Tasks/time over next year 

  • 85% – Planning desk coverage, researching, commissioning, and editing your commissions, and mentoring more junior editors on your desk.
  • 5% – Acting as a reporter to discover stories at member institutions.
  • 5% – Responding to pitches from member universities in a timely and thoughtful fashion.
  • 5% – Attending university or conferences/professional development/internal meetings.

How to apply for this job:

Send your resume and a cover letter telling us why you want to work for The Conversation to with the words “Senior Desk Editor, Politics + Society” in the subject line. 


When applying, mention you saw this opening listed at