Editor-in-Chief / News – Lookout Local Santa Cruz


Reports to: Executive editor
Type of employment: Full time
Salary: To the extent of experience
Location: Santa Cruz, California

Local on the lookout is looking for an experienced Digital News Writer to lead and manage our daily news operations.

The Editor / News brings a passion for local news, digital innovation and community journalism – to be the first, best, always accurate and give readers the context they need on the news of the day and the world. the week. This Editor-in-Chief, in conjunction with Editor-in-Chief / Culture, will lead daily coverage on institutions – government, education and business – having a profound impact on the lives of our readers. Lookout, along with our partners at the First Amendment Coalition, is focused on accountability journalism, both in day-to-day takes and longer-term projects, a keystone of our mission.

The ideal candidate will possess superior editorial judgment, excellent communication and team management skills, an understanding of fundamental digital news editorial business practices, and an entrepreneurial spirit.

Lookout is backing one of the nation’s largest per capita newsrooms, which will soon number 10 journalists in a county of 276,000. Building on our successful launch in November 2020, this position requires an experienced editor with equal parts information leadership abilities and ideals and creative innovation, who believes in digital and news-centric news. community can do much more for a community than print.

We value deep narrative storytelling and the ability to develop and develop a local distribution network to maximize the impact of reporting. However, with around 70% of Lookout’s mobile audience, we also love the ability to tell stories in easy-to-use formats optimized for small screens and shorter attention spans.

Part of Lookout’s mission is to help improve the community by creating a civically engaged audience so the candidate can help guide correspondents in the idea and inclusion of actionable elements in the stories.

Focus on two key areas

Strategy and leadership

The editor-in-chief / News:

  • Shapes Lookout’s daily news strategy, editorial calendar and daily coverage to meet the breadth and depth of community coverage.
  • Maintains Lookout journalistic standards with a keen eye for quality, voice and reader’s engagement.
  • Assumes responsibility for embedding diversity into Lookout’s fabric and coverage priorities.
  • Demonstrates a commitment to engage with diverse audiences and communities, leading them to broader conversations about community problem solving.
  • Works in conjunction with the First Amendment Coalition, implementing the Open Meeting / Open Registration / Accountability Journalism of Access Democracy.
  • Adopts a variety of storytelling formats, as well as daily use of infographics, interactive elements, audio and visuals.
  • Communicates Lookout’s story and mission internally and externally to evolving partners, both local and national.
  • Strategies and fosters community conversations through Lookout Listens and public forums, addressing important issues in Santa Cruz County (eg, affordability and homelessness, post-pandemic recovery, race and inequality, etc.).

Editorial operations

  • Demonstrates rock-solid journalistic judgment, intuition and taste, with editing experience ranging from accountability journalism to reader interaction features.
  • Ensures the proper functioning of information operations, by improving editorial processes that promote both the continuous improvement of journalism and ensure a sustainable balance between professional and private life.
  • Adept at both maintaining our role as a primary information provider and bringing readers the how, why and color of local news.
  • Help drive social media content strategy including both social listening – finding out what interests people and what they are talking about online and use social platforms for top-of-the-funnel outreach. Also uses Google Trend to inform reports.
  • Develops our must-have editorial newsletters and text messaging strategies.
  • Develops plans with correspondents to create very useful guides for the reader, in various thematic areas.
  • Is practical in CMS and familiar with the tools and workflow that drive editorial production and presentation. Acts as final editor on articles.
  • Maximizes the value of content from partners of LA Times, CalMatters, Kaiser Health News, InsideClimate News, EdSource, Civil Eats, ProPublica and more. Drives analytics-based and best-practice site programming decisions for content posting pace and distribution strategy on social media and via newsletters. Continuously tests and refines Lookout’s approach to optimize reader engagement, drive repeat visits, and member-generated revenue.
  • Help drive newsroom audience development efforts on owned and acquired channels, integrating optimization strategies into newsroom routines, sharing best practices.

Your experience and skills

  • Proven superior news editing experience of five years or more.
  • Proven experience in group leadership, with a commitment to the values ​​of building and growing a diverse workforce.
  • Superior organizational and collaborative skills, with excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Curiosity.
  • In-depth experience working in a CMS, editing and packaging stories.
  • Creativity and vision demonstrated in the design and production of a wide range of story formats and presentation styles on digital platforms, and in the creation of copies ranging from “smart patent” to longer investigations.
  • Familiarity with basic web applications and multimedia types (photo, video, audio).
  • Experience using data and analytics to inform content decisions.
  • A strong sense of the multiplier power of social media and how best to use it for a local information and business model.
  • Project management and planning, management of work flow and production schedule are a plus.
  • Bilingual skills a plus

Benefits and application

The Editor / News is a full time employee of Lookout Local. We offer competitive benefits. Salary + bonus.

Lookout Local is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment regardless of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or veteran status. .

Please apply, with cover letter, CV to [email protected]


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