Jobs

Community Voices Editor

Reports to: CEO

Location: Santa Cruz, CA

Lookout Santa Cruz seeks a thoughtful, energetic and fair-minded editor for a soon-to-be-launched Community Voices section.

Just over six months into our launch, Lookout Santa Cruz has surpassed audience, membership and advertising goals. We’ve built a lively, mobile-first model that is quickly winning wide civic and business-community adoption as a primary news source, one that is successfully competing with hedge-fund-depleted daily journalism. We’ve found a formula that is working, a new combination of traditional and contemporary. We’re traditional, in the best sense of the word, becoming a strong local journalistic and business presence, serving local-first, high-quality, trustworthy, non-partisan news, information and connect-the-dots analysis. We’re contemporary in the best sense. Our model is digital-born, embracing the phone as a primary means of delivery, and just beginning to exploit all the things that a local digital news-plus platform can uniquely do for and with our communities.

Founded by news industry veteran analyst Ken Doctor, we support one of the largest newsrooms per capita in the nation, 11 journalists in a county of 276,000.

As we enter our second wave of growth in Santa Cruz County and begin planning expansion beyond, we’re fully embracing our role as a community leader. Our new Community Voices section, to be launched mid-year, both acts on the long-standing role of good local newspapers and makes great use of a multi-media local digital platform in expanding what both community voices and opinion can do to address the diverse issues of the 2020s. We believe democracy starts at home. Our Community Voices work will break new ground, in what we cover, how we do that and how widely we cast a net for voices, many seldom heard in the traditional press.

We know that an updating of traditional Op-Ed and Opinion functions will be a key part of the Lookout model going forward, in Santa Cruz County and beyond.

The Community Voices Editor brings a passion for local news and community journalism, and Lookout’s revival of it, and understands that democracy starts locally and can be bettered by a steady flow of fresh thinking and solutions-oriented voices, solicited from leading community members. The role requires deep and wide daily engagement with community leaders, throughout Santa Cruz County, with a particular eye to inclusion of voices, by gender, ethnicity and age, often not heard in local media. Those voices will include student voices, building on the rollout of Lookout’s Student’s Engagement program countywide, The Community Voices Editor will both actively solicit and edit Voices pieces, and shorter contemporary “letters to the editor.”

In addition, the editor will develop Lookout’s own Opinion function strategy and plan.

Important to this position, as with all Lookout roles, an understanding and embrace of the digital tools of the day in creation (here, audio and video, over time, as well as text) and in distribution are fundamental.

Editorial excellence, diversity, and imagination are the hallmarks of Lookout, and serve as the foundation for this position.

About Lookout Local

Lookout Local is a new network of intensely local, community-centric, digital-only, mobile-first news sites, built for the way citizens and consumers read, act and interact, in the 2020s. Dedicated equally to local news revival and community betterment, Lookout Santa Cruz’s model builds on the national success of the top digital news brands. We apply these lessons, at appropriate scale, to local communities and markets. Our innovative community-centric reader and branded content local advertising model, based on those lessons, has worked beyond expectation. Lookout Local’s for-profit, public benefit corporation is built to last, providing a foundation for multi-community network growth.

What You’ll Be DoingThe Community Voices Editor:

  • Becomes a community leader, matching up Lookout’s solutions-oriented journalism with incisive community Voices, in numerous evolving forms.
  • Reaches out to community leaders throughout Santa Cruz County, including those traditionally underrepresented, both in one-to-one sessions and convening larger groups for engagement. Leads and co-leads weekly “Lookout Listens!” sessions, small group discussions with community groups and others about topics relevant to Lookout readers.
  • Solicits and edits community Voices. Leads creation of a weekly Community Voices newsletter.
  • Creates first strategic plan for Lookout Community Voices, with a focus on imaginative community betterment solutions, and a set of policies to match, evolving into a significant part of Lookout’s playbook.
  • Embraces responsibility to incorporate diversity into the fabric and coverage priorities of Lookout.
  • Writes on community issues, scope tbd.
  • Works collaboratively with the First Amendment Coalition, implementing and advocating Access Democracy open meeting/open records/accountability journalism work.
  • Works actively with the whole Lookout team on incorporating audience-enhancing, audience-interacting digital tools of the day and applies learnings on audience analytics.
  • Communicates Lookout’s story and mission internally, and externally to evolving partners, both local and national.
  • Optimizes the value of content partners’ (national and local) Voices work.

Your Experience & Skills

  • Rock-solid journalism judgment, intuition and taste, with significant editing experience demonstrating ability to work well both with people and ideas.
  • A strong viewpoint on how local media can and should support community betterment.
  • Superior organizational and collaborative abilities, with excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Demonstrated history of fairness.
  • A strong sense of social media’s multiplying power and how it can best be used for a local news and commerce model.
  • Familiarity with and knowledge of local, regional and state issues a plus.
  • Bilingual skills a plus

Benefits and Application

Community Voices/Opinion Editor is a full-time Lookout Local employee. We offer competitive employee benefits with Lookout’s for-profit, public benefit company.

Lookout Local is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or veteran status.

Job Type: Full-time

Salary: Commensurate with experience.

Please apply, with cover letter, resume to jobs@lookoutlocal.com

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Executive Editor

Reports To: CEO

Location: Santa Cruz, CA

Lookout Local seeks an experienced, passionate and creative digital content leader to head our editorial, content and audience engagement strategy and operations.

Just over six months into our launch, Lookout Santa Cruz surpassed audience, membership and advertising goals. We’ve built a lively, mobile-first model that is quickly winning wide civic and business-community adoption as a primary news source. We carve out our own thoroughly contemporary model, while successfully challenging hedge-fund-depleted daily journalism.

As we enter our second wave of growth in Santa Cruz County, and begin planning expansion beyond, we’re looking for a top content leader with fire in their belly to complete our first build-out and be a full partner in planning our expansion.

Founded by veteran news industry analyst Ken Doctor, Lookout has found a formula that is working: Tried and true, in the best sense of the word, in serving high-quality, trustworthy, non-partisan, increasingly connect-the-dots reporting to communities hungry for it. This model is digital-native, embracing the phone, newsletters and text messaging as primary means of delivery, as we just begin to exploit all the things that a local digital news-plus platform can uniquely do.

The Executive Editor brings a passion for local news and community journalism, and its revival, and a track record leading coverage that builds audiences and drives engagement across all digital devices and products. The ideal candidate will possess superior editorial judgment, excellent communication and team-leading skills, an understanding of fundamental editorial business practices of digital news, and an entrepreneurial mindset.

The Executive Editor will work with a spirited team that has blown life into the model. We support one of the largest newsrooms per capita in the nation, 11 journalists in a county of 276,000. In this role, the Executive Editor, in collaboration with the wider team, continues to shape what Lookout offers to, and with, its community, and writes Lookout’s ever-building editorial playbook. As we prove out the model, our next step: scaling that model, along with our unique community betterment-centric business model, across multiple markets.

As Lookout’s initial editorial leader, the position demands someone with equal parts news leadership abilities and ideals, and creative innovation, who believes that community-centric, local digitally delivered news can do far more for readers, community members and their cities than print ever did.

Editorial excellence, diversity, and imagination are the hallmarks of Lookout, and that’s where the Executive Editor will focus their talents.

ABOUT LOOKOUT LOCAL

Lookout Local is a new network of intensely local, community-centric, digital-only, mobile-first news sites, built for the way citizens and consumers read, act, and interact, in the 2020s. Dedicated to both local news revival and community betterment, Lookout Santa Cruz’s model builds on the national success of the top digital news brands. We apply those lessons, at appropriate scale, to local communities and markets. Our innovative community-centric reader and branded content local advertising model, based on those lessons, has worked beyond expectation. Lookout Local’s for-profit, public benefit corporation is built to last, providing a foundation for multi-community network growth.

Focus in Three Key Areas

Strategy and Leadership

The Executive Editor:

  • Shapes Lookout’s expanding content strategy, editorial calendar and day-to-day coverage — both news and informational content — to meet the breadth and depth of local and community coverage.
  • Develops next-stage systems to execute our plans.
  • Leads the enhancement of Lookout’s current editorial products, and planning for new ones.
  • Ensures the maintaining of journalistic standards, with a keen eye for reader-satisfying quality, voice and engagement.
  • Leads and collaborates with newsroom staff to improve coverage, individual and joint work.
  • Embraces responsibility to incorporate diversity into the fabric and coverage priorities of Lookout.
  • Demonstrates a commitment to engagement with audiences and communities, legacy and underserved, online and IRL, bringing them into wider conversations on community problem-solving.
  • Manages and coordinates industry and professional relationships with state and national content partners, localizing their content to optimize value for readers and for partners. Works collaboratively with the First Amendment Coalition, implementing Access Democracy open meeting/open records/accountability journalism work.
  • Evaluates content partnerships and third party tools to be implemented across Lookout newsrooms, relishing the opportunity to build local storytelling on a powerful digital platform through text, audio, video and emerging formats.
  • Works with product and technology partners to identify and define production and feature enhancements that enhance storytelling techniques and improve reader engagement.
  • Communicates Lookout’s story and mission internally, and externally to evolving partners, both local and national.

Editorial Operations

  • Demonstrates rock-solid journalism judgment, intuition and taste, with editing experience ranging from accountability journalism to reader-interacting features work.
  • Ensures smooth functioning of the news operation, improving editorial processes that both drive continuous improvement and provide a sustainable work/life balance.
  • Drives content towards reader, and member, check-in behavior. Adept at both maintaining our lead role as a primary, go-to-news provider and bringing to readers the how, why and color of local news.
  • Expands our must-read editorial newsletter and text messaging strategies.
  • Keeps Lookout content fresh and dynamic, adjusting coverage to the topics we learn readers most want.
  • Makes highly reader-useful guides, in diverse topical areas, a cornerstone of Lookout, especially given society’s reopening.
  • Is hands-on in the CMS and familiar with the tools and workflow that drive the editorial production and presentation. Acts as final editor on articles.
  • Optimizes the value of content partners (national and local) work.

Data-Informed Reader-First Audience Strategy

  • Drives data-driven site programming decisions and best practices for content, including page placement, style, and packaging. Continuously tests and refines Lookout’s programming approach to optimize reader engagement, drive repeat visits and membership-driven revenue.
  • Works closely with newsroom leadership to develop and implement audience development strategies that are owned across the full organization.
  • Drives newsroom audience development efforts across both owned channels — including website, social media, email and SEO best practices — and earned partner/media channels, incorporating optimization strategies into newsroom routines, sharing best practice techniques.
  • Drives a robust social media program that engages correspondents and encourages readers to share Lookout content to their networks.

Your Experience & Skills

  • Proven group leadership experience, with a commitment to the values of building and growing a diverse staff.
  • Superior organizational and collaborative abilities, with excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Rock-solid journalism judgment, intuition and taste, with editing experience ranging from accountability to features work.
  • Curiosity.
  • Deep experience in working within a CMS editing and packaging stories.
  • Demonstrated creativity and vision in shaping and producing a wide range of story formats and presentation styles across digital platforms, and crafting copy from “smart brevity” to longer-form 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 social media’s multiplying power and how it can best be used for a local news and commerce model.
  • Project management and scheduling, workflow and production calendar management.
  • Bilingual skills a plus

Benefits and Application

Executive Editor is a full-time Lookout Local employee. We offer competitive employee benefits. Salary + bonus + stock options in Lookout’s for-profit, public benefit company.

Lookout Local is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or veteran status.

Job Type: Full-time

Salary: Six figures, with wide range, depending on experience.

Please apply, with cover letter, resume to jobs@lookoutlocal.com