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Opinion Editor

Opinion Editor
Reports to: Executive Editor, CEO
Supervises: Columnists

Lookout Santa Cruz is looking for a strong writer, vigorous thinker, and a journalist with nerves-of-steel to be our first Opinion Editor. Working with new Executive Editor Dan Evans and Lookout founder Ken Doctor, this new position will both help shape not only Lookout’s coverage, but to become a thought leader in the larger region.

Our Opinion Editor will take on the unprecedented opportunity to reinvent digital-only opinion and community commentary, as Lookout builds its local news model revival.

We seek to bring smart, reasoned voices into community debate, including underrepresented voices too often unheard in traditional media. We will be a home both for occasional voices, regular columnists and updated “letters to the editor.”

As we expand our reach and coverage, we need an editor enthused to tap into the local writing talent and develop a stable of fair-minded, well-sourced writers, to provide context and analysis of the day-to-day news coverage. We are also looking for someone who can forcefully, but fairly, state the opinion of Lookout itself by way of unsigned editorials.

If that sounds like you, send a resume and cover letter to jobs@lookoutlocal.com that addresses the following:

  • How would you develop the local writing talent for Lookout, both as regular columnists as well as letters-to-the-editor contributors?
  • Your alignment with Lookout’s mission.
  • Your experience writing opinion pieces, either as a columnist or a writer of unsigned editorials?
  • Your larger philosophy for opinion pieces within Lookout.

You should have at least three years of journalism experience, including a significant body of opinion-based work. Knowledge of Santa Cruz County and proficiency in Spanish is preferred but not required.

The Opinion Editor is a full-time Lookout Local employee. We offer a highly competitive salary and employee benefits.

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.

What you’ll be doing

Runs Editorial Board meeting, seeking out and proposing topics for unsigned editorials. Writes and produces same with an eye toward visual elements – photo, video, and/or interactives – as needed and appropriate. Writes occasional signed column providing transparency about Lookout’s editorial and opinion processes.

Work to develop a group of freelance, but regular writers on large topical areas, such as politics, education, or equity. Oversees work of these columnists, pushing for researched and reported work, pushing back against rants or poorly sourced hot takes.

Curates letters-to-the-editor, working to get a variety of pointed, but fair, viewpoints on important community issues.

Organizes in-person and virtual community events with an aim toward providing residents with a fuller picture of topics of local and regional concern.

Produces Lookout PM, adding in opinion pieces to larger newsletter package. Helps other editors by back reading content and correcting minor typographical and visual issues as needed. If more significant issues or errors are spotted, alerts Managing and Executive editors, and attempts to resolve directly with correspondents. If necessary, directs reporter to write a correction or writes it directly.

Edits, produces and publishes opinion pieces written by both full-time and freelancers. Recruits and maintains relationships with freelance columnists. Works with fellow editors on newsletter production and weekend coverage.

Working with Executive Editor and Managing Editor, provides administrative support for editorial budget – e.g., travel, meals/entertainment, freelance budget, etc.

Production/publication of newsletters as needed and directed.

Benefits and Application

The Opinion Editor is a full-time Lookout Local employee. We offer competitive employee benefits.
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.

As we interact with the public on a regular basis, a vaccination against COVID-19 is required for employment absent documented disability or religious reasons.

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

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