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Visual Journalist

Visual Journalist
Location: Santa Cruz, Calif.

Lookout is looking for a Visual Journalist who is passionate about digital journalism, and using their skills and experience to help take Lookout’s presentation beyond words and static images.

With new Executive Editor Dan Evans shaping Lookout’s coverage into our second year, we seek journalists who are enthused about being part of a new model of community-centric, mobile-first, topically knowledgeable, intensely local journalism in Santa Cruz County. Lookout’s journalists are the prominent public face of Lookout in all the diverse communities we serve.

Lookout firmly believes that only certain stories require the traditional narrative “story” treatment — especially in the digital era. And those are the important ones with critical human voices and touch points, and the imaginative imagery to match. The vast majority of stories are more consumable — particularly on mobile (where Lookout derives 70% of its traffic) — in other forms. Such as:

  • Explainers/101s: Here’s what you need to know about X and why
  • Q&As: This person’s voice is important enough that it stands on its own
  • FAQs: Great for explaining how things affect people or in situations where people are confused and want answers
  • By the numbers: Building a narrative surrounding the major numbers that stand out in a story.
  • Fact Check: People are buzzing about something; we ferret out some truth for them.

The visual journalist will help illustrate, design and explain stories both straightforward and complex, using a varied approach and utilizing the full power of the digital medium. Strong ability to work with, assign and edit photography is needed, but we want to go beyond this — using audio, video, maps, data, animations and interactives to bring our work to life.

We seek a candidate who brings a designer’s eye to putting together story packages and that means pulling together the right photos, any possible datasets via Infogram, and such, and - when appropriate - visualizations, video, audio and graphics that make those story packages unique and impactful.

The successful candidate will be both organized and adaptable, working with our correspondents and editors to create visuals that make our website, newsletters and social channels shine. We are also looking for someone who doesn’t wait for assignments, but creates work and comes up with ideas — from data visualizations to photo essay concepts to potential animations — on their own initiative.

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

  • Your news visuals philosophy.
  • Your experience in photography, photo editing, digital design and production of multimedia journalism.
  • Your knowledge of the Santa Cruz area or, if you’re not local, how you would educate yourself.

Experience & skills:

  • Rock-solid journalism judgment, intuition and taste.
  • A minimum of two years of professional (post-collegiate) experience
  • Experience and comfort with the pace of digital-first journalism, and the digital technologies that power it.
  • Ability to engage diverse local communities in Lookout’s work.
  • Demonstrated adaptability, especially with new topical coverage areas and communities.
  • Comfort learning new technology and experience working in content management systems, producing, editing and dressing stories with related media (photos, videos, audio, etc).
  • Comfort with the format of Lookout’s correspondent-focused model, and the personality it brings to the work.
  • Desire to work in an entrepreneurial, fast-growth startup environment, embracing the agility and flexibility required to thrive within a new business.
  • Bilingual abilities are a plus.
  • Data reporting skills are a plus.
  • Audio/video experience is a plus.

Benefits and ApplicationThe Visual Journalist is a full-time Lookout Local employee, and the position is located in downtown Santa Cruz. 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.