The Institute for Nonprofit News is seeking an experienced journalist to help nonprofit newsrooms organize, run and produce news collaborations that increase the public impact of their journalism, and build and strengthen reporting networks that expand the public’s access to high-quality topical and regional coverage.
The collaborations leader serves as a catalyst and coordinator, organizing nonprofit newsrooms that share public interest values and editorial standards and can produce stronger reporting by joining forces and combining their resources.
The leader will:
- Develop a deep understanding of common news coverage and needs among the INN network, which now has more than 2,200 journalists from more than 250 nonprofit news organizations in North America.
- Working as an organizer and facilitator, help member newsrooms with common coverage areas frame, fund, organize and execute project-based editorial collaborations, ongoing partnerships and collaborative networks, such as statehouse coverage networks, regional topic reporting partnerships and local joint reporting projects.
- Provide tools and coaching to help collaboratives set goals and measure the impact of their work.
- Help with project fundraising, and identifying and negotiating with outside partners to enhance reporting and extend distribution of coverage.
We’re seeking an editor who can identify large trends emerging from local stories, recognize the high-impact potential in stories that merit further development, and convey the power of collaboration to journalists interested in seeing their work generate the greatest impact.
The collaborations leader also is adept at negotiating projects, roles and responsibilities, and engaging journalists in collaborative work.
Nonprofit newsrooms participate heavily in the growing number of high-profile journalism collaborations across the country. At INN, we find the strongest collaborations are driven by the organic needs of our members and a consensus around seeking broader impact from a common coverage area. This bottom-up approach leads to projects that meet the needs of each participating member’s community, while adding to the collective depth and scope of the combined reporting, and often generating greater collective impact that can lead to positive change.
INN and its members make up a fast-growing network of more than 250 independent, nonprofit news media. Together, these newsrooms are expanding public service journalism across North America and finding new models for news. They hold the powerful accountable through some of the strongest investigative reporting in the nation as well as producing community and state reporting. And they are providing millions of people with unbiased, informed coverage of issues that shape laws and lives, including education, equity, climate change, social justice, health and science, from local to global issues.
Role and responsibilities
The collaborations leader is part of INN’s membership team, reporting to INN’s member network director. The leader also works with INN’s Midwest collaborations leader to share context, connections and best practices around collaboration.
Key responsibilities and goals include:
- Identify areas of common editorial interest among diverse groups of nonprofit newsrooms.
- Develop trusted relationships with nonprofit news editors and the ability to help them join forces through journalism projects, both short-term and ongoing collaborations and partnerships.
- Strengthen and expand the reach of coverage by individual outlets around common issues that span communities, such public health, education, health care and the environment.
- Expand the impact of reporting so that resources, knowledge and potential solutions are shared among noncompeting reporters covering the same subject, thereby strengthening the journalism produced by each newsroom.
- Identify and pursue funding to support journalism collaborations.
- Analyze impact of collaborations and create reports that catalogue the accomplishments of collaborative projects and share best practices with members, funders and the general public.
- Foster ongoing state and regional reporting networks and collaborative frameworks strengthening participating nonprofit newsrooms
The ideal candidate for this position is an experienced editor who has worked with both local and national/topic publications and who has managed collaborations across multiple newsrooms or news outlets. You’re someone who can lead grassroots efforts, tease common benefit out of a range of participant needs and help guide participants toward identifying common threads and joint projects that increase the impact of separate newsrooms. Specific responsibilities will include:
- Developing a comprehensive understanding of INN member editorial priorities and plans.
- Developing plans for editorial collaborations, to include developing project budgets, identifying participants, pursuing funding and supporting project reporting.
- Evaluate project reach and impact and prepare reports discussing project strengths and weaknesses.
- Ensure collaborative projects are meeting all shared goals and progressing along agreed timelines.
- In collaboration with the INN development department and membership team, develop ideas that could receive external funding and then develop proposals that would win support.
- Provide editorial advice and support to collaborative projects, while recognizing and respecting the editorial independence of member newsrooms.
- Extensive experience as an editor working with newsrooms of various sizes and specializations to deliver high-impact journalism.
- Good editorial instincts and understanding of how to develop state, regional, national and global story angles.
- Interest and ability to work at a high level on editorial collaborations. This isn’t a job for an editor who expects to be in the weeds on every story.
- Commitment to and experience with creating equitable and inclusive news teams and generating journalism that is equitable and reflects and engaged the communities it serves.
- Strong interpersonal and written communications skills, to rally and organize groups of colleagues.
- Ability to organize your own work and help others do the same, and a service orientation to helping others achieve their goals.
- Experience working with projects receiving restricted funding and managing individual projects to specific budgets.
- A bachelor’s degree in a relevant field (journalism, communications, public affairs) and at least five years’ news experience, including experience managing direct reports.
- INN recognizes that a great candidate may not meet all of these requirements. Please use your cover letter to tell us how your own strengths and experiences would make you successful in this role.
What INN offers:
This position carries a competitive salary and benefits. It offers the potential to shape the future of journalism and inclusive career paths for leaders in this emerging media field.
We value diversity, work in the open and do everything we can to give back to the journalism community. INN is an equal opportunity employer and we seek to increase diversity in our own operation and in the news media. We encourage individuals from communities traditionally underrepresented in this field to apply.
The position can be remote, or if offices reopen, based in our Los Angeles office or co-located with other INN staff or key members. INN is a distributed team and previous experience working with a remote team would be helpful, but we’ll work with you to create a successful remote work experience.
Candidates, please send a cover letter, resume and links to projects you have edited to [email protected] with the subject line INN Collaborations Leader. In your cover letter or a separate document, please discuss your role in the projects you included and what impact your project achieved.