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Audience Editor, Search

Job Summary

ProPublica is an independent, nonprofit newsroom that uses the moral force of investigative journalism to spur reform through the sustained spotlighting of wrongdoing. We dig deep into important issues, shining a light on abuses of power and betrayals of public trust — and we stick with those issues as long as it takes to hold power to account.

We’re looking for a search editor to join our award-winning audience team. This role will ensure our investigative journalism reaches audiences searching for answers on Google, Bing and other search engines. This involves applying SEO best practices to our work, spotting opportunities for us to improve and tracking our performance over time. You’ll help incorporate effective search practices into ProPublica’s rigorous editorial standards while making our work findable and accessible to potential readers.

Beyond search, you’ll be an essential contributor to broader audience initiatives, working collaboratively with senior editors and reporters to frame and optimize our stories for success across all platforms.

Responsibilities include:

  • Working alongside ProPublica’s senior editors and reporters to package stories for our audience, writing and editing concise and compelling headlines and additional copy for our site, social platforms and search engines.
  • Establishing SEO best practices and equipping others with the documentation, training and feedback to scale these efforts across the newsroom.
  • Using SEO tools to conduct keyword and trend research and monitor performance.
  • Recommending search-friendly headlines for stories, suggesting search-optimized evergreen content that can complement our main stories and identifying creative ways to reach specific audiences.
  • Working closely with our product team to monitor and make technical recommendations.
  • Providing regular reports to the newsroom and management about search performance and our competitive position on stories.
  • Optimizing evergreen content from ProPublica’s archive and databases to reach new audiences.
  • Serving as the point person for your assigned stories, informing the audience team of findings, potential promotional opportunities, and on-site and off-platform performance metrics.
  • Contributing to ProPublica’s goal of expanding, diversifying and increasing the loyalty of our audience.

What we’re looking for:

  • At least four years of relevant work experience — preferably in a newsroom or media organization, but we are open to people with other types of experience and an interest in investigative journalism. Strong headline and general writing skills and basic understanding of journalistic principles are a must.
  • Demonstrated expertise and experience with SEO editorial and technical strategy.
  • Familiarity using SEO tools, including Google Search Console, Google Trends, Botify, SEMRush, MozPro, Ahrefs, Brightedge or similar tools.
  • Ability to make data-driven decisions about search keywords, topics and formats.
  • Ability to boil down complex narratives and ideas with an eye toward highlighting a story’s most accessible components.
  • A desire to bring industry-standard SEO best practices to long-form investigations and their findings.
  • Good working knowledge of analytics tools such as Google Analytics, and Chartbeat.
  • Patience, creativity and an eagerness to collaborate as we work together improve our process.
  • Interest in advocating for search audiences, incorporating them into our ambitious and inclusive new audience strategies.
  • A collaborative mindset, stellar communication skills and the ability to work on several stories at once. You’ll need to stay organized and focused, and meet deadlines.
  • Belief that journalism and its distribution can be both high quality and pragmatic in their approach to reaching people. We hope you’d be excited to help create what this looks like.

This position is full time with benefits. ProPublica is based in New York City, but remote applicants anywhere in the U.S. are welcome. For those who prefer working in person, we have additional offices in Washington, D.C.; Atlanta; Chicago; Phoenix; and Berkeley, California. Applicants must be eligible to work in the U.S.

The expected salary for this position is $90,000-$105,000.

This is a good-faith estimate of what we expect to pay. The final wage will take into account a person’s experience, accomplishment and location. ProPublica is committed to paying its staff equitably, and these ranges should not be considered career limits or caps.

We will begin reviewing applications as we receive them, but we will continue to consider candidates as long as the posting remains live on our site.

Questions? Send an email to

No phone calls, please.


Organization: ProPublica
Location: New York NY US
Date Posted: April 26, 2024
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How to Apply

109 Lee Hills Hall, Missouri School of Journalism   |   221 S. Eighth St., Columbia, MO 65201   |   573-882-2042   |   |   Privacy Policy
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