ProPublica is seeking an experienced editor to lead its large and accomplished investigative unit in the Midwest.
In our Chicago-based Midwest hub, you’ll be one of two editors leading 10 reporters and one reporting fellow as the group investigates stories in Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri and possibly other states. The team’s work has changed laws, prompted reforms to a citywide gang database, restored driver’s licenses to tens of thousands of people, revealed children in state care languishing in psychiatric hospitals longer than medically necessary, and led to freedom for a teen who was jailed for not doing her coursework during the pandemic.
The editor will directly supervise a handful of reporters, as well as set the overall tone for our coverage of the region, playing a role in reporter assignments, staff hiring, audience acquisition, regional events, collaborations and our broader local strategy. You will also work closely with our specialty teams, several of whose members work out of the Midwest office.
We’re looking for:
Previous experience leading a team, office, bureau or newsroom, and the skills to strengthen team camaraderie, foster a culture of inclusion and execute a vision.
Knowledge of the Midwest region, though that’s a plus, not a requirement. We’re interested in the vision you have for the newsroom and for the impactful work we can continue to do here.
A track record that shows a commitment to diversity in all ways, from ensuring that story topics and sources reflect the communities we cover to empowering a team of journalists who bring with them a variety of identities, journalism backgrounds and lived experiences.
A perceptive leader who leads by example and is deft at communicating clearly, honestly and compassionately. You should feel as comfortable easing staff fears and bolstering their confidence when they hit roadblocks or struggles as you do motivating them to stretch out of their comfort zones and championing their successes.
An eagerness to advise on reporting strategy, as well as an ability to elegantly edit drafts that precisely nail investigative findings while retaining the reporter’s voice and bolstering narrative elements.
Someone who aches to tell stories that are both important and powerful.
A contagious excitement about all the ways we can do journalism nowadays, including digging deep into data, working with readers, and marrying narrative and investigative forms.
A belief in the power of teamwork. We’re a collaborative organization that values partnership both internally and externally. We want the same for this team.
What you should send us:
Samples of your work. The most important part of the application by far is examples of the work you have edited. Send us your best stuff. Let us know how your editing shaped and improved the stories. Don’t be shy — tell us what worked (numbers and evidence of impact are welcome!) and how you’d do it differently next time. Editing is about far more than moving words around. Show us how you think.
Your thoughts on local or regional projects ProPublica should tackle in the Midwest. What kind of stories grab your attention? How should they be told? Be expansive: Are these more effective as narratives, hard news stories, immersive interactives, or something else? Please share at least one specific story idea as well.
We know there are great candidates who may not fit into what we’ve described above or who have important skills we haven’t thought of. While we place a premium on editing and managing experience, we are open to considering experienced journalists who have successfully led investigative projects that involved different teams of people. If that’s you, don’t hesitate to apply and tell us about yourself.
We are dedicated to improving our newsroom, in part by better reflecting the people we cover. (Here is a breakdown of our staff.) We are committed to diversity and to building an inclusive environment for people of all backgrounds and ages. And we are taking steps to meet that commitment. We especially encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply, including women, people of color, LGBTQ people and people with disabilities.
If all of this sounds exciting to you, you can apply using this form. We will begin reviewing applications on Sept. 20, but we will continue to consider candidates as long as the posting remains live on our site. We will provide at least a week’s notice on our website before closing applications.
This job is full-time and includes benefits. The position will be based in our Chicago office. We are not open to remote applicants, though we can be flexible on the timing of when you start working in the office while the pandemic continues.
Applicants must be eligible to work in the U.S.