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Senior Editor, D.C.

Job Summary

ProPublica is seeking a senior editor to expand its Washington Bureau and manage a talented team of five to six D.C.-based investigative reporters assigned to cover politics and the federal government. We’re looking for a news leader with a track record of helping reporters navigate some of the most competitive beats in the country and produce stories that explain how Washington works and to whose benefit. Their work may or may not ultimately be datelined in Washington, but will be rooted in the people, policies and power found there. Some of our previous coverage includes stories about lapses by consumer protection agencies that put countless lives at risk, the subversion of the administrative state, stock dumping by members of Congress, and beneficial relationships among members of the Supreme Court and billionaires.

The ideal candidate for this job has been immersed in covering Washington long enough to know where to look for important stories that haven’t been told and how to develop the sources needed to report them. They’ll be comfortable departing from the pack and unafraid to compete against it. They’ll know how to help reporters manage public records requests, sensitive interviews and the mountains of material that come from monthslong investigations. They’ll have experience with different kinds of storytelling and a knack for honing and elevating copy. They will understand and embrace ProPublica’s accountability mission, and they will be dedicated to helping our reporters grow and develop.

We’re looking for an experienced editor with sound news judgment who is equally comfortable and adept at weighing in on what’s working, or not, in a long-form narrative as in a complicated, multipart investigation.

This position involves juggling a variety of high-level projects, weighing in on story selection and direction, guiding the reporting and writing process and handling big-picture editing and line editing, as well as working with staffers from other ProPublica teams, such as data, research, video and audience.

The Washington editor will report to a managing editor.

What you would be doing:

  • Supervising a team of D.C.-based reporters working on revelatory, important stories and projects.
  • Providing support and guidance to ensure that stories and projects are conceived of and told as ambitiously and creatively as possible.
  • Working with reporters to select stories with the potential for impact and coaching them to overcome reporting hurdles.
  • Editing stories, including identifying and fixing structural and logical issues and elevating writing when necessary.
  • Helping reporters collaborate with researchers, data visualization reporters, engagement reporters, audience and visual staffers and story producers.
  • Serving as a champion for accountability journalism.

We’re looking for someone who has:

  • At least five years’ experience in accountability reporting and has managed or led complex investigations as a reporter or editor.
  • Experience reporting or editing coverage of the federal government or Washington, D.C. You don’t need to be an insider, but you need to know enough to be able to get past the story of the day to the systemic investigation at the root of the problem.
  • Experience with — and an appetite for — collaborating, both across the newsroom and with external partners. Strong communication skills are key!
  • Exceptional organizational skills and the ability to juggle many responsibilities, meet deadlines and handle pressure while remaining calm.
  • The editing range to handle and think creatively about different types of investigative storytelling, including rolling investigations, traditional investigative projects, narratives and multimedia formats.
  • The bedside manner to help reporters land what is often the most challenging work of their career.

The expected salary range for this position is $185,000-$210,000.

This is a good-faith estimate of what we expect to pay for this position. The final salary figure 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 salary limits or caps.

The role is full time, includes benefits and is based in our Washington office. Read more about ProPublica’s benefits.

Details

Organization: ProPublica
Location: Washington D.C., US
Date Posted: March 14, 2024
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How to Apply

Apply online.

What you should send us:

The most important part by far is your past work. We’d like to see examples of projects that show how you work. Specifically:

  1. Send us links to the investigative stories you’ve directly edited that you are most proud of. These should be stories where you worked directly with a reporter to shape and guide the focus of an investigation. Or, if you have not edited any investigations, send us links to the investigative stories you’ve led as a reporter and describe the leadership role you played. Don’t be shy — tell us what worked (numbers and evidence of impact welcome) and how you’d do it differently next time. Editing is about far more than moving around words. Show us how you think.
  2. Your resume.

Finalists for this position will be given an editing test.

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 them to talent@propublica.org or talent acquisition manager, Sarah Feiser at sarah.feiser@propublica.org. No phone calls, please.

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