Job Opportunity: Heartland Editor

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Asian American Journalists Association/National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association
Heartland Project

Job Title: Editor
Department: Heartland Project
Reports To: Heartland Project Advisory Council and Affiliate Editors/Managers
Status: Nonexempt

PROJECT
The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) was awarded a grant from the Ford Foundation to launch “Diverse and Inclusive: News of the Heartland,” a project to address the lack of news coverage of racial and ethnic minorities and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities in Nebraska. As part of the project, AAJA and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) will form collaborations with Nebraska news outlets and journalism programs for professional and student journalists to produce original local, regional and national content on key issues faced by these communities. In addition, community members will receive training and tools to learn how to draft opinion pieces. A sourcebook for Nebraska journalists will be developed to help guide production of lasting and inclusive coverage. AAJA will work in partnership with NLGJA in implementing the project.

SUMMARY
The Heartland Editor will conceive, solicit and edit content for the Heartland project. He or she will hold a unique leadership position in a team environment within a virtual newsroom and will report to the project advisory council. Successful applicants will be comfortable taking initiative and working to produce unique untold stories from unreported communities within the assigned region. The Heartland project has a projected launch date in January. There is a possibility for extension.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Manages and provide guidance to team members producing an average of eight news and feature stories as assigned per month.
  • Provides editorial direction to the Heartland project writers and copy edits and proofreads stories; monitors news sources and follows pieces through to publication across all platforms.
  • Liaises effectively with local partners and other community organizations involved or interested in the Heartland project.
  • Develops sources and initiates phone calls and in-person interviews to find news and assess the importance of stories.
  • Generates assignments and evaluates news leads and news tips to develop story ideas.
  • Develops and recommends story ideas for future projects.
  • Coordinates photographers and reporters to ensure the illustration of quality stories and the production of content suitable for the Web, mobile platforms, radio and broadcast stations.
  • Attends staff meetings and other training sessions as required by the Heartland project.
  • Other duties may be assigned.

SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITIES
The Editor will manage the project reporters and establish performance goals and guidelines with the assistance of the Heartland Project Advisory Council members. He or she will evaluate the content and performance of the reporting team, as well as coach and develop the writers to work and grow in a multi-platform environment. The editor has overall responsibility for newsgathering, production, editorial quality and presentation.

QUALIFICATIONS
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE and/or SKILLS
Bachelor’s degree (B.A.) from a four-year college or university; five to seven years related and/or training preferred; or equivalent combination of education and experience. Excellent writing, editing and proofreading skills; good communication skills dealing with the public. A proven ability to get viral traffic and successfully pitch stories and ideas to major news outlets. Demonstrated experience in working with and reporting on diverse communities, as well as experience commissioning reporters; sound editorial judgment of minority issues a plus. Preferred experience working with local community partners and organizations in the effective use of resources and strategies for news coverage for underrepresented communities.

LANGUAGE SKILLS
Ability to read and interpret documents. Ability to interview sources, either one-on-one or during a press conference. Ability to write reports and correspondence. Ability to speak effectively before groups of readers or community organizations. 

MATHEMATICAL SKILLS
Ability to do basic math such as figuring percentages, adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. 

REASONING ABILITY
Ability to apply common sense understanding to carry out instructions furnished in written, oral or diagram form. Ability to deal with problems involving several concrete variables in standardized situations.

CERTIFICATES, LICENCES, REGISTRATIONS
A valid Driver’s License is required for this position. 

PHYSICAL DEMANDS
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit. The employee frequently is required to use hands to grasp, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms; and talk or hear. The employee is occasionally required to stand and walk. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 10 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus.

WORK ENVIRONMENT
The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally exposed to extreme cold and extreme heat, moisture and other conditions regularly encountered outdoors. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

SCOPE
There are no direct financial responsibilities for this position.

SALARY AND BENEFITS
This is a consultant position located in Nebraska. Pay is commensurate with experience.

ABOUT AAJA
As a nonprofit organization of more than 1,600 members worldwide, with chapters in the United States and Asia, AAJA strives to provide a means of association and support among Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) journalists; provide training, information, scholarship assistance to AAPI students who aspire to professional journalism careers; provide to the AAPI community an awareness of news media and an understanding of how to gain fair access; and, research and point out when news media organizations stray from accuracy and fairness in the coverage of AAPIs.

ABOUT NLGJA
The National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association is an organization of journalists, media professionals, educators and students who work within the news industry to foster fair and accurate coverage of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues. NLGJA opposes all workplace bias and provides professional development for its members.

How to Apply
Please send resume with cover letter including salary history/expectations to KathyC@aaja.org and include “Heartland Editor” in the subject line. Writing samples may be requested. Although we value initiative, we are unable to field calls about this position. AAJA is an equal opportunity employer and considers all applications without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender, national origin, age, disability, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected status.