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Mountain State Spotlight

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170 Summers St Suite 210
CHARLESTON West Virginia United States 25301


Company Profile

Managing Editor/Deputy Editor

Job ID: 70935
Job Views: 1874
Location: CHARLESTON, West Virginia, United States
Postal Code:
Job Category: Online | New Media
Employment Type: Full time
Posted: 05.21.2024

Job Description

‚ÄčMountain State Spotlight seeks an experienced editor and newsroom leader to help guide our editorial team, produce powerful journalism and revolutionize local news for West Virginians.

Mountain State Spotlight is delivering accountability reporting, explanatory journalism and stories that lift up the voices of average West Virginians, while building a news organization that is both driven and funded by readers.

In this role, you would help lead the design and execution of newsroom operations to support a hard-hitting nonprofit journalism startup. You would work with two other editors — and with the state’s largest team of news reporters — to publish stories, newsletters and other news products covering the crucial issues facing West Virginia communities.

Your work will include developing editorial strategies, planning and assigning stories, coordinating work between reporters, helping to manage our editorial calendar and leading our reporting staff.

We’re open to making this position either a Managing Editor or a Deputy Editor role, depending on the skills and experience of the successful applicant. 

The organization

Mountain State Spotlight was founded in 2020 to fill the increasing civic information gaps created when West Virginia’s legacy media cut staff and products as the local news business model eroded.

Since our launch, we’ve published hundreds of stories of importance to West Virginians about the issues and challenges facing our communities. Our readership continues to grow, increasing by 35% last year.

Our ambitious mission is to help West Virginians improve our state by producing “sustained outrage” journalism that exposes abuses of power by government, business and other institutions. Our team of reporters focuses on public health, economic justice, environmental degradation and government accountability.

We have been backed by the American Journalism Project, the Emerson Collective, Arnold Ventures, the Ford Foundation, the Benedum Foundation, ProPublica and hundreds of readers across West Virginia. As we build a new way of producing journalism and funding a sustainable newsroom, we are part of a nationwide movement aimed at ensuring everyone in our state has the information they need.

What you would be doing:

  • Planning editorial direction and corresponding product strategies.
  • Improving and managing workflows for newsroom operations and overseeing Mountain State Spotlight’s publishing calendar.
  • Supervising reporters, coaching them through story ideas and editing stories; working closely with the founding editor-in-chief to guide short-term stories, medium-term investigations and longer-term projects.
  • Bringing an innovative approach to development of visuals, multimedia elements, social media, and other ways to tell stories that are relevant to West Virginians.
  • Taking the lead in incorporating community engagement in everyday coverage; managing communication with undercovered communities across the state to understand the stories West Virginians need and want and ensure our newsroom is responsive.

Compensation and benefits:

Full-time, competitive salary. Our range for this position is $60,000 to $80,000 and is based on relevant experience. Benefits include health, vision and dental insurance, and a 401K. Mountain State Spotlight offers four weeks of paid time off, in addition to 20 holidays and a week off between Christmas and New Year’s. Flexible work schedule. Some travel and weekend and evening hours will be required.

Application process:

To apply or to ask questions, email Your application should include: 

  • Your resume.
  • A cover letter telling us why you are the right person for Mountain State Spotlight’s team. Describe your vision of accountability journalism in West Virginia, and discuss a project you managed or a team you previously led.
  • Links or .pdf files of at least four examples of your best work. Please include stories that you wrote, pieces that you edited, and projects you managed.

We will begin considering applications as we receive them, and will continue as long as the position is live on our site. For best consideration, apply by June 24, 2024. 

Job Requirements

You’re a good fit if:

  • You have a demonstrated commitment to the use of investigative journalism and live to develop and execute sustained, powerful stories that spur reform.
  • You thrive in a fast-paced startup environment where you are expected to think outside the box and build things from scratch.
  • You are a skilled problem-solver, are process- and detail-oriented, and enjoy bringing order to chaos.
  • You have stellar news judgment, sharp editorial skills, and impeccable editing and copy editing skills.
  • You have at least five years of local or regional news experience as a reporter or editor.
  • You are organized and can handle multiple projects and people under tight deadlines.
  • You have a collaborative spirit and are calm under pressure. You believe that we are all stronger together.
  • You thrive working with people who have differing life experiences and viewpoints and with both seasoned reporters and earlier-career journalists.
  • You have the personality and skills to help our team land stories that range from long-term investigations to quick-hit updates and to help turn government processes into powerful narrative.

Experience as a journalist in West Virginia or other rural Appalachian states is a plus, but not required.

We encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply, including women, people of color, LGBTQ people and people with disabilities. We encourage out-of-state applicants, as well as applicants who are ready to take on an ambitious role but aren’t sure you’re exactly what we’re looking for. We’re growing, so if you’re not right for this job, you might be right for the next one.

The successful candidate will be expected to work in our Charleston, West Virginia, newsroom. Remote work candidates will not be considered.

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