Story Editor

Votebeat, the nonprofit news organization created by Chalkbeat to cover local election administration and voting access, is seeking an editor who will elevate our copy to the highest journalistic standards, manage our workflows, and help lead our small but ambitious newsroom.

The story editor will edit all articles produced by Votebeat’s three reporters in Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Texas, ranging from daily news pieces to longer enterprise work. Our story editing process is thorough, precise, and collaborative. Story editors work one-on-one with the editorial director and reporters, providing crucial perspective, adding regional or national context, and ensuring that stories read logically, adhere to Votebeat style, and are properly sourced. While each piece is different, all of our stories taken together should add up to a coherent whole, and the story editor is essential to achieving that goal through a mix of line editing, copy editing, and pulled-back critical thinking.

The story editor will also manage publishing schedules, update the staff on content planning, and coordinate production work to ensure the newsroom hums along. The story editor will develop and update the Votebeat style guide in collaboration with the editorial director and editor in chief. 

Who are you?

You know that good writing starts with good reporting, and that editing starts before any words hit the page. Although this position does not manage writers directly, you possess a mentoring spirit that’s able to coax the best story possible from reporters both green and seasoned. You are a word nerd who is fluent in AP Style but has made peace with the Oxford comma. 

You’re used to daily deadlines and can nimbly navigate varying timelines. You are meticulously organized and enjoy serving as the nerve center of your team. You have a built-in radar to track constantly evolving newsroom plans and can communicate them clearly and efficiently to your co-workers.

Required background and skills:

  • 5+ years experience in daily journalism
  • Expertise in story shaping, line editing, and copy editing. 
  • Stellar news judgment.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with a knack for working with opinionated reporters and editors.
  • Ability to work autonomously while organizing and sharing real-time information up, down, and across.
  • Proficient using workflow management tools to manage and update content plans. 
  • Experience working in a CMS.
  • Passion for political participation and civic health; knowledge of election processes is a plus, but not required.
  • Journalism experience in Arizona, Pennsylvania, Texas, Michigan, Wisconsin, and/or New York is a plus.

Note: Not all candidates will check all of the requirements listed above, and that’s OK — we still want to hear from you. We especially encourage candidates from communities that traditionally have been underrepresented in journalism.

Summary of responsibilities: 

  • Line edit and copy edit drafts of stories filed by Votebeat’s reporters
  • Work closely with the reporters to resolve questions and guide revisions, with a goal of developing stronger writing habits and skills.
  • Manage the editorial calendar, enforce deadlines, and make decisions on publishing timing.
  • Communicate updates about publishing plans to the rest of the staff.
  • Oversee the production process to ensure stories are published following best practices for art, headlines, and SEO.

This position will report to the editor in chief and will likely be home-based but may have access to an office if located in a city where Votebeat/Chalkbeat maintains a bureau. This is a full-time position with benefits. Votebeat offers a competitive salary, commensurate with experience, and a generous benefits package, including a paid one-week recess. Our virtual newsroom features daily interaction, social Slack channels, personal development sessions, and team exercise and meditation get-togethers.

This is a role covered by the CBA with the WGAE.

Our organization is committed to antiracism, and our staff is taking part in ongoing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging work. 

 To apply, complete the submission form at the bottom of this page.

About Votebeat:

Votebeat is the nonprofit news organization created by Chalkbeat, originally as a pop-up newsroom in 2020 and now relaunching as a permanent network. We are committed to providing local coverage about how elections work and holding public officials accountable for fair access to the ballot box. Read more about our mission, vision, and values.