The Real News Network seeks an Editor in Chief to set and drive the editorial direction and content creation of the organization. The Editor in Chief will work collaboratively with the Executive Director (who is responsible for overall operations, including Administration, Fundraising, and the Digital and Studio teams) to provide coherent, strategic, team aligned and effective operation of this critical institution.
The Real News Network is an online, nonprofit news organization that is supported solely by individual donations and grants. We do not accept corporate or government funding. Our budget is in excess of $3 million and we have a full, part-time and freelance staff in excess of 30. While the majority of our staff are located in our studio/office space in Baltimore, Maryland (and we have an organizational emphasis on engagement with the people of color community in Baltimore), we also have team members across the US, in Canada and in Europe, with hopes to expand our physical presence to Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.
We publish across digital platforms and we have broadcast partners as well. Our primary output is video, though we also publish in print and audio formats. We produce both interview and analysis pieces from our Baltimore studio, and produce stories from reporters and freelancers in the field. Our primary outlet is YouTube, where we have approximately 350,000 subscribers. We are a union shop. Our staff is organized under the Communications Workers of America.
The Real News Network is not just another media organization. We have particular progressive values entrenched in our editorial positioning, and we believe we take up a unique space in the media landscape. Among our values and editorial stances are climate change and the significance of class, race, gender and social justice. They are integrated into our coverage. Two central, current focuses of our work are the 2020 elections and the climate crisis.
We are looking for an experienced, powerful world class journalist, with a profound understanding of the dynamics and context (including ideological, historical and political) of world events. Our Editor in Chief will also be a strong, collaborative leader and expert editor, from framing our editorial stance and direction to shaping stories and personally helping with growing the skills of our editorial team.
Together the Staff and Board of The Real News Network have created the profile of the ideal leader. We will consider and select our next Editor in Chief from among candidates with the following skills, experience and personal characteristics.
Journalistic Expertise: The Editor in Chief will make final determination in all matters editorial, from story selection and framing and shaping those stories, to what gets published. Our ideal candidate will:
- Be a progressive expert in both journalism and world affairs;
- Be committed to the TRNN mission, and have a proven ability to further that mission;
- Have deep commitment to and knowledge about the importance of journalism in informing and educating people and society, and helping advance justice in the world;
- Have an extensive, demonstrated record of successfully leading a newsroom;
- Have a record of developing powerful teams and enhancing the skills of editorial and reporting staff;
- Be a powerful writer and editor;
- Be an effective planner, to organize long-term coverage and maintain an editorial calendar for the newsroom;
- Have an understanding of and demonstrated commitment to the role of community engagement and solutions-based journalism in a journalistic enterprise;
- Understand and help maintain (including with the TRNN Board) the firewall between the editorial and business aspects of the organization, to maintain editorial independence and help ensure financial considerations do not play a role in the stories we choose to cover or the treatment of those stories.
Industry Knowledge: Our expectation is to attract a progressive person with an expert level of media knowledge, including trends in technology and consumption of media. We are looking for a collegial leader who:
- Is technologically competent themselves and is knowledgeable of and engaged with dynamics, consumption and trends in the online media environment, including online news organizations, social media as well as video and multimedia production;
- Is able to use expert level knowledge of the range of journalism platforms and consumption of journalism to continue to evolve TRNN’s presentation of material, including in the social media space, to effectively serve and grow the size and diversity of our audience;
- Is a profound and engaged consumer of and participant in journalism and media, both heritage and online;
- Political Savvy (depth of awareness and knowledge): A unique aspect of this position is that the TRNN Editor in Chief will be the main repository for the organization of knowledge and awareness of the forces that are shaping local, national and world events. She or he will have a deep understanding of the history and context of those forces, to grow and maintain the progressive ideological outlook of TRNN’s work. The Editor in Chief will:
- Have profound awareness of both the broad and specific state of events locally, nationally and across the world;
- Have expert knowledge, including historical knowledge, of the influences and causes of those events;
- Be able to, both in person and through our work, effectively communicate those influences and the meaning of events to audiences;
- Be able to frame TRNN’s work in a consistent, pointed way;
- Have a demonstrated personal progressive bent, including a commitment to racial, gender, economic, class and social justice.
Manager of People/Team Management: A selected candidate will be an experienced, results-oriented manager of people who:
- Is expert at and enjoys the team building aspects of the Editor in Chief role;
- Demonstrates strong internal relationship skills;
- Has deep experience with supervising a staff;
- Has proven skill and commitment to enhancing and expanding the skills of staff members;
- Is effective with delegation;
- Is not a micromanager; and
- Has a complete set of all other internal management skills and experience, including budgeting.
Integrity: TRNN’s most important asset is the trust our audience and donors have in our organization. The TRNN Editor in Chief will be a courageous, ethical person with strong self-awareness, who:
- Has clear, high standards for him or herself;
- Tells the truth and speaks earnestly;
- Understands and practices confidentiality when called for; and
- Maintains organizational transparency.
Creativity: We are looking for an editorial leader who is action-oriented, entrepreneurial and adaptable, with innovative approaches to creating direction for TRNN, including developing and implementing programs and treatments that will help TRNN grow its effectiveness in the work we produce and to reach new, larger and diverse audiences. Our ideal candidate:
- Is personally creative and able to act on that creativity;
- Is effective at brainstorming;
- Is a good learner;
- Is not risk averse; and
- Has a proven record of framing new ideas and engaging/enrolling others to turn creative ideas into effective new programs and processes.
- Communication: A persuasive and passionate communicator with outstanding interpersonal skills, who:
- Is inspiring and respectful, connecting in an earnest way with people;
- Has a high level of emotional intelligence in communicating with people, including ability to flex style depending on the individual/group and situation, to maximize effectiveness of communication;
- Has comfort with and command of the full range of communication skills, in addition to writing and editing, is strong at public speaking, social media and presentations; and
- Is an effective spokesperson for TRNN.
Problem Solving and Decision Making: TRNN seeks an expert decision-maker, who:
- Has the ability to prioritize and determine the significance of a particular issue;
- Understands who to include in the problem-solving process;
- Knows what and how much information is needed;
- Is able to effectively analyze and use data in the decision-making process;
- Makes decisions in a timely matter;
- Is good at follow-through, and can clearly communicate decisions;
- Designs and administers effective execution, with appropriate pre-determined success measures and time-posts; and
- Has a level of personal strength to stick by decisions and/or know when a change of direction is needed.
Leadership: We seek a collaborative, passionate, resilient, anti-racist, anti-misogynist, supportive of trans-identities, inspiring and mission-driven individual, with:
- A mature, demonstrated set of leadership and skills and abilities;
- Demonstrated commitment to and a track record of creating inclusivity and equity in workplaces and in the world;
- Great people skills, and who puts the mission and success of TRNN first, and is a powerful advocate for staff, stakeholders and the organization itself; and who
- Has expert level conflict management skills - effective at internally generating helpful, and minimizing unhelpful conflict.
Minimum Qualifications: Significant experience and proven record with hands-on as well as organizational and supervisory experience at a media/journalism organization.
- Manage journalistic staff;
- Ensure TRNN produces journalism of the highest caliber, with careful regard to the mission of TRNN;
- Devise programs, determine their formats and supervise program development;
- The Editor in Chief is not primarily a content creator, prioritizing newsroom management over personal content creation.
- Formulate, implement and ensure compliance with a journalistic code of ethics that is consistent with the core mission of TRNN;
- Chair the editorial committee with a view to determining which stories TRNN covers, the structure and format of the pieces, and the editorial treatment.
: TRNN has retained Livingston Associates to assist in this search. For consideration, please visit http://liv.jobs
and submit a letter of introduction including your vision for the future of TRNN and why you will be the ideal person to lead the organization in achieving that vision, as well as a resume and contact information for a minimum of three professional references.
Date for full consideration: January 5, 2020
Inquiries are welcome. Contact Livingston Associates at (410) 243-1974.
TRNN is committed to fostering diversity of our staff. Members of underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.