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Mental Health Project Editor

The Seattle Times, a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper and one of the few remaining independent news organizations in the country, is looking to hire a passionate editor to lead a new team covering mental and behavioral health. This is a two-year, community-funded project that will combine in-depth reporting – including explanatory, investigative and solutions-oriented coverage -- with an ambitious community-engagement effort that has impact in the region and statewide.

Exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health struggles have reached crisis proportions throughout the world. The Seattle region and Washington state are no different. This crisis touches people from all demographic groups, and it is made worse by the pervasive stigma attached to mental illness. Journalists can play an important role in destigmatizing mental illnesses while educating consumers and holding providers, social services and government agencies accountable for getting people the help they need.

We’re looking for a highly organized and passionate Mental Health Project Editor, one who will creatively coach reporters who handle breaking news along with complex, solutions-oriented enterprise and watchdog stories across multiple platforms.

You must have strong story editing, digital and social media skills, as well as a basic understanding of the complex and nuanced issues around mental and behavioral health. Ideally, you are comfortable working with an engagement editor to find innovative ways to engage community groups, policy makers and individuals impacted by or working on mental health issues. You also must be able to effectively communicate with partners in our community-funded journalism. Endless curiosity – and a drive for uncovering untold stories that spur action – is essential.

 

Please note: this is a community-funded position and is subject to grant renewal. While renewal is anticipated, funding for this role is not guaranteed. As such, this is considered to be a two-year role. To learn more about our grant-funded projects, click here.

 

Responsibilities

  • Lead a community-funded team with strong story editing, digital and social media skills.
  • Coach and develop team members, supplying regular feedback and conducting annual performance evaluations. 
  • Demonstrate a strong understanding and background in community engagement.
  • Adapt and embrace newsroom publishing standards, with specific emphasis on optimizing engagement on current and future social media platforms. 
  • Produce and present periodic reports to community funders about the team’s work.
  • Keep well informed about news in general and assigned specialties by reading The Seattle Times and other online and print publications.
  • Prioritize inclusive coverage, helping the team develop a range of sources and story ideas that represent the rich cultural diversity of our region.
  • Use analytics to inform coverage decisions.
  • Effectively collaborate with visual and digital journalists, and others across the newsroom.

 

Qualifications

We are committed to diversity and creating an inclusive newsroom and encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply. If your profile does not match this job description exactly, you may still be a candidate for this position. Please let us know how your skills and experience relate to the role and its objectives in your cover letter.

  • Experience: Minimum five years' experience at a metropolitan daily news organization with a proven track record overseeing ambitious enterprise work for print and online.
  • Education: Four-year college degree (or equivalent work experience).
  • Understand and uphold the standards, ethics and mission of journalism at The Seattle Times.
  • Cultural competence and a familiarity with inclusive journalism practices.
  • Experience with coverage of mental health topics and other subject matter is preferred.
  • Ability to demonstrate strong budget-management skills.

 

Founded in 1896, The Seattle Times continues its tradition as a family-owned, independent newspaper that cuts through the clutter and provides readers with timely, relevant news. As the largest newsroom in the Pacific Northwest, we serve the region with thoughtful journalism that makes a real difference in our community. And as a media solutions company, we combine cutting-edge digital capabilities and service with the values and integrity of respected traditional media… with an established audience of 1.9 million. At The Seattle Times, you’ll find work that matters.

 

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