Executive Editor, Illinois Public Media

May 20, 2016

Executive Editor
Illinois Public Media
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Primary Function:

Lead a seven-person state-wide team that serves both the regional and national
audience. Supervise all journalism activities and content creation across all platforms under the Illinois Newsroom collaboration.

Illinois Newsroom, a collaboration of public media stations in Illinois, is looking for an experienced journalist to lead our new journalism collaboration, funded by the partner stations and a major grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The partner stations are building a model for regional collaboration across the country and will dedicate a team of reporters and editors to provide in-depth coverage of three key beat topics in Illinois for statewide and national audiences. The topics will include education, health and environment, and state politics and policy.

The Executive Editor is based in Urbana, at Illinois Public Media, and is part of a seven-person state-wide team that serves both the regional and national audience. Will lead the team of journalists and will be responsible for the overall editorial strategy of the collaboration. Work with stations and reporters across the state, will coordinate with the statewide talk show “The 21st,” and will serve as the primary liaison between journalists in the collaboration, local stations and national networks and shows. Must be a proven public radio editor who’s equally comfortable on digital platforms, a leader who can confidently and smoothly work at a distance with reporters and editors scattered across the state and with leaders of national shows and networks. Project-management and communications skills are key. And embrace and propagate best practices in editing, ethics and diversity.

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

- Develop and implement the editorial focus of the Regional Journalism Collaborations (RJC); design and execute all aspects of the editorial process

- Oversee management of the RJC to ensure that all of the contractual requirements and deliverables are met with CPB, other funders and partners

- Develop a content and distribution strategy to include broadcast, online, social media and community engagement

- Direct and coordinate the work of assigned reporters including training needs

- Work with reporters to develop stories, edit scripts and distribute content across appropriate channels

- Recruit and hire new employees

- Develop partnerships with other media organizations, including national program partners, and develop stories for national distribution

- Plan and implement a social media strategy

- Plan and implement a community engagement strategy

- Develop a training plan for the team

- Develop a plan for assuring diversity in the selection of staff, sources and stories

- Coordinate coverage plans with the statewide talk show The 21st

- Coordinate with Engagement Manager on community outreach and audience-drive engagement

- Liaison between news and other department leaders, coordinating work on common goals and leading collaboration on common work

- Ensure that all delivery platforms are served, meeting goals for frequency of content: audio packages for radio; television packages; web content; social content

- Set measurable goals for each member of the team and holds team members accountable.

- Encourage a culture that fosters strong execution as a unit while creating the expectation of teamwork with the partner station newsrooms.

- Share emerging best practices to help inform the journalism on other topics, both within partner stations and within the larger public media universe.

- Participate in events and fund-raisers/membership drives

- Demonstrate sound news judgment, the highest journalistic ethics and an understanding of the sound and role of public media.

- Participate in pledge drive trainings and as pledge talent during fund drives.

- Participate in marketing activities, community engagement projects and other audience interactions as assigned on behalf of Illinois Public Media, including interacting with audiences on our social media platforms.

Position Requirements and Qualifications:

Education:

Bachelor degree required

Experience Required:

- 10+ years of news experience, at least 3 years in a position involving editing and/or supervision, national experience preferred.

- Strong leadership skills and ability to guide and inspire everyone from an intern to a rookie reporter to an experienced veteran.

- A proven record of editing public radio stories at a national-level quality.

- Experience leading collaborative news projects.

- Ability to juggle multiple projects/priorities, often on deadline.

- Knowledge of/experience in audio production and editing.

- Flexibility and speed, with wide-ranging interests and a distinctive writing “voice.”

- Experience writing for digital platforms, with active Twitter and Facebook presence.

- Sound news judgment and ability to generate and edit factual, error-free copy quickly in breaking news situations.

- Strong content editing/proofreading skills, including knowledge of AP style.

- Strategic thinking, with the ability to work with others to put together detailed, yet easy-to- understand plans.

- Passionate and enthusiastic about journalism, and emerging news opportunities.

- Ability to connect with and maintain relationships with diverse communities and staff.

- Ability to meet strict deadlines.

- Ability to work well with colleagues and the public.

Training:

Competency required in use of field recording equipment, digital audio editing equipment, web publishing platform and social media best practices.

Knowledge Requirements:

- Ability to connect local, regional and national current events and issues in ways that are relevant to the audience.

- Ability to write clearly and concisely for broadcast and web.

- Extensive familiarity with world, national, regional and local issues.

- Familiarity with radio formats, public radio core values, program schedules and timing.

- Familiarity with libel rules, social media policies and best practices.

- Ability to learn and comply with FCC rules, emergency alert system requirements, and severe weather coverage policies.

- Ability to learn and follow the codes of ethics adopted by Illinois Public Media.

Application Procedures:

To ensure full consideration, complete applications must be submitted by June 16, 2016. The committee may begin reviewing applications before the close date but no decision will be made until after the close date. Please create your candidate profile at http://jobs.illinois.edu and

upload a cover letter describing qualifications for the position, current resume and the names and contact information for three professional references. For further information regarding application procedures, you may contact Annetta Allison (217) 265-7648 or allison2@illinois.edu.

This is a full-time, 12-month academic professional appointment with a start date as soon as possible after the closing date. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications.

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.

Illinois is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, status as a protected veteran, status as a qualified individual with a disability, or criminal conviction history. Illinois welcomes individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas who embrace and value diversity and inclusivity. (www.inclusiveillinois.illinois.edu).