We’re looking for a visionary editor who’s passionate about community engagement to reimagine and relaunch the statewide Commentary forum – which we’re tentatively calling California Voices – at CalMatters.
CalMatters is an award-winning nonprofit, nonpartisan news venture dedicated to explaining the policy and politics of America’s biggest state and the world’s fifth largest economy. We produce vivid, original journalism and data-driven news analyses and watchdog reporting, and distribute our work to more than 250 media partners, on calmatters.org, and via Apple News, SmartNews and other platforms.
Since we launched six and a half years ago, CalMatters has carved out a leadership role at the center of the media ecosystem in California, establishing ourselves as a trusted brand and “go-to” hub for in-depth news and information on statewide issues. Our work has led to changes in policy, new legislation, investigations and discussions at the Capitol, in political groups and beyond — and created an awareness of important issues that aren’t getting covered anywhere else.
Our team has been recognized and honored with top state, regional and national awards from ONA, the Society of Environmental Journalists, the National Press Club, the Public Media Journalists Association, the Institute for Nonprofit News, the Edward R. Murrow Award, SPJ NorCal, Best of the West and California News Publishers.
Our Commentary section is already one of the most influential forums for a variety of voices and perspectives on California issues and solutions. It’s closely followed by decision makers. It attracts a regular flow of submissions, including top-level contributors from throughout the state. Its work is shared for republication by media partners statewide. And generates a healthy share of our online traffic.
Yet we believe it can be much more. If you share that belief, you might be the right person to reimagine and lead California Voices. We expect that a strong candidate’s cover letter and resume will express some or all of these attributes:
- You’re inspired to read and listen and seek out a variety of perspectives on important issues from advocates, experts and policymakers but also from the people who are most directly impacted by decisions made by those policymakers.
- You believe it’s vital that we identify and amplify the voices of thoughtful people from a diverse range of backgrounds who are willing to share their personal experiences and perspectives, even if they’re not already seasoned writers.
- You’re excited about experimenting with multiple formats for these voices, such as (but not limited to) radio, podcasts, video, newsletters and social apps.
- You believe in the power of in-person convenings, both physical and virtual, to draw out and explore ideas and solutions, especially when we can get decision makers and those affected by the decisions into the same rooms.
- You have a vision for what California Voices can be and how to get there.
To do this well, you’ll need to combine a passion for community engagement with the skill of a discerning journalist. You’ll need to balance the forum in a way that illuminates important issues, ideas and perspectives with a wide range of voices while ensuring accuracy and editorial quality.
This is a full-time position that is preferably based in our Sacramento headquarters. This editor may have the opportunity to write opinion pieces as well.
The opportunity to reimagine this role will change the duties of this role, but here’s what we expect of the current editor:
- Culling submissions with a keen eye to choosing those most appropriate for posting.
- Identifying new contributors to develop a range of voices along racial, ethnic, geographic and income lines so that the voices reflect California’s diversity.
- Working with contributors, editing submissions for clarity, accuracy, fairness, and collecting author photos.
- Preparing and publishing commentaries in our content management system.
- At least three years of professional journalism experience.
- Experience as an editor with responsibility for quality and accuracy.
These would be a plus:
- Familiarity with California issues
- Experience identifying and cultivating new voices
- Experience in audience engagement, events, opinion or related areas
Compensation and Benefits:
The base salary for this position is $90,000 per year; higher compensation may be available for someone with advanced skills and/or experience.
CalMatters offers a complete benefits package with medical, dental and vision insurance (we cover 90% of the cost for employees and 70% for dependents) from a range of HMO and PPO providers. We’ll match contributions of up to 4% of your salary to our 401(k) program, provide life insurance at no cost, and give you an allowance for personal use of your cell phone and a budget for professional development opportunities like classes and conferences.
We are an expanding and collaborative newsroom, successfully forging a new model for sustainable, intelligent, nonprofit journalism. We’re committed to reflecting the people of the state we serve and especially encourage members of underrepresented communities to apply. If you’re interested, please provide a resume, a cover letter that outlines how you would approach the job, and links to at least six online samples of your work.
(If you applied to be our Commentary Editor before we changed the name of the role, you’re already a candidate for this opening and there’s no need to apply again.)
If you have trouble with this form or prefer to apply by email, write to firstname.lastname@example.org with the job title in the subject line.