Mountain State Spotlight is looking for a Deputy Managing Editor to play a key role in providing West Virginians with the information and the accountability journalism they want, need and deserve.

Our Deputy Managing Editor will work with our growing reporting staff and with other editors to conceive, plan and execute stories. A few recent stories include this piece chronicling West Virginia lawmakers’ efforts to ban abortion, this look at persisting racial disparities in public school discipline, this examination of the systemic factors that led a man to die in jail after being held pre-trial for 81 days on a littering charge and this story lifting up the voices in West Virginians living in the path of a massive natural gas pipeline. We’re looking for someone who can hone a story’s accountability angle, shepherd complicated stories and investigative projects across finish lines, help shape our organization’s editorial strategy and work with our reporters to make their words sing.

This role will evolve and grow, depending on the experience the successful candidate brings to our organization. We’d love to hear from journalists with some editing and leadership experience, but we’re also open to considering reporters who are ready to take the next step in their career. 

The role

The Deputy Managing Editor will help our reporters produce more and better stories about crucial topics from public health and economic justice to government corruption and environmental pollution by:

  • Working with our editorial team to conceive stories that are of immense local importance to West Virginia communities and of great statewide interest to our readers;
  • Collaborating with reporters to plan and execute those stories for maximum impact;
  • Editing stories for content and style, making sure we use powerful narratives to describe the challenges facing West Virginia;
  • Assisting our team in continually improving our editorial strategy to ensure we cover the issues of most pressing importance and interest to West Virginians;
  • Cooperating with other organization leaders to make Mountain State Spotlight the best place in West Virginia for journalists to work.

The Deputy Managing Editor will report to our Managing Editor and also work closely with our Founder and Senior Editor, as well as our Audience Manager, and our six-person reporting team. We are a young and expanding newsroom that offers plenty of opportunities for professional growth and development.

You’re a good fit if you: 

  • Are passionate about local journalism, and want to help build the newsroom of the future for West Virginia;
  • Care deeply about issues faced by rural communities and by marginalized groups in places like our state; 
  • Have at least 5 years of journalism experience;
  • Get excited about building a new model for journalism for West Virginians that is focused on serving our state and helping our neighbors make it a better place to live;
  • Are eager to serve our various audiences and their information needs while reaching as many West Virginians as possible, especially those who need our stories the most; 
  • Like to find creative solutions to problems and enjoy making great work even better;
  • Are highly organized and an enthusiastic communicator;
  • Love to work in a team and know that we are all stronger together;
  • Are proficient in G-Suite, WordPress and project planning tools, such as Trello, or are familiar with similar tools and can learn quickly;
  • Are calm under pressure and help bring order to chaos.

If you have experience reporting and writing and are ready to take this next step in your career, we would consider you if you are otherwise right for our team.

Journalism experience serving West Virginians, Appalachians, or other rural residents is also a plus, but not necessary.

We are not considering remote-work candidates for this position. But our Mountain State is a beautiful place to live, is full of wonderful people and exciting news to report on, and faces many challenges that demand our vigorous brand of watchdog journalism.

The Organization

Founded in March 2020 by award-winning, veteran West Virginia journalists, Mountain State Spotlight is filling an alarming void of in-depth reporting on issues critical to West Virginia. West Virginia is undergoing a tremendous economic transition and significant cultural changes. But our state’s legacy media’s ability to focus on major issues in a deep way has been eroded, at just the time when residents most need information.

We went from pitch to publish in less than six months, working remotely in the midst of a raging global pandemic. We’re now based in a newly-renovated office in an energetic part of downtown Charleston, the state capital.

Today, Mountain State Spotlight has 12 employees, and a plan to continue to expand our coverage, with bureaus strategically placed around the state. Fueled by a multi-year grant from the American Journalism Project, we have a full business staff that focuses on making sure we have the resources to do the journalism our readers need.

We are backed by other major funders — including the Ford Foundation, Arnold Ventures and Report for America, and significant regional philanthropic groups like the Benedum Foundation. Our partnership with ProPublica has produced award-winning projects on toxic air pollution and federal tax policies benefiting the uber rich.

In a state where “nonprofit newsroom” is a new term, we are also backed by a growing stream of revenue from our readers.

Compensation and benefits

  • Full-time, competitive salary
  • Benefits, including 75% company-paid health insurance and 401K
  • Twenty-five days of paid time off in addition to holidays and our annual paid “dark week” between Christmas and New Year’s.
  • Paid parental leave.
  • Flexible work schedule. Some weekend and evening hours will be required

Application process

To apply or to ask questions, email jobs@mountainstatespotlight.org.

Send us: 

  • Your resume
  • A cover letter telling us why you are the right person for Mountain State Spotlight’s team. Describe your vision for nonprofit news in West Virginia and discuss a project you worked on or led.
  • Send us links or .pdf files for at least four examples of your best work. These can be stories that you wrote, pieces you edited, or projects you managed.

For best consideration, apply by Nov. 11, 2022.

Do you love the sound of this job, but you don’t quite check all of these boxes? Do you have skills we haven’t thought of yet?  Don’t hesitate to apply and tell us about yourself. We also encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply, including people of color, veterans, LGBTQ people and people with disabilities.