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Opportunity Description
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Deputy Features Editor
OH - Cleveland

Opportunity Snapshot

Bring your print and digital media experience to this opportunity where you’ll build your resume with exposure to a truly digital-first operation in a group that is leading the way in determining how the new media landscape is evolving. As the Deputy Features Editor -- what would have been considered the other “half” of a features department editing team in a previous world -- you’ll be leading a team of veteran reporters who cover high-interest areas such as home and gardening, food and drink, pop culture, etc. You’ll help to create stories that will draw high readership online, coach the team in engaging the audience through social media, and finding the news in these subjects while mixing in a healthy dose of useful information and fun.

We want stories that can’t be found anywhere else and that our readers will care about and engage in. If you’re a journalist with a diverse array of interests and insatiable curiosity who has a keen sense for the news of the moment, an instinct for stories that will get people talking, and a desire to give people information that will help them indulge in their passions, hobbies, and interests, then this could be the right role for you!

The Plain Dealer Publishing Co. has transformed itself into a digitally focused newsroom where stories, photos and other materials are produced that drive cleveland.com, and our print editions in the daily Plain Dealer newspaper, as well as the weekly Sun News editions, which target specific geographic areas.

The Requirements

To be a good fit for this opportunity you will have:
  • A bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications or a related field, or the equivalent experience
  • Multiple years of professional experience in print and digital media, including a proven ability to identify and oversee the reporting and writing of stories and online packages; reporting experience would be a strong plus
  • Successful management and/or team leadership experience with multi-disciplinary teams
  • Mastery of social media and digital interaction; experience working with video and social networking/functionality is highly desirable
  • A sense of urgency to get the story now, balanced with the experience and discipline to know when a story is ready for readers
  • A demonstrated ability to conceive story ideas and build a culture of ideas on a reporting team
  • A solid track record of developing projects and managing them from inception to launch
  • Experience with online metrics reports and analyzing their implications
  • The ability to multitask, meet deadlines, and manage multiple, complex projects
  • An understanding of the methods and tools used to deliver content across a variety of platforms and the ability to create efficiencies in the system to aid in content development and collection
  • The insight to create engaging, interactive and optimized product offerings
  • The ability to develop news content that differentiates the organization from competitors
  • The ability to create and implement strategies to respond to the evolving nature of the industry by experimenting with new models, platforms, and ideas that stimulate audience engagement and revenue generation/growth
  • The ability to work a flexible schedule that may include nights and weekends
Additionally, you should be:
  • A strong leader
  • Energetic and personable
  • A motivated self-starter
  • Organized and detail oriented
  • Passionate about digital media and online journalism

The Role

Reporting to the Managing Editor, you will be working with a team of six veteran journalists who cover an array of subjects including home and gardening, pop culture, shopping and fashion, food and drink, and travel. You will lead these reporters to become consistent contributors to our online platform while helping them engage with readers through comments, polls, videos, and other methods that were unavailable to journalists even a few years ago.

At times you will be faced with simultaneously editing stories that are being filed to our online system, conferring with reporters on developing ideas, and communicating with our publication hub on what stories are available for print editions, so you’ll need to be great at juggling responsibilities while meeting your goals. Your primary mission is to get more readers online. If you meet the goals of breaking news, giving readers stories they can’t find anywhere else, entertaining and informing, the readership will follow.

We know readers are traditionally interested in the subject areas that fall under your purview -- what to eat, what to drink, what to wear, how to make your yard and home look beautiful, and where to go on vacation. But we also know that traditional approaches, which may have been ideal for a world with a print edition delivered to the front porch each morning, don’t work in a digital world where readers are constantly on the hunt for what’s new and helpful. For example, our travel writer has recently found a way to shift some of her focus and her online audience has grown 44 percent in March/April 2014 vs. January/February 2014. You’ll find more ways to help keep this growth going, and to help the rest of your team do the same.

Other responsibilities will include:
  • Working closely with other managing producers and editors across the newsroom, particularly the editor who oversees our music, movie, theater and arts coverage. As always, communication is key.
  • Working closely with our visuals teams, including photo editors, photographers, videographers and graphic artists.
  • Coordinating the needs of print and web production teams.
  • Helping your reporters coordinate travel and other expense allocation associated with their jobs as needed.
  • Communicating and coordinating with other Plain Dealer Publishing Co. editors on the delivery of content for shared initiatives.
Note: this description is intended to give you a general overview of the position and is not an exhaustive listing of duties and responsibilities.

Keys to Success

Reporting experience would be helpful, but to excel here you’ll need the creativity and curiosity to find ways to tell what could be a traditional story in a unique way that engages our online audience. You’ll need to be willing to find the fun, and to take risks that keep your stories fresh and interesting. And finally, you’ll need the interpersonal skills to manage your team, as well as your peers and relationships with the extended team.

We need journalists rooted in tried-and-true standards, but who have the digital savvy to succeed in this new world. We need journalists who know that the journalism must still come first, but who also understand how to give readers the content they want, how and when they want it. We need journalists who are eager to help us figure out the new landscape, even as they remain steadfast in their belief in the power and value of journalism.

If you’re the kind of journalist we’re looking for, then submit your resume today!
The Plain Dealer Publishing Company offers a comprehensive benefits program that includes: medical, prescription drug, vision, and dental benefits; a 401(k) Plan; life insurance and disability plans and commuter accounts.

The Plain Dealer Publishing Company is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, physical or mental impairment, sexual orientation or any other category protected under federal, state or local law.

The Plain Dealer Publishing Company endeavors to make cleveland.com accessible to any and all users. If you would like to contact us regarding the accessibility of our website or need assistance completing the application process, please contact tdavis@dtoolbox.com.
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Resume Supplement
Please take a few minutes to answer questions about your background and expertise specific to the Deputy Features Editor position.

Question Yes No Comment
Do you have any employment agreement, non-competition agreement, restrictive covenant, or any other agreement, which would prohibit or limit you in any way from working for The Plain Dealer?
Do you live within a realistic commuting distance from Cleveland, 44113? If not, are you willing to relocate?
Are you authorized, legally, to work permanently in the United States for any employer without requiring a visa transfer or visa sponsorship?
Are you legally authorized to work permanently in the United States for any employer without requiring a visa transfer or sponsorship?
Question / Choice Comment
Do you have a bachelors degree in journalism, communications or a related field?
How many years of management or supervisory experience do you possess in journalism?
How many years of experience in journalism do you possess?
Please choose the selection which best describes your experience working in digital/social media.
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You will be able to view and re-record your answer as many times as you like.
Spend 30-60 seconds to tell us why you should be chosen to be The Plain Dealer's next Deputy Features Editor.
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