Editorial San Luis Obispo, CA


The Tribune, located in San Luis Obispo, has an immediate opening for an Editor to oversee both The Tribune and The Cambrian News. 

The Editor will lead a team of journalists as they produce powerful public-service journalism for readers in our local community and region and will also ensure that all of our journalism and all of our journalists are laser-focused on serving and growing our digital audience. 

The Editor must have the highest journalism ethics and sound judgment; extraordinary skills as an editor; a commitment to understanding issues his or her team reports on; the ability to coach and collaborate with reporters and other editors to achieve high-quality journalism; a deep understanding of and enthusiasm for the modern, digital news ecosystem; a firm grasp of the art and the science of reaching digital readers through search, social media and other distribution channels; a complete commitment to defending the values of the First Amendment, holding leaders and institutions accountable, and speaking truth to power. 

Our future lies in digital, and the Editor will lead his or her team to focus squarely on serving the measurable needs and interests of digital readers. This will require a passion for reaching digital readers and growing digital readership as well as the ability to ignite that passion in others; the regular use of readership analytics and other data to inform decision-making; and a commitment to and skill in producing exclusive, high-impact journalism. 

The Editor plays a crucial part in coaching content editors and reporters to put our readers at the center of everything we do. He or she will discuss every story idea with a reporter or visual journalist, asking who would care about the story and how the story fulfills McClatchy's mission. When necessary, the Editor must be the one to reject ideas or stories that do not fit the mission -- freeing the reporter to spend time on work that matters to our readers. The Editor will also monitor his or her content editors and reporters’ progress, ensuring everyone has the training and coaching needed to succeed in the new audience-focused approach. 

Core competencies

Ability to ask the right questions and discuss alternatives with a reporter or visual journalist to determine whether a story idea is worth pursuing:


  • Who cares about this (or who should)?
  • Is this a big enough group to make the idea worth pursuing the way it is framed?
  • Is there a way to extend/expand interest in this subject or information to make the group big enough?
  • If the group is small, is it influential enough to allow the story to have significant impact? Might it save a life, or change a law, or free an innocent person?


  • Will the story break news that holds leaders or institutions accountable?
  • Will the story break news that makes a concrete difference in the community?
  • Will the story tell readers how something will directly affect their lives or the lives of their families or friends?
  • Will the story use extraordinary, revelatory story telling to help readers understand a consequential societal issue in new ways?
  • Ability to say no when stories are too incremental, lack value or otherwise don’t meet our standards.
  • Ability to act as a proxy for our readers, asking the questions they want answered.
  • Understanding of metrics, and the ability to discuss with his/her reporters what they mean.
  • Willingness to have difficult conversations with reporters who are not meeting audience goals or core mission goals, and to help them adjust their workflows, story selections or even beats to improve.
  • The ability to lead, direct, collaborate with and coach colleagues throughout the newsroom.
  • Strong editing and/or writing skills and excellent news judgment.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including empathy (toward readers and staff) and a superior ear for tone.
  • Comfort with a job that will be demanding, fast-paced, constantly evolving, and more outcome-oriented than task-oriented.


  • Master’s degree (M.A.) or equivalent; and/or minimum of ten years related experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Excellent journalism ethics.
  • Skill and versatility as an editor and a writer, including the ability to shape everything from breaking news briefs to long form magazine-style pieces in a way that best serves and engages the broadest possible audience.
  • Sound news judgment, and a demonstrated ability to “see the story” that is going to matter to readers and to anticipate reader interests before they exist.
  • An interest in and aptitude for storytelling using a broad range of media, including the written word, video, photography, podcasts and other audio, and whatever comes next.
  • Multiple years of prior experience in a leadership role highly preferred.