The sports editor will lead, manage, and inspire a team of sports journalists as they produce powerful journalism for readers in our community and the wider Fort Worth area. He or she will report to McClatchy’s regional sports editor in Kansas City while also working closely with the local executive editor to establish/implement strategies, develop personnel and grow digital audience. He or she will take a key role in a regional story assigning and editing structure that strategically aligns sports reporters, columnists and editors across the Central Region of McClatchy to maximize efficiency and drive digital subscriptions to our products.
The editor must have the highest journalism ethics and sound judgment; extraordinary skills as an editor; a commitment to understanding issues and topics 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 science of reaching digital readers through search, social media and other distribution channels; and 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 and growing and keeping digital subscribers. This will require the ability to ignite that passion for digital readership growth 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 sports editor plays a crucial part in coaching reporters to put our readers at the center of everything we do. He or she will discuss every story idea with a reporter, asking who would care about the story. When necessary, the content editor must be the one to reject ideas or stories that do not fit McClatchy’s mission -- freeing the reporter to spend time on work that matters to our readers. The editor will also monitor his or her reporters’ progress, ensuring everyone has the training and coaching needed to succeed in the new audience-focused mission.
- 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.
- Skill and versatility as an editor and a writer, including the ability to shape everything from breaking news briefs to longform 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.
- Degree in Journalism and excellent journalism ethics.
- 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.