We're the Philadelphia Media Network (PMN), the company behind the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Daily News and Philly.com. Our fast-changing newsroom is committed to telling great stories and deepening our connection with the communities we serve. We’re owned by the non-profit Lenfest Institute for Journalism, and we’re at the very center of the mission to create a lasting future for ambitious local journalism.
This role will help define, build, and lead a small, multi-disciplinary team of journalists dedicated to experimentation in digital storytelling.
Unlike some traditional interactives desks, the News Lab will tell its own stories, top to bottom, as well as work with other desks in the newsroom to shape coverage. You’ll lead news developers, but also reporters and visual journalists. So we’re looking for an editor who excels first and foremost at storytelling, and who thrills at the opportunity to have a hand in all aspects of a story: from the text, to interactives, to visuals, to the narrative approach.
We’re looking as well for an editor who can be a key voice in shaping coverage that extends beyond a single story. So, a typical month could include working with our Food and Visuals teams to improve story forms for food coverage; workshopping off-platform video commentary strategies with our columnists; making our datasets more useful for readers; helping the look and feel of Philadelphia come alive in our real estate and urbanism coverage — as well as editing and leading production of the News Lab’s own stories.
The News Lab will also develop storytelling tools, and evangelize for their use throughout the newsroom. We’ll be looking to the News Lab to thoroughly explore the storytelling possibilities of our new Arc CMS, and to work with Product to create new features as needed. Producing big longform stories for a digital audience is a part of the team’s portfolio, but a small part. Readers deserve great storytelling every day, and we’re looking for a News Lab that will be available for the daily mix, identifying opportunities for better storytelling when they appear.
A solid grasp of narrative, audience interests, visuals and UX are all prerequisites. Prior newsroom experience as a reporter or story editor is a plus, but not a requirement. Qualified candidates for this position could have any number of titles on their resume: audience, product, engineering and interactive design experience would all be helpful. The ideal candidate will have experience in several newsroom fields. To start, your team will include two data viz journalists, 1-2 reporters and a photographer. You will also have an opportunity to hire at least one additional team member.
Duties and Responsibilities
Help to create the News Lab and define its place in our newsroom.
Captivate readers and inspire the newsroom by telling great stories and showcasing the power of creative and thoughtful digital storytelling.
Ensure your team’s work offers a window on the communities we serve, that it reflects their spirit, their personalities, their diversity.
In coordination with other senior editors, identify personnel and coverage areas for focused storytelling experimentation.
In coordination with other senior editors, manage and prioritize News Lab projects and the production of major stories.
Develop replicable storytelling tools and techniques that can be used to enhance our daily and weekly work.
Run robust QA checks on all work; ensure the News Lab is following UX best practices.
Share successful storytelling experiments with the broader newsroom, create a structure that enables other desks to replicate those experiments.
Contribute to staff training programs.
Stay up-to-date on developments in digital storytelling, and test out promising new approaches in the newsroom.
Align priorities and projects with the Visuals, Digital and Product teams.
Explore and showcase the full storytelling capabilities of the Arc CMS.
Manage the News Lab team.
A minimum of five years of newsroom experience.
Bachelor’s degree, or equivalent experience.
A passion and talent for digital storytelling, in the broadest sense of the phrase. You’ll need a strong narrative sensibility, the creativity to come up with novel new approaches, and the judgement to recognize when less is more.
Sufficient technical grounding to capably manage developers.
A solid handle on UX and digital design.
A deep understanding of digital journalism and developments in digital storytelling.
Strong communication skills and a record of effective cross-team collaboration.
Please submit up to five samples of your own work and/or the work of a team you’ve led. Please explain your role in each project.
About Philadelphia Media Network
Philadelphia Media Network, Inc. (PMN) is the region's largest media network and parent company of the region's number one destination website for anything and everything Philly, philly.com. PMN publishes the region's largest newspaper network – that includes the Pulitzer Prize-winning Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News -- and is focused on integrating its brand platforms with the goal of serving as a technological leader and innovator in the digital future. The Philadelphia Media Network reaches an average weekly audience of 1.8 million adults - more than the combination of the three evening television news shows or the combination of those radio stations ranked in the top ten during drive-time programming.
Philadelphia Media Network is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status.