The RequirementsTo be a good fit for this opportunity you will have:
- A bachelor’s degree in journalism or a relevant combination of education and experience
- Experience in copy editing in a newsroom (preferred) or other publication
- A strong understanding of AP style
- Excellent grammar and spelling skills, with exceptional attention to detail
- The ability to write creative, eye-catching headlines
- The ability to balance efficient and accurate editing with a quick turnaround time
- Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written
- The ability to multi-task and work within daily deadlines
- Strong computer and word processing skills; knowledge of InDesign and/or InCopy is a strong plus
- Advanced skill with social media, such as blogging and familiarity with social networking sites, are a plus
- Strong visual skills with an eye for design would also be a big plus
The RoleAs Copy Desk Chief you will be responsible for supervising the work of copy editors as they take stories that were originally published online and prepare them for our newspapers and other products by cleaning up the copy and making key corrections. Though you won’t read every single story before they go to press, you will give final looks to the most delicate stories to ensure they are accurate, journalistically sound, follow style guidelines, and have correct grammar and spelling.
You will often find yourself writing headlines, and will be asked to check proofs of graphics and pages. Though it won’t be a big part of your job, you should also have an understanding of pagination so you can do it if needed. You may also occasionally be asked to post news content to AL.com or make corrections and clean up copy online.
When leading the copy editing staff, you will be responsible for scheduling, managing of assignments and duties, and helping to coach the staff to improve their skills. You will also be in charge of answering standards questions for all of our properties as they arise.
Some of your specific responsibilities will include:
- Leading and managing copy editing staff to ensure work is thorough, accurate, timely and fair, and reflects the core values of the newspaper while adhering to the principles of journalistic ethics and good news judgment.
- Communicating with staffers and other departments in a timely, effective manner.
- Setting assignment of duties as well as handling selected administrative functions, including employee performance development, training and coaching.
- Quickly reading and editing stories for grammar and style, and teaching those skills to the staff.
- Questioning ambiguity, unclear copy and jargon, and noting holes in stories such as missing information, unanswered questions or other journalistic problems that require a line editor's attention.
- Managing and updating the newspaper's style guidelines.
- Proofreading pages and graphics for accuracy, style consistency and common sense.
- Meeting production deadlines and actively driving timely newsroom workflow.
- Handling customer requests and complaints in a prompt, courteous and professional manner.
- Representing the newspaper in the community in a professional manner as well as in personal and professional settings.
Keys to SuccessThis role will have you doing some hands-on work as well as some coaching of others doing similar work. To excel, you’ll need to have a broad knowledge base over a variety of subjects as you may be dealing with sports, features, news, and more.
You’ll also need to be a wonderful coach, able to see where help is needed and to provide it. This is a new environment that is going to be very collaborative, so you’ll also need to be a forward-thinker and a self-starter, with the open mind and flexibility to jump on board with our new way of thinking about journalism.
If you are ready to join a new type of work environment, you’re able to run with a mix of non-traditional stories for a new type of product and a new way of putting it together, and you’re ready to collaborate with curators, designers, and cross-functional team members, then we want to hear from you.