Art Director
The Role

The Art Director will be a critical part of the newsroom, working together with reporters and editors to ensure that the initiative is producing visually rich and engaging content in a variety of formats. The art director will create in multiple formats—including but not limited to photography, illustration, and videos—making local news compelling and accessible, especially to those disconnected from traditional media. This role will be an opportunity to strategize and experiment with new ways to reach audiences where they are in a newsroom that is dedicated to and focused on making its journalism maximally accessible to all residents of Indianapolis.

The Art Director will work with editors and reporters to make stories more visual, and develop newsroom content for audiences that primarily consume media on social platforms. digital video and other audiovisual formats.They will be part of a team led by the Managing Editor, Innovation. The team’s overall goal will be to bring the voices of Indianapolis communities into the newsroom, to advocate for residents’ information needs, and making news and information accessible to a variety of audiences.

The Newsroom

The decision to launch this yet-to-be-named Indianapolis newsroom followed an information needs assessment conducted by the American Journalism Project, which found that many Indiana residents do not feel they have adequate, relevant, and accessible information about their communities and the decisions that impact their daily lives.

The innovative 25-person Indianapolis news organization will fill these critical gaps by hiring experienced journalists with deep ties to Indianapolis communities, reporting on the local issues that residents care most about, including government, housing, jobs, education, health, and local arts and culture, with the highest standards of editorial integrity and independence, and distributed over a variety of platforms designed to broaden storytelling formats and engage a wide range of audiences.

The new organization’s top priority will be to earn the trust of the communities it serves through two-way relationships and an innovative community-led reporting model; these efforts will augment newsroom coverage and aid in story development. It will feature a community bureau, staffed by people experienced in journalism and community engagement, who will recruit, train, pay, and mentor residents to collaborate on gathering information for their communities. These community reporting efforts will help drive newsroom coverage, aid in story development, and hold the newsroom accountable for being responsive to community needs.

The newsroom will also provide information without barriers. Coverage will be distributed across multiple formats and platforms, without paywalls or subscription requirements, to broaden storytelling formats and engage a wide range of audiences, no matter their literacy level, language or Internet access.

Responsibilities & Priorities
  • Work with reporters and editors to create dynamic, accessible audiovisual content for website and social media platforms that is accessible and relevant to residents of Indianapolis
  • Be a resource for the newsroom on multimedia formats that are most effective on social media platforms; keep your finger on the pulse of what types of videos or other audiovisual formats can most effectively reach residents who primarily consume information on social media 
  • Cultivate a network of local artists to develop original art to distribute news and information in creative multimedia formats.
  • Work with editors, reporters, including the data journalist and service journalist, to identify work from the newsroom that would make for good audiovisual content, and collaborate to enhance stories or tell them entirely in audiovisual formats
  • Create community-responsive web and social media content, including from ideas and inquiries that emerge from the work of the community journalism director
  • Train and mentor reporters, Documenters, community fellows and others in multimedia production for journalism
  • Proactively identify high-impact targets that will give Indianapolis residents the information they need to thrive in their city
  • Have an urgency to be responsive to community information needs; and an ability to be first on breaking news 
  • Create a library of stock art to use for articles, social media and other content
  • Create visibly pleasing web and social media content

You’re a good fit if you have some of these skill sets: 

  • You want a job where you can use your creativity and digital production skills to do a public service 
  • You feel an urgency to be responsive to community information needs 
  • You can interact effectively with a diverse group of individuals internal and external to the newsroom 
  • You are yourself a user of social media platforms and understand what attracts people to platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, and you’re excited by the prospect of sharing your affinity and knowledge of the platforms with your colleagues
  • You enjoy experimenting with video, animation, graphics, data visualization, and any formats that can effectively tell stories
  • You have a strong understanding and knowledge of Indianapolis neighborhoods and communities and respect for the knowledge community members can bring to the newsroom
  • You have a strong understanding of Indiana’s open records law and how to use it to dislodge records the community might not otherwise see 
  • Proficiency in editing using NLEs such as Adobe Premiere and Avid Media Composer Proficiency with Adobe After Effects, Photoshop and Illustrator
  • You have stellar news judgment and editorial skills.
  • You have strong communication and writing skills
  • You’re experienced in telling stories on multiple platforms using audio, social media and/or video
  • You’re able to work under deadline and prioritize work
  • You have a flexible and entrepreneurial spirit—you can thrive in a startup environment where you are expected to learn as you go and think outside the box
  • You’re able to work evenings as needed 
  • Team player - help others and is supportive 
  • Practice a growth mindset, have the ability to see opportunity even in the midst of challenges
Compensation and Benefits
  • Full-time role with benefits
  • Salary levels will be commensurate with experience, starting at: $80,000

We’re committed to building an inclusive organization that represents the people and communities we serve. We encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply, including women, people of color, veterans, LGBTQ+ people and people with disabilities. The Indiana Local News Initiative is dedicated to equal employment opportunities for all applicants and employees. We encourage people of all races, colors, national origins, ancestries, creeds, religions, genders, ages, disabilities, veteran status, sexual orientations, and marital statuses to apply.

What to expect in the hiring process

We hope to fill this role as soon as possible, though the hiring process can typically take from a few weeks to a few months. We will do our best to communicate with you about timing expectations throughout the process.Candidates who advance to later rounds of this process can expect several interviews, including with a panel of community members. Semi-finalists will be asked to complete a written assignment designed to help us understand your thinking and approach to the role, and you will be offered an optional prep session to ask any questions that will help you put your best foot forward in this process. We aim to truly get to know you, to help you fully understand the role you’re applying for.

Apply using the form below

<script src=""></script><iframe class="airtable-embed airtable-dynamic-height" src="" frameborder="0" onmousewheel="" width="100%" height="2098" style="background: transparent; border: 1px solid #ccc;"></iframe>