Community Journalism Director

The Indiana Local News Initiative hiring an Indianapolis-based Community Journalism Director to establish and lead a community journalism program, which will include a new local affiliate of the award-winning Documenters program, founded and operated by City Bureau to train and pay people to produce information in the public interest. With local media in crisis in Indiana and across the country, this program is part of a movement that is reimagining how information can be accessed and shared in our communities.

We’re looking for an effective team manager with experience in journalism, community engagement, or other fields that involve mobilizing people and information for the public good. Your role will be to build an engaged audience around local community reporting in central Indiana and help them learn to use tools of journalism to become more engaged in their communities. The program you build will train residents to document public meetings, and participate in special reporting and information distribution projects, creating a powerful new resource that will strengthen the information ecosystem and civic engagement in central Indiana.

If you have a track record of cultivating deep community relationships, you enjoy taking creative, iterative approaches to program design, and have a passion for organizing people to address big problems from the ground up, this role is for you. As part of the Documenters Network, you will receive the full benefits of training, technology, and tools to get the program up and running. You will start by working with the team at the American Journalism Project, which is incubating and fiscally sponsoring the Initiative, and have the support of both City Bureau and the American Journalism Project to develop and execute a vision for the local program.

The Role


  • Establish and manage a journalism community of practice in Central Indiana, starting with a Documenters program that recruits, trains, and compensates residents to participate in news gathering and distribution. You will have support from City Bureau, the American Journalism Project, and industry peers in the Documenters Network to get started.
  • Join the leadership team of a local, nonprofit newsroom serving Central Indiana and work with this founding team to integrate Documenters work and principles of community journalism into daily operations.
  • Develop an inclusive recruitment program to build, grow, and oversee a network of program participants who are engaged in taking community reporting assignments. Comparable programs recruit 200-300 participants in their first year, of which roughly 10% are actively taking assignments and covering 5-9 meetings per week.
  • Hire an assignment editor to help with training community reporters (“Documenters”); fact-checking and approving community reporting on local government meetings; curating community reports for publishing; and identify a list of opportunities, questions, and ideas from community reporting that may warrant further investigation by the newsroom when it’s established.
  • Lead the creation of products, such as an email newsletter or SMS updates, to share out work from Documenters and broader community journalism efforts.
  • Host regular training sessions and office hours to help residents get comfortable with using Documenters tools and general reporting practices
  • Develop and manage special projects that engage Documenters to promote local knowledge of central Indiana and its civic processes (see examples here and here)
  • Apply an equity framework to programmatic decisions to ensure the Documenters site reflects the greatest need as it applies to race, gender and other demographics (see City Bureau’s Community Engagement Guidelines)
  • Cultivate a network of local partners in media, community organizing, education, academia and government who are consistently using as part of their regular work and sharing feedback with City Bureau.
  • Work with City Bureau marketing and editorial staff to tell the story of the Documenters Network and make sure Documenters’ work reaches the people who can use it.


  • Experience in engagement journalism, community organizing, grassroots political campaigning or a related field
  • Experience managing a team and/or leading projects where people with diverse backgrounds, perspectives and abilities feel they can do their best work
  • A demonstrated commitment to equipping and organizing people toward collective action
  • Impeccable and inclusive project planning and prioritization skills
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to rally stakeholders and solve problems creatively and collaboratively
  • Experience cultivating deep relationships, trust and solutions with a community (we know this can mean many things and want to hear how it manifests in your work)
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule that may require some nights and weekends

About the partners
American Journalism Project

The American Journalism Project is a venture philanthropy dedicated to local news, and the fiscal sponsor of this initiative as its 501(c)3 status is pending. We believe in civic journalism as a public good and are reimagining its future by building a model to finance and sustain the local news our democracy requires. We make grants to local nonprofit news organizations to build their revenue and business operations, mentor leaders as they grow and sustain their newsrooms, and partner with communities to launch new organizations, such as Signal Cleveland, an 18-person newsroom launched in 2022 as part of a local news initiative in Ohio that has raised over $7.5 million so far.

City Bureau

Since 2015, City Bureau has been at the forefront of a movement to reimagine journalism as a public good. Our programs inform, engage and equip people to strengthen information systems in communities underserved by existing media. Since 2016 Documenters have logged more than 7,000 hours attending public meetings, surveying community information needs and crowdsourcing data-driven projects. Our program has also trained more than 600 people through free and public workshops on community reporting. See press coverage and process documentation of our work below.

About the partners
Compensation and Benefits
  • Full time role with benefits
  • Salary: $75,000 to $90,000

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.

Apply using the form below

We hope to fill this role as soon as possible, though the hiring process can typically take from a few weeks to several 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 multiple interviews with members of our hiring committee. 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.

Please submit an application using the form below. If you have any questions please feel free to email with “Community Journalism Director” in the subject line.