The Indiana Local News Initiative, a nonprofit news organization dedicated to filling information gaps across Indiana, is launching an independent, locally led, community-centered newsroom serving central Indiana, and is looking for an editor-in-chief.

The successful candidate is an experienced newsroom leader with a passion for local journalism; a track record of building and managing teams that produce impactful stories; and a strong perspective on equitable, audience-driven journalism.

You would be at the forefront of a movement to make local news a foundational part of civic life in central Indiana by enabling the kind of journalism that holds power to account while being accountable to the communities it serves.

The Role

The Editor-in-Chief, based in Indianapolis, will build and manage a newsroom capable of carrying out this broad vision for a community-oriented primary news source. You will oversee daily editorial functions of the newsroom, including the aforementioned community bureau, beat reporting, research, multimedia production, and operational partnerships, such as with Indianapolis Documenters. You will create a collaborative and inclusive environment, with a strong foundation and editorial processes for reporters and editors to identify and deploy community-driven reporting and services.

You will lead the charge in making the startup newsroom’s journalism worthy of support from its audience, ensuring the newsroom is setting and meeting ambitious goals for producing local journalism, in terms of both quality and quantity, and distributing it in a way that reaches as many people in central Indiana county as possible, with an emphasis on residents who need it most.

You will work with the organization’s executive team to make a case for local funding, and push for the newsroom growth needed to fill Indiana’s vast information gaps. You will play an active role in representing the organization in public forums to evangelize the newsroom’s mission, including by representing program strategy to current and prospective funders. As the organization’s top news representative in central Indiana, you will be charged with cultivating relationships with key stakeholders across sectors, including partnerships with other outlets in the ecosystem to amplify coverage. You’ll report to the CEO of the Indiana Local News Initiative, who will lead the organization’s business, fundraising and operations strategies and functions.

The Newsroom

The start of the yet-to-be-named central Indiana newsroom follows an information needs assessment conducted by American Journalism Project that found 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 founding team of the central Indiana newsroom will be tasked with hiring experienced journalists with deep ties to central Indiana 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.

The new organization’s top priority will be to build trust with the communities it serves, through development of an innovative community-led reporting model. 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.

The Newsroom
  • Develop and execute a vision and strategy to grow the newsroom from scratch into a thriving anchor newsroom for central Indiana.
  • Design, implement and manage daily newsroom operations that can produce strong, community-oriented accountability journalism where ground level stakeholders are involved in shaping news stories.
  • Produce culturally relevant narratives to amplify the voices and lived experiences of marginalized communities. Foster culturally competent news coverage that centers on the perspectives and concerns of the community most impacted by the subject matter.
  • Create a newsroom culture that can attract, retain and develop journalism talent in central Indiana. Make continuous efforts to cultivate the journalist in grassroots storytellers.
  • Hold the newsroom to the highest levels of transparency, accountability and consistency.
  • Ensure that the newsroom fully embodies core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and incorporates DEI best practices in alignment with the strategic plan.
  • Ensure that newsroom staff on all levels reflect the diversity of central Indiana, and take the lead in incorporating community engagement in everyday coverage.
  • Drive an open culture of collaboration, quality, innovation, data-driven decision-making and intelligent use of resources.
  • Serve as a visible ambassador for the newsroom in the community, including speaking at public events and with potential donors.

You’re a good fit if…

  • You are an experienced local newsroom leader with experience and a track record of producing and/or editing impactful journalism.
  • You wake up every day thinking about how to get more people in Indiana the information they need, and how to produce journalism that holds power to account.
  • You believe local newsrooms should support, and be responsive to, the needs of the communities they serve, and are eager to build a newsroom that can do both accountability journalism and service journalism without settling for less than what your constituencies need.
  • You have a strong interest in and can rally support for local journalism and independent media.
  • You thrive in a fast-paced startup environment where you are expected to think outside the box and build things from scratch.
  • You enjoy collaborating with others and finding new ways to serve the community.
  • You prioritize building an equitable and inclusive organizational culture.
  • You are the kind of leader who brings teams together, fosters a healthy work environment and motivates people to go the extra mile.
Compensation and Benefits
  • Full time role with benefits
  • Salary commensurate with experience

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 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.

Apply using the form below

Apply by using the form below. You can email question to admin@localnewsforindiana.org with “Central Indiana EIC” in the subject line.