We’re hiring for Winter 2020

Hi folks,

My name is Mallory Biggar and I’ll be the editor-in-chief for The Western Front this upcoming winter quarter! While I am absolutely stoked, I can’t do it alone. We’ll need a diverse, hard-working team that is dedicated to ethical, accurate and excellent journalism. We as a publication are committed to hiring and supporting journalists with diverse experiences, and I personally want to enthusiastically welcome candidates from a range of disciplines to apply.

If you’re passionate about the principles of journalism and willing to learn, I would love to see your application. We are looking for candidates who can get their reporting teams organized in the first week, get up to speed with InDesign, AP and Western Front style by the second week (this may seem daunting if you don’t have experience with these programs and guides, but many first-time editors have come in without this experience and have been successful), and have mapped out ambitious editorial goals for their teams by the third week. We will use Slack to coordinate our communication, teams and editing, but will train people in how to use it after they are hired. While prior experience will help you in your position, it is not required. As long as you are ready to learn, we can teach you! As listed in the job descriptions, some editors will be expected to attend pre-production meetings (Monday nights at 4 p.m. every week) and budget meetings, (which will now be Wednesday nights at 4 p.m. every week). All editors will be expected to attend production nights (Tuesday nights at 4 p.m every week). These meetings will be held in the newsroom.

Interviews will be scheduled for Monday Dec. 2 and Tuesday Dec. 3, with times to be determined depending on applications submitted.

I will be looking to fill the following editor positions (pay rate is at minimum wage: $13.50/hour):

Section editors: These positions are available for credit or for pay. I highly recommend taking these positions for credit, because the way the Front class is structured, you’ll be leading a team of in-class reporters and they need your guidance, which can be difficult to arrange if you’re not in class.

  • City news (12 hours per week):

This editor will be responsible for a city news beat team in class (hence the suggestion to take position for credit), with the goal of building a group of specialized reporters who are intimately familiar with this beat. This position will focus on covering breaking news, Bellingham’s government systems, such as City Council, County Council as well as court watch and court dates, community organizations, local environmental stories and stories related to the Nooksack and Lummi nations. This editor will need to attend weekly pre-production meetings and budget meetings.

  • Campus news (12 hours per week):

This editor will be responsible for a campus news beat team in class (hence the suggestion to take position for credit), with the goal of building a group of specialized reporters who are intimately familiar with this beat. This editor will be expected to be on top of stories regarding Western’s administration, faculty government, Board of Trustees, AS government and breaking news on campus (i.e. Western Alerts). The idea is to build familiarity with the faculty senate and various committees as well as the main players in administrative policy and those who influence day-to-day life at Western. This editor needs to be able to quickly edit and publish breaking news and briefs. This editor will need to attend weekly pre-production meetings and budget meetings.

  • City lifestyle (12 hours per week):

This editor will be responsible for a city lifestyle beat team in class (hence the suggestion to take position for credit), with the goal of building a group of specialized reporters who are intimately familiar with this beat. The lifestyle editor will be in charge of delegating and editing stories having to do with the art, music and culture scene in Bellingham. This includes keeping up with new business openings, local event calendars, covering the local art and music scene and cultural activities in Bellingham, as well as local residents with interesting stories to tell. Stories that fall under this beat will include profiles, long-form features and events coverage. This editor will need to attend weekly pre-production and budget meetings.

  • Campus lifestyle (12 hours per week):

This editor will be responsible for a campus lifestyle beat team in class (hence the suggestion to take position for credit), with the goal of building a group of specialized reporters who are intimately familiar with this beat. This editor will handle events on campus and stories related to student life (i.e. student-run events, club events, visitor presenters, etc.). This editor will look for stories that demonstrate what Western students are involved in and highlight the unique cultures around campus. This position requires outreach to under-served groups on campus. This editor will need to attend weekly pre-production meetings and budget meetings.

  • Sports (12 hours per week):

This editor will be responsible for a sports beat team in class (hence the suggestion to take position for credit), with the goal of building a group of specialized reporters who are intimately familiar with this beat. The sports editor will need to have familiarity with contacts within the Athletic department and will assign stories ranging from game coverage, to sports fundraisers, intramural sports and athlete profiles. This editor will need to attend weekly budget meetings.

Other editor positions include:

  • Opinion (5 hours per week):

The opinions editor is responsible for writing an opinion piece each week that they come up with, requiring them to have critical thinking skills as well as a flexible writing style. Coordinates with EIC and ME on ideas, and assigns and edits Viking Voices. This editor needs to attend  weekly budget meetings.

  • Social media/Online (12 hours per week):

Online editor is responsible for making sure there is new content on the website and social media every day, which requires them to be in touch with section editor, and what content is ready to go online.  This editor will also manage the social media calendar, publishing tweets, Instagram and Facebook posts and keeping track of data analytics for the website. We want to be able to add multimedia elements to our stories, so having design and graphics skills and ideas for improving the website are strongly recommended!

  • Copy (2) (8 hours per week):

 Copy editors need to have a strong understanding of AP style and strong fact-checking skills. These editors will edit stories as they come in every day. These editors must be available to edit stories as they become ready to post online.

  • Photo (12 hours per week):

The photo editor is responsible for managing photographers and coordinating photo needs with both reporters and editors. Photo editor must be comfortable with photography editing software, and posting high resolution photos to WordPress and the FacShare folder. Strong photography, organizational and video skills are required. This editor will need to attend weekly pre-production and budget meetings.

Other positions: **These may only be taken for pay!**

  • Photographers/Videographer (2) (4 hours per week):

These are freelance-style positions. Photographers coordinate with the photo editor about photo needs each week, attend assignments, edit their photos and attend weekly photo meetings determined by the photo editor.

  • Illustrator (4 hours per week):

The illustrator is in charge of making weekly comics for the print paper and social media channels. The illustrator must also be available to illustrate stories lacking visual elements with infographics, illustrations, etc. The weekly illustration must be pre-approved by Monday and turned in by Tuesday.

If you are interested in any of these positions, please send a short cover letter, resume, and three examples of your work OR a statement of editorial experience and your point of view on team leadership to mallorybiggar.westernfront@gmail.com by Friday, November 29. Expect to take a diagnostic copy quiz (which will be more extensive for those applying for the Copy Editor position), and please review the SPJ code of ethics and The Western Front style guide prior to your interview.

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