Posted On: November 6, 2020
Media Organization: The Forward Association
Founded in 1897, the Forward is the leading voice in American Jewish journalism and a platform for civil discourse on issues that divide us. We are an independent, reader-supported nonprofit 501(c)(3) that sees journalism as a public service and pillar of our democracy. While we began as a socialist Yiddish newspaper, our only ideology now is that of inquiry, and we aim to serve the full Jewish community.
Digital-only since May of 2019, the Forward is in the midst of a transformation to better serve the next generation of readers.
The Forward seeks an experienced digital journalist to lead our daily report and maximize its impact across platforms by building and engaging audiences.
The News Director is a leadership/operations role created in February 2020 as part of The Forward’s transformation to an all-digital publication; it is part audience strategist, part assignment editor, the person who runs the day. This manager will work across our editorial team to program the Website, social accounts and newsletters; respond to news, search trends and social conversation in timely and distinctive ways; develop tailored audience plans for our signature journalism; and determine the cadence and content mix to engage and grow our readership.
We are looking for an innovative, flexible, self-starting and unflappable juggler with excellent news instincts, quick reflexes, strong technical skills, experience with analytics, dexterity with imperfect systems, and a sense of humor. We need someone adept at stretching resources and finding solutions, someone who brings calm to chaos, plays well with others, has audacious goals and the focused patience to pursue them step by step.
Yes, we want it all, and we prize diversity of background, experience and perspective, too. Knowledge of the Jewish community is a plus; commitment to independent journalism and civil discourse a must.
Founded in 1897 as a Yiddish, socialist daily broadsheet, The Forward is the nation’s oldest and leading Jewish news organization. We ended print publication in 2019, and have over the past year nearly doubled our overall audience to close to 3 million users in August, a third of them under 35; our newsletter list has meanwhile grown by 61% since March with no decline in open rate, and we have also added significant programming to engage views on Zoom, YouTube and Facebook Live.
The News Director directly manages interns and assigns staffers and freelancers to handle quick takes off the news as well as evergreen guides and service journalism. This editor will also supervise our new social-media editor, coordinate our partnerships with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Haaretz, and seek other co-publishing arrangements with Jewish and secular news outlets to enhance our report for readers.
Working closely with the Editor-in-Chief and other Forward executives, the News Director is responsible for understanding our audience and deepening its engagement with our journalism, and will be held accountable for setting our audience goals and adjusting our strategy through a process of testing and learning to meet them. That includes refining meaningful metrics about engagement; setting benchmarks for individual projects and overall performance; educating staff and stakeholders about these metrics and benchmarks; and reporting regularly on audience internally and externally.
The News Director reports directly to the Editor-in-Chief and will be the newsroom’s point person for working with product, tech and marketing teams on initiatives to enhance the user experience; deepen reader engagement; grow newsletter lists; raise revenue; and explore new platforms.
Other responsibilities include:
-Training staff on SEO and social best practices for headlines, URLs; workshopping headlines in real time
-Setting strategy for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, organic and paid campaigns
-Developing and maintaining relationships with Facebook, Apple News and other platforms (Smart News) to enhance our growth
-Monitoring analytics in real time to help editors seize opportunities
-Overseeing newsletter operations
-Directly engaging readers in shaping our journalism through call-outs
-Creating feature content that aims to leverage calendar, ie holidays real (Passover, Purim) or manufactured (National Bagel Day)
-Seizing opportunities to resurface evergreen content based on the news, social conversation or calendar
-Writing/editing as needed, especially rounding up social-media commentary, and creating photos/videos/graphics, especially for social accounts
-Producing stories as needed, including sourcing photographs, writing headlines and formatting things in CMS
-Troubleshooting issues on Forward.com and newsletters
-Project-managing new editorial initiatives and products
Please send resume and a one-page pitch outlining your qualifications and vision for the role to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: News Editor.