Storytelling and Watchdog Content Coach

Petersburg, VA, USA ● Richmond, VA, USA ● Virginia, USA Req #16694
Sunday, June 20, 2021

Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) is a subscription-led and digitally focused media and marketing solutions company committed to empowering communities to thrive. With an unmatched reach at the national and local level, Gannett touches the lives of millions with our Pulitzer-Prize winning content, consumer experiences and benefits, and advertiser products and services.

Our current portfolio of media assets includes USA TODAY, local media organizations in 46 states in the U.S., and Newsquest, a wholly owned subsidiary operating in the United Kingdom with more than 120 local news media brands. Gannett also owns the digital marketing services companies ReachLocal, Inc., UpCurve, Inc., and WordStream, Inc., which are marketed under the LOCALiQ brand, and runs the largest media-owned events business in the U.S., USA TODAY NETWORK Ventures.

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Watchdog & storytelling content coach 


Are you someone who leads a content team and wants to gain experience as an enterprise editor and daily writing coach? Or are you a kick-ass writer and reporter who wants to make the move into newsroom leadership? 


Our area of the USA TODAY Network in Virginia is known for producing great investigative and explanatory journalism and for growing great leaders of journalists. 


You’d have an excellent career opportunity based in Petersburg, Virginia, as editor of The Progress-Index, helping our talented team improve as writers, better connecting with digital audience and polishing some great reporting projects. And, down the line, advancement in the USA TODAY Network would be something we’d support you in. We take our role as a farm team for bigger Gannett sites seriously. 


We need a nimble thinker who knows how to write well and can teach. Our reporters learn through working with us closely on well-crafted enterprise projects — they act as a lab of sorts for skills development. On daily work, we give reporters training, tools and access to us — and then let them loose to find and publish their own stories. 


Our commitment to recruiting a diverse pool of applicants is deep. And our mission to better reflect the lives of Black and brown and LBGTQ and overlooked community members in our journalism is strong. We also are glad to consider coach candidates who have impressive non-traditional resumes. 
While this position works collaboratively, coaches advise and hold reporters accountable. They offer regular portfolio writing advice (review of a past month's work for instance) to help elevate the quality. We want strong, clean, direct writing and visuals and we want lyrical prose, when a story calls for it. Powerful writing, speedily prepared, will be necessary for other deadline stories. 
Coaches ask questions about sourcing and beat development. They stump for investigative and enterprise journalism. They train the room for audience strategies informed by newsrooms metrics, and they coach journalists in weekly 1x1s after doing specific analysis of a reporter's work. 
They roll up their sleeves on projects, working closely with writers. And coaches write occasionally themselves. 

Coaches are not city editors. They think little about print. They don't often assign daily stories — beat reporters are in position to be the experts about what the stories are. Coaches don't sit and line-edit most daily stories for a reporter. 
Overall, a storytelling coach focuses heavily on the most important, sensitive and complex stories. The storytelling coach is the master of the tale in our room. They know how to integrate plot, themes and other storytelling techniques on any platform. 

·       Supervises the work of reporters, with an emphasis on independent ideas and content generation. 

·       Works individually with content creators by identifying areas for improvement and coaching them on how to elevate their work. 

·       Edits the top fraction of enterprise, watchdog, or investigative content that needs a high-level line editing touch. 

·       Participates in community-connection discussions to advocate for audiences. 

·       Monitors real-time data to direct changes tied to what we learn from it. 

·       Identifies and addresses training needs of individuals and groups. 


·       5+ years of professional reporting or editing experience. 

·       Values diverse backgrounds and pushes for social justice reporting. Finds overlooked audiences to report on. 

·       Excellent published writer or visual storyteller. 

·       Enjoys teaching and working with ambitious journalists. 

·       Experience with public records is important. Database or computer-assisted reporting skills will set applicants apart from others. 

·       Understands how to use social media and how to tell multimedia stories. 

·       Thinks innovatively with a passion for keeping on top of evolving trends and technologies in digital media. 

·       Moves quickly to be able to lead a small team well through large changes in our industry. 

·       Demonstrates ability to prioritize, self-start, contribute under pressure, and meet tight deadlines. 

·       Organizes but above all else is a creative and critical thinker. Self-motivated and results-oriented with high regard for details. 



Gannett Co., Inc. is a proud equal opportunity employer. We are a drug free, EEO employer committed to a diverse workforce. We will consider all qualified candidates regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity, family responsibilities, disability, education, political affiliation, or veteran status. 

Other details

  • Job Family Content Strategy & Coaching
  • Job Function Consumer
  • Pay Type Salary
  • Petersburg, VA, USA
  • Richmond, VA, USA
  • Virginia, USA