Community News Director

Public Media Network   Kalamazoo, MI   Full-time     Other
Posted on September 22, 2022
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Public Media Network seeks a community-focused and motivated professional to lead our growing local news and storytelling programs. You will expand and build a sustainable community news program that engages with community members to produce authentic content to increase social action, civic engagement, and a sense of place that directly serves audiences in the Greater Kalamazoo community.

The Community News Director will serve as a leader and visionary in the development, production, and multi-platform distribution of neighborhood and civic stories for distribution.

Our goal is for neighborhood and civic reporting to inform, inspire and empower people to engage with their community. We work with community members to help them tell the human stories behind our local area's government, civics, environment, culture, economy, environment, and other community issues.

The position is a full-time (40 hours per week), salaried-exempt position. Availability for regular evening and weekend work is required.

Compensation for the position is $48,000 - $58,000/year, paid time off, paid holidays, medical/health insurance plans with employee contribution, parking, retirement plan contribution after 2 years of employment.

General Overview

You will lead the Community News Initiatives and the Neighborhood Voices Network program, team members, and community members serving as neighborhood and civic reporters. You will ensure local participatory journalism connects people to civic life, examine systems and solutions, authentically represents the communities it serves, and tells the stories often excluded from mainstream media.


Neighborhood Voices Network

Lead, participatory and engaged journalism initiatives to expand information and stories at the neighborhood level that is inclusive of our communities.

  • Engage with community members to produce editorial content to increase social action, civic engagement, and a sense of place that directly serves BIPOC audiences and the Greater Kalamazoo community.
  • Produce multimedia news stories that elevates community voices and perspectives and helps people engage with civic life.
  • Produce a weekly public affairs program to explore civic life and community conversations on issues.
  • Produce a newsletter to connect audiences with civic life. Engaging with the audience and potential audiences to understand how the newsletter and content can best serve them.
  • Mentor and support neighborhood reporters and community partners to design an engaged journalism process that centers community questions, experiences, and ideas for solutions to produce reporting with greater local impact, informing journalism that reflects community concerns and priorities.
  • Manage the planning and presentation of original news and public affairs programming
  • Hire, supervise, train, and manage direct staff through providing work direction, constructive performance coaching, mentorship, performance meetings, and ongoing feedback.

Community Journalism Training

Implement training strategies and programs based in participatory media and journalism to democratize journalism in our communities.

  • Develop, design, and implement curriculum and programs to mentor, train, and support community journalists.
  • Work with Community Programs Manager to identify opportunities for training and education for community producers/journalists.
  • Work with Media Education and Technology Director to design and implement a journalism workforce development program that helps to reduce barriers for people traditionally excluded or underrepresented in journalism.
  • Facilitate production meetings and conduct training with neighborhood and civic journalists.

Partnerships and Collaboration

Collaborate closely with other functions and community partners.

  • Hold responsibility for journalism initiative budgets, working in collaboration with Administration. Explore and when appropriate, pursue new business models and content collaborations.
  • Engage with members and activities of the Southwest Michigan Journalism Collaborative, other news and media organizations, and independent storytellers in the community.
  • Engage with municipal partners to help increase civic engagement in their respective communities.


Work creatively and flexibly in a team environment, operating autonomously under minimal supervision, and to both provide and accept direction, supervision, and guidance when appropriate.

  • Focus on equity and inclusivity in all the local storytelling we do and facilitate to serve our community.
  • Communicate and be accountable with strong communication to the PMN team, storytellers, event participants, and funders.
  • Stay apprised of innovations in the journalism and media world, including developments in the areas of engaged journalism, solutions journalism, and citizen journalism
  • Gather and maintain project-related data and draft periodic impact reports.
  • Other duties as needed to help Public Media Network meet its mission.


  • Passionate storyteller, speaker, thinker, doer, and initiator, preferably with experience in journalism, documentary, and/or media production.
  • Skilled at fostering and maintaining internal and external relationships.
  • Experience in developing a story from idea to final product.
  • Comfortability interviewing guests for tv content.
  • Proficient in using media production equipment, social media platforms, and digital software.
  • Able to work with diverse constituencies of our community with respect and integrity.
  • Aware, and stays informed, of critical community issues and trends.
  • Willingness to learn and develop technology and media skills.
  • Work effectively in a volunteer environment.
  • Enthusiasm for Public Media Network's mission of connecting communities and empowering all people through media

Essential Physical Demands and Working Environment

  • Ability to see, communicate, hear, and utilize electronic communication devices.
  • Ability to travel to locations in the Greater Kalamazoo region as required.
  • Ability to work irregular hours as needed.

Desired Education and/or Experience

  • Any combination of education and experience that provides the skill, knowledge, and abilities required:
  • At least 5 years of experience in published writing, reporting or multimedia creation
  • Leadership; at least 5 years of team management and staff development
  • Deep connection to/in the Greater Kalamazoo area.
  • Editorial mindset that seeks to understand what information audiences need, what stories are missing, and how to create and share it

The How: Keys to Success!

  • Customer Service Orientation: Your job is to make it easy and pleasant for community members to engage with Public Media Network and tell their stories. View your work as supporting the whole and integral to the effectiveness of our content and engagement programs.
  • Positive Attitude and Flexibility: Approach work with a spirit of yes; strike a positive tone; push work forward through obstacles and adapt quickly as things change, which they inevitably will. Be willing to jump in and help where needed.
  • 100 percent follow-through: No dropped balls! Stay on top of tasks and follow-up items and general areas of work; consistently meet deadlines.
  • Community: Value the need for community and work to relate to others, embrace different perspectives, and learn from each other. Support others in their work to foster a safe environment for the development and expression of ideas.
  • Equity: Work to identify and reduce potential barriers in our work; acknowledge that we have systemic biases; look for ways to address inequity in media; recognize there will always be unfinished business.
  • Have fun: Approach your work with a fun and energetic attitude; be authentic and show excitement for the work and ideas around shifting community narratives. Energy and enthusiasm are contagious and will create a more positive environment for all.
  • Accountability: Operate with integrity and in an ethical and open manner. Recognize you have a duty to Public Media Network’s mission and role in serving the community.

Public Media Network

359 S Kalamazoo Mall, Ste 300
Kalamazoo , MI