Breaking News Editor

McClatchy   Lexington, KY   Full-time     Publishing
Posted on November 23, 2021
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The Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader is seeking a Breaking News Editor who will lead our coverage of breaking news, public safety and other local topics with urgency and an eye focused on digital audiences and driving digital readership.

This assigning editor will be critical to starting the day off on the right foot, beginning early to maximize our peak digital audience. They will then drive digital news coverage throughout the day and manage a team in responding quickly and skillfully to breaking news and the biggest events of the day. This editor will directly supervise our public safety coverage (including the award-winning @HLpublicsafety Twitter feed), breaking news and other key local beats, work with and coach journalists on story direction and framing and provide strong content editing. This editor must understand the need for speed as well as context and accuracy and must be committed to responding to news with a sense of urgency across the newsroom.

This editor must be digital-first and fluent in audience-focused coverage in a competitive breaking news media environment. They must be proactive, driven and show initiative while also ensuring that coverage meets high standards for accuracy, fairness, depth and context. This editor must be comfortable with and proficient in using social media as a way to deliver and enhance coverage, visual and video journalism, SEO, analytics and readership metrics, news alerts, the use of email newsletters and other ways to deliver our breaking coverage to key digital audiences in real-time.

The breaking news editor will report to the managing editor and work directly with Lexington journalists. They must also be able to seamlessly collaborate and communicate with other teams and journalists in the newsroom on coverage, as well as with McClatchy’s regional growth and service journalism teams and regional and national real-time coverage teams -- all with a goal of driving digital readership.


  • Strong writing, editing, researching and reporting skills and excellent news judgment.
  • Comfort operating in a fast-paced, competitive news environment that demands urgency.
  • The ability to lead, direct and coach a team of journalists, and a collaborative style that works comfortably across teams spread throughout the newsroom and company. 
  • Understanding of open records laws and data and the ability to file, manage and oversee requests pertinent to beat work.
  • Ability to engage with readers and develop sources on social media platforms including but not limited to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including empathy (toward readers and staff).
  • Ability to articulate and reinforce standards for ethics, fairness and professional conduct as well as journalistic excellence.
  • Ability to correctly identify digital audiences for selected stories.
  • A strong entrepreneurial spirit, deep curiosity and high energy. 


  • A track record of digital journalistic excellence.
  • Strong editing and writing skills and excellent news judgment.
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent
  • 1 year of news editing or equivalent newsroom experience.