Journo Jobs

High Country News seeks an indigenous affairs editor

September 25, 2023

Posted by Mariam Ahmed

High Country News is hiring an Indigenous Affairs Editor to help guide the magazine’s journalism and produce stories that are important to Indigenous communities and tribal nations across the Western United States. This is a chance to join our all-remote team in creating thoughtful, enterprising and hard-hitting journalism that resonates with both Indigenous and non-Indigenous audiences.

The Indigenous Affairs Editor serves on the editorial management team and oversees and develops HCN’s Indigenous affairs coverage, often focusing on the intersections of Indigenous people and nations with HCN’s other coverage areas, which include land, water, wildlife; climate change; and justice and equity. Coverage also examines issues unique to Indigenous communities such as tribal sovereignty, tribal governance, the federal government’s unique relationship with, and responsibilities to, Native people, post-colonialism and the legacy of genocide, language revitalization and traditional ecological knowledge.

The person in this position conceives and executes ambitious projects that seek to further the conversation around issues vital to Indigenous communities and highlight their contributions to the culture and ecosystems of the West. They collaborate across the newsroom and across platforms to ensure that HCN’s coverage of Indigenous communities is both deeply informed and culturally appropriate. They work independently and collaboratively to deliver short-form reportage, analysis, essays and perspectives, newsletters and longform features for HCN’s print and digital platforms. They provide mentorship and work extensively with fellows and interns and they oversee one or more staff writers, editors, correspondents and/or contributing editors.

The ideal candidate has a deep understanding of Indigenous communities and experience working with Indigenous writers, photographers and illustrators to produce stories that resonate with Indigenous and non-Indigenous audiences. They will ideally have lived experience as a person of Indigenous identity and/or a sophisticated understanding of Indigeneity. We strongly encourage Indigenous journalists to apply.

Duties/Outcomes will include:

The Indigenous Affairs Editor will work under the general direction of the News and Investigations Editor, and duties will include:

  • Identifies key themes, stories and ideas that capture and define the present realities and possible futures of Indigenous communities in the Western United States
  • Leads the Indigenous affairs team to produce a range of stories, from deep-diving features and investigations to news, analysis, essays, perspectives and humor
  • Serves on the editorial management team, helping to make decisions about the future of HCN’s direction and staffing
  • Hires, guides and mentors staff writers, editors, interns, fellows and freelancers, with a focus on mentoring and building the careers of Indigenous journalists
  • Stewards and seeks to expand HCN’s efforts to nurture and grow Indigenous journalists both within and beyond the organization
  • Collaborates across the editorial and design departments to assure cultural competency and sensitivity in stories where Indigenous people and communities are featured
  • Collaborates across the wider organization to ensure cultural competency in outreach efforts to Indigenous communities
  • Maintains a pipeline of Indigenous affairs stories to ensure that there are sufficient viable options to run in each monthly print issue
  • Conceives and assigns quick-turn stories pegged to current events
  • Writes compelling headlines and display copy
  • Experiments with new story forms
  • Manages a portion of the editorial department’s budget
  • Reports and writes for HCN in print and online as desired and as time allows
  • Works with the marketing and social media staff to brainstorm ways of promoting stories and reaching new audiences

Skills and Experience:

We’re most interested in hearing how your own skills, broader experience and qualifications would enhance the role and benefit HCN and the communities we serve, and hope to serve, across the West. We’re looking for someone who is passionate about the mission and values of HCN, and driven to enhance diversity, equity and inclusion in editorial practices and company culture.

The ideal candidate has exceptional writing, reporting and editing skills, with strong news judgment and steadfast commitment to editorial standards.  They have a track record of effective leadership and personnel management and are able to balance multiple tasks and adhere to deadlines. This position requires exceptional communication skills and the ability to work collaboratively and build positive relationships with other managers and staff of HCN.

Salary in the range of $72,493 to $80,548 annual equivalent, dependent on skills and experience.

To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to with “Indigenous Affairs Editor” in the subject line. Your cover letter should explain what HCN’s Indigenous Affairs coverage would look like under your leadership, and how you’d bring diversity to bear on the work.

The closing date for applications is October 20th, 2023. In your email, please let us know how you heard about the position.

For more details click here.

Subscribe to TBN

Receive updates about new stories in the industry daily or weekly.

Subscribe to TBN

Receive updates about new stories in the industry.