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Editor, CommonWealth Beacon

Website cwbeacon CommonWealth Beacon

Politics, ideas, and civic life in Massachusetts

CommonWealth Beacon is an award-winning and highly influential source of rigorous reporting and in-depth journalism, as well as thought-provoking analysis and opinion that illuminates the key issues and players shaping politics, public policy, and government across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  

Its mission is to build a more inclusive and vibrant civic culture that makes government more responsive and effective by providing non-profit, non-partisan, original civic news coverage to the people of Massachusetts free of charge.

The roots of CommonWealth Beacon date to 1996 when the quarterly public-policy focused print publication, CommonWealth Magazine, was launched, featuring in-depth original reporting on policy, politics, and government in Massachusetts. In 2018, CommonWealth transitioned to an online-only publication featuring in-depth articles as well as shorter news pieces, and on November 1, 2023, it was rebranded as CommonWealth Beacon, following a three-year period of planning, fundraising, and investment.

Today, CommonWealth Beacon provides readers with high-quality, non-partisan original journalism covering the major issues of the day, including housing, transportation, healthcare, criminal justice, and education, among others.  Its reporters routinely uncover stories that bring necessary accountability to state government, while also highlighting promising solutions to some of Massachusetts’ biggest challenges. CommonWealth Beacon’s stories are widely read by leading policy makers and their staff in state government as well as by journalists and influential thought leaders. In fact, CommonWealth Beacon stories – from scoops and deep dives to opinion pieces ­– have sparked important debates and helped shape policy on Beacon Hill and in municipal governments across the state. In addition to its rigorous reporting, CommonWealth Beacon also publishes a diverse array of thoughtful opinion pieces and op-eds that elevate and expand the civic conversation.

A Non-Profit Civic News Organization 

CommonWealth Beacon is published by a non-partisan, non-profit organization called the Massachusetts Institute for a New CommonWealth – or MassINC. MassINC’s mission is to make Massachusetts a place of civic vitality and inclusive economic opportunity by providing residents with the nonpartisan research, reporting, analysis, and civic engagement necessary to understand policy choices, inform decision making, and hold the government accountable.

MassINC achieves its mission through three distinct programs, including CommonWealth Beacon, the MassINC Policy Center and The MassINC Polling Group, which is a for-profit subsidiary.  Each unit operates with independence from the others while leveraging the administrative, financial, H.R. and other resources of the parent organization.  The business lines can collaborate when they choose to do so. For example, CommonWealth Beacon has hired the MassINC Polling Group to conduct polls to enhance its news coverage.  All of the units benefit from being part of a larger community of smart, knowledgeable colleagues who are deeply engaged in public policy and civic affairs.

During a time of tremendous social change and political division, CommonWealth Beacon is dedicated to being a trusted source of unbiased journalism. Since its inception, CommonWealth Beacon has maintained high standards of editorial independence and journalistic integrity in its coverage of the state legislature, state government agencies and public policy issues – all while operating as part of the MassINC organization.

Expanding and Evolving: Strengthening the Local News Ecosystem

Whereas local news deserts are growing, and trusted public service journalism is on the decline in many communities across the nation, CommonWealth Beacon – an early innovator in non-profit journalism – is now part of the growing national movement in non-profit, non-partisan civic journalism. Drawing on the knowledge and experiences of statewide non-profit news outlets in Texas, Connecticut, and Vermont, CommonWealth Beacon is uniquely positioned to fill a similar void in Massachusetts.

A recent survey of CommonWealth Beacon readers revealed:

  • 41% want more opinion pieces from diverse perspectives.
  • 45% want more in-depth articles.
  • 54% would like to see more daily reporting about ongoing news stories.
  • 54% want more coverage of local communities outside of Boston.
  • 81% would like to see reporting that explains problems and potential solutions, consistent with the national movement toward Solutions Journalism.

In response, CommonWealth Beacon embarked on an ambitious three-year fundraising campaign and built a new strategy for growth. Last year, CommonWealth Beacon completely modernized its website and technology infrastructure. It also hired two new reporters as well as a director of audience engagement and a director of development.

These investments position CommonWealth Beacon to fill the growing void in the larger news ecosystem — and to meet the growing demands of readers. CommonWealth Beacon’s future growth will help inform and engage more residents in the actions of governments across Massachusetts – and will help those in government understand how their policies and programs are impacting people throughout the state. CommonWealth Beacon also has an opportunity to illuminate efforts in the private and nonprofit sectors to address challenges and make Massachusetts a better place for all.

The goal is to foster thoughtful, respectful, and civil discourse rooted in facts and inclusive of diverse voices – a recipe for a healthy democracy and a better future.

In pursuit of this goal, CommonWealth Beacon will focus its efforts on three strategic pillars:

  • Outstanding journalism that serves the public interest
  • Active community and audience engagement
  • A financially sustainable business model

The recent investments in staffing and technology have already helped CommonWealth Beacon expand its readership and better serve audiences through modern content delivery systems, including custom newsletters, social media engagement, podcasts, and events. Now the organization is poised to take the next step to attract even more readers and supporters.

For more information about CommonWealth Beacon, please visit

For more information about MassINC, please visit

The Opportunity

CommonWealth Beacon seeks an outstanding, mission-driven Editor with a passion for local government, digital media, and rigorous public service journalism to lead the next chapter of growth and impact for the organization.   Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer of MassINC, the Editor will lead CommonWealth Beacon’s award-winning newsroom in an exciting new phase of service and innovation across a wide array of digital platforms. The newsroom includes an Executive Editor and three reporters, all of whom report directly to the Editor.   In addition, CommonWealth Beacon enjoys critical support from, and close collaboration with, the Director of Audience and Director of Development. The Editor will lead the day-to-day operations of CommonWealth Beacon’s newsroom and oversee a small team of journalists. They will have the opportunity to lead a dynamic, forward-looking local media organization with a rich history, a deep commitment to rigorous coverage of state and local government, and a devoted readership. The next leader will embrace the chance to be both a steward of the CommonWealth Beacon’s history as well as a visionary leader who will ensure it remains relevant and sustainable amid a changing media environment.

Specifically, the Editor will play a central role in designing and executing the editorial strategy across platforms and products. This includes determining coverage priorities and staffing needs, as well as fostering an experimental, innovative culture that allows the organization to pilot and produce compelling new offerings. They will play a leading role in the development and implementation of multi-platform products to grow audience and engagement.

The ideal candidate will be an experienced and transformational leader who can develop and execute an editorial vision with a sophisticated and nuanced understanding of how to drive editorial impact across Massachusetts. They will have extensive experience inspiring journalists to create work of the highest caliber in watchdog, enterprise, and daily reporting. They will bring compelling ideas to the table and will also take joy in shaping and encouraging the ideas of others. The Editor will embrace the opportunity to grow a diverse newsroom as well as expand its coverage to fully reflect the voices, perspectives, and issues that shape Massachusetts’ many communities. They will possess an appetite for adventure and fun. They will have a passion for growth and impact in a time of dynamic change and will actively look for opportunities to partner and collaborate with other news organizations.   

Beyond the professional functions of this role, there is a vital need for the Editor to understand the unique issues, people, and communities that comprise Massachusetts and to take the time to build rapport across the many constituencies in the Commonwealth.

Key Responsibilities

  • Serve as Editor of CommonWealth Beacon, overseeing the editorial strategy, editorial operations, and editorial content of the publication across platforms and verticals.
  • Provide and maintain strategic focus for the newsroom, identifying and implementing strategic initiatives that deliver against CommonWealth Beacon’s goals and mission.
  • Seek new opportunities to grow audience and deepen impact through editorial coverage, new products, events, and partnerships.
  • Collaborate with the CEO, staff, and others to ensure CommonWealth Beacon is able to deliver on its three strategic pillars, including outstanding journalism that serves the public interest, active community engagement, and a financially sustainable business model.
  • In partnership with the Publisher and CEO, participate in co-creating and supporting a viable and editorially appropriate business model for CommonWealth Beacon, including making the case for its journalism to external funders.
  • Provide organizational and operational clarity, including alignment of staff roles, systems, and processes to maximize impact and effective workflows.
  • Seek to provide full and fair coverage at all times, fostering a culture of journalism based on rigorous inquiry, editorial independence, high ethical standards, non-partisanship, community engagement, and an array of perspectives and voices.
  • Recruit, develop, and retain a highly talented and diverse team at all levels of CommonWealth Beacon and be a driving force in fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace.
  • Continue to evolve a shared culture across teams, ensuring all CommonWealth Beacon team members are collaborating with each other and, where appropriate, with MassINC colleagues, to create a unified sense of purpose, accountability, transparency, and excellence.
  • Cultivate a climate of continuous learning and professional development, recognizing the opportunities to grow, diversify, and retain top talent.
  • Build successful relationships with peers in journalism and media as an ambassador, thought partner, and collaborator, including with professional associations, other news organizations, and journalism schools.
  • Stay abreast of broader trends in media and technology, seeking the most creative, vibrant, and engaging means of connecting with intended audiences.
  • Preserve the unique tone and perspective of the CommonWealth Beacon while ensuring the highest standards of fact-based, balanced, and in-depth journalism.
  • Consult on and edit guest opinion pieces and commentary, ensuring timely production, diverse viewpoints, and keen insights.

Candidate Profile

While no one candidate will have every experience outlined in the position description, ideal candidates will display the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:

Outstanding Editorial Leader with Demonstrated Commitment to Journalistic Excellence

  • Outstanding news judgment and a significant record of accomplishment in leading journalists to produce work of tremendous distinction and community impact.
  • Deep commitment to the highest standards of journalistic ethics and the mission of public service journalism, including independence, fairness, rigor, and non-partisanship.
  • A passion for, and expertise in, state and local government and public policy reporting and editing.
  • Experience and fluency in a variety of journalistic modes, including daily newsgathering, investigative reporting, data journalism, solutions journalism, and multimedia storytelling.
  • A natural teambuilder and uniter, someone who is adept at building and strengthening relationships across a diverse array of orientations and perspectives.
  • Strong editorial partnership and collaboration skills, working internally and externally to initiate partnerships and projects that advance journalistic impact and engage new audiences.

A Strategic Leader with a Strong Results & Impact Orientation

  • An accomplished strategic thinker and innovator who can articulate a clear, compelling, and unifying editorial vision for CommonWealth Beacon that engages and inspires a diverse array of stakeholders.
  • Ability to balance “big picture” strategic guidance with the ability to execute and operationalize plans.
  • Translates an editorial vision and strategy into clear objectives, systems, structures, and workflows that help staff do their work effectively, collaboratively, and sustainably.
  • Brings clarity to the news gathering efforts of the organization by defining and communicating the overall strategic priorities of the newsroom in a clear, consistent way.
  • Brings focus and prioritization to the diverse needs and competing demands of various platforms and story types, from daily news items to long-form investigations.
  • Demonstrates a deep understanding of the highly dynamic digital media and journalism landscape, and the ability to effectively leverage digital technologies to lead successfully and nimbly in rapidly changing times.
  • Clearly defines goals and success metrics and holds all members of the team accountable for results and impact.

A Digitally Savvy, Innovative & Creative Leader

  • Brings an expansive, optimistic view of the possibilities for local journalism and is energized by new ideas and new pathways for community impact.
  • Embraces the continually emerging journalistic possibilities on digital platforms and is an able to lead and inspire change effectively.
  • Designs and executes editorial and audience engagement strategies on digital platforms that engage readers, grow audiences, builds trust, and increases impact.
  • Demonstrates an entrepreneurial spirit with a track-record of fostering successful innovation in news gathering and delivery.
  • Embraces the creative process and allow others to try new approaches while also establishing clear benchmarks for success and the ability to pivot when circumstances dictate.
  • Navigates the rapidly evolving media landscape and makes smart, informed strategic decisions about how best to serve the residents of the Commonwealth.

Superb Relationship Builder & Inclusive People Leader 

  • Leads with authenticity and inclusivity at all times, demonstrating high emotional intelligence, strong self-awareness, and deep cultural competency.
  • Exhibits a collaborative and open approach to leadership that engages others in a spirit of mutual trust and fosters innovation and experimentation.
  • Embraces and encourages reporting and content creation that authentically represents and elevates a multiplicity of voices in the communities CommonWealth Beacon serves.
  • Recruits, hires, and retains outstanding talent, including creating pathways for continuous learning and professional development among staff.
  • Demonstrates a commitment to, and a track record of accomplishment in, advancing the work of diversity, equity, inclusion as a leader.
  • Inspires the team to achieve ambitious results, celebrates success, and holds people accountable.

Passion for In-Depth Journalism that Illuminates State and Local Government & Policy 

  • Fully embraces the work and mission of producing outstanding journalism that shines a spotlight on the important and, at times, under-covered issues and players that impact government and public policy decisions across Massachusetts.
  • Demonstrates a keen understanding of state and local government, politics, and public policy issues, especially in Massachusetts.
  • Exhibits enthusiasm for the Commonwealth and believes passionately in providing quality journalism that serves, informs, and connects the many people who call Massachusetts home.
  • Serves as a standard bearer for high-quality, trusted, and independent journalism – and the essential role it plays in strengthening civic life across the Commonwealth.
  • Demonstrates an unwavering commitment to journalism that holds power to account while also seeking to deepen understanding and build trust amid a climate of growing obfuscation and polarization.
  • Actively engages colleagues in the creative and editorial process, and effectively conveys CommonWealth Beacon’s work, mission, and vision as a public representative across a broad range of constituencies.
  • Embraces the opportunity to serve as a spokesperson for the mission, vision, and journalism of CommonWealth Beacon, frequently representing the organization in external settings, including to the media.

Compensation & Benefits

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. The salary range for this role is $150,000 to $175,000 with a generous benefits package, including health and dental insurance, unlimited paid time off, and a 401k retirement plan with a 6% employee match.



Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Andy Tarsy, Steve Edwards, Maureen Alphonse-Charles, and Sarah Wilson of Koya Partners are leading this search. To express interest in this role please submit your materials by filling out our Talent Profile. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

Koya Partners is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals living with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual living with a disability and need assistance expressing interest online, please email If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.

MassINC is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ applicants.

To apply for this job email your details to

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