Deputy Editor

Website teamtrace The Trace

The Trace seeks a visionary, proven, hands-on editor to lead our talented and dogged team of reporters in producing hard-hitting investigations related to our nonprofit news site’s unique focus: guns and gun violence in America.

At the heart of the job are a trio of big opportunities. This is a chance to direct sustained-impact reporting on an issue of grave consequence, and to advance innovations in investigative methods: Recent and forthcoming Trace projects have involved collaborations with more than a dozen local newsrooms; crowdsourced fact-gathering in hard-to-reach communities; and pioneering law enforcement records collection and data analyses, to name a few. The deputy editor for investigations will also be empowered to tackle a central question for single-subject newsrooms: How to use their resources and accumulated issue expertise to deliver the maximum public service.


  • Direct the production of at least four investigative projects or in-depth features with clear impact potential per year, owning each step of the process: sharpening writers’ story ideas, resolving reporting challenges, polishing drafts, etc.
  • Empower fellow editors to manage some projects and articles, while personally overseeing and editing others
  • Motivate investigative team members to identify and execute follow-up pieces and relevant spot news stories that continue to drive impact for published reporting
  • Formally and informally train staff on advanced and emerging reporting techniques
  • Experiment with mediums, story forms, and story lengths to maximize resonance and reach
  • Partner with editorial director to refine newsroom-wide strategy for day-to-day coverage and search-optimized explanatory posts between investigative and enterprise articles
  • Collaborate with senior editors to identify and secure reporting and publishing partners at outside newsrooms
  • Enlist members of The Trace’s engagement team to assist with story idea generation and crowdsourced reporting, then collaborate with them on the rollout and social media strategy for investigative projects and features
  • Maintain master editorial calendar
  • Oversee the recruitment, hiring, and training of investigative fellows
  • Optional: Report and write stories
  • Embody and enforce ethical standards for The Trace’s reporting


The ideal candidate is someone who:

  • Brings a portfolio of investigative projects and stories that have generated direct impact
  • Sees opportunities, as much as story ideas
  • Has the experience to help reporters solve reporting challenges, with particular expertise in successful FOIA requests and source development
  • Is fluent in data journalism and computer-assisted reporting (or better, has personally achieved mastery of same)
  • Understands that being a highly productive investigative editor also means being a meticulous project manager
  • Can coach writers to improve drafts — or take on the role of rewrite desk, when required
  • Deftly and creatively packages investigative reporting to ensure the biggest possible reach, incorporating narrative storytelling and innovative story forms when relevant; writing compelling headlines and display text; and partnering with colleagues to create or source dramatic visual elements and custom layouts
  • Communicates instructions and expectations clearly and absorbs feedback readily
  • Toggles between multiple projects seamlessly
  • Is both self-directed and innately collaborative
  • Embraces the flexibility and creativity that digital media allows — but is relentless in ensuring the accuracy, fairness, and clarity of every piece he or she touches
  • Happily contributes to The Trace’s coverage outside its investigative unit, when needed

This job is probably not for someone who:

  • Is averse to scrappy, fast-paced, evolving work environments
  • Has a hard time making decisions or enforcing deadlines
  • Struggles to stay organized
  • Prefers to approach investigative journalism as a solo operator or unit detached from the daily newsroom

This position may be based either in The Trace’s Brooklyn newsroom or Washington, D.C.

To apply
Please send your resume; four relevant work samples; and a memo (two pages, tops) sketching how you’d approach the job to The deadline to submit materials is March 1, 2018.

The Trace is committed to diversity and strongly encourages applications from women, people of color, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ people.