Job posting: Editorial Director

Reasons to be Cheerful is an online magazine publishing daily content focused on solutions journalism. With offices in New York and a team of contributing editors around the world — as well as freelance writers, photographers and illustrators — its mission is to unearth and report on smart, proven, replicable solutions with a sense of healthy optimism with journalistic integrity. 

Founded by David Byrne, Reasons to be Cheerful (RTBC) is the primary project of Arbutus, a nonprofit founded by Byrne in 2018.

RTBC’s Editorial Director is the publication’s editorial leader. They oversee the daily publication of content, manage the editorial team, and work hand in hand with the Executive Editor to architect strategy. The ideal candidate will be committed to rigorously reported solutions journalism, and uphold RTBC’s editorial mission, standards and sensibility. 

The scope of services will include, but are not limited to:

Editing and Publishing (60% of scope)

  • Conceptualize, assign, edit, factcheck and publish the daily flow of content, ensuring it is in line with RTBC’s mission to unearth and report on smart, proven, replicable solutions,  with support from the Executive Editor; 
  • Direct editorial team in content creation and planning, in part by leading regular editorial meetings to assign stories and approve pitches;
  • Manage the content calendar to ensure a steady and uninterrupted flow of quality editorial output at all times;
  • Create well-designed story layouts in a variety of templates in the WordPress content management system;
  • Write original bylined content on a regular basis;
  • Collaborate with the Executive Editor on special editorial projects;
  • Work with the Audience Engagement Manager to maximize reach and impact of weekly newsletter

People Management (20% of scope)

  • Manage the current core editorial team of two writers, one Audience Engagement Manager and intern(s);
  • Ensure the RTBC team is right-sized and needed skills are present and accounted for by expanding the team if necessary;
  • Conduct editorial team reviews by setting and evaluating benchmarks for team and individual contributors alike;
  • Support Arbutus ED on the creation of contractor agreements;
  • Coordinate several dozen freelancers and maintain relationships with a large roster of talented and diverse writers, photographers and illustrators;
  • In coordination with the Executive Editor and Arbutus’ Executive Director, establish the value set and workplace dynamic that will allow RTBC to continue to thrive 

Strategy (20% of scope)

  • Work with the Executive Editor on long-range content planning, special projects, editorial partnerships and audience goals;
  • Work with the Audience Engagement Manager to develop a marketing strategy for 2023 with an emphasis on audience growth;
  • Support the Executive Editor and Arbutus’ ED in architecting, implementing and evaluating strategy

How We Work in Partnership:

Reasons to be Cheerful has two leadership roles: the Executive Editor and the Editorial Director. The Executive Editor is the strategic lead, overseeing fundraising, partnerships and long-term planning. The Editorial Director is the editorial lead, managing content and overseeing the editorial team. But the two roles frequently intersect. The Executive Editor will often collaborate with the Editorial Director on planning special editorial projects, team management and even daily editing. Likewise, the Editorial Director will frequently work with the Executive Editor on funding opportunities, audience development and new features for the website. As a small team that values deep collaboration, we have found that this structure allows every member to showcase their strengths and contribute their ideas, regardless of role.


  • At least 3 years experience at a journalistic enterprise;
  • Proven track record in leadership (including people management) role(s);
  • Experience working in, and demonstrated enthusiasm for, solutions journalism; 
  • Based in New York City

Ideal candidates:

  • Have experience working in nonprofit journalism;
  • Maintain relationships with a large number of writers and photographers;
  • Have a passion for style, rigor and accuracy;
  • Are nimble, adaptable and able to jump into a variety of roles;
  • Value collaboration with a small, tightly knit team;
  • Respect and protect confidential materials or conversations; 
  • Are proficient in WordPress, Google Docs, Google Sheets and AP Style

Compensation and commitments:

  • Position Type: Independent Contractor
  • Annual Fee Range : $80,000-$85,000
  • Time Commitment: Approx. 32 hours per week (RTBC observes a four-day work week)
  • Location: New York City based, occasionally remote

How to apply:

Applications must be submitted by February 17, 2023, though applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible as materials will be reviewed on a rolling basis. To apply please send the following materials to [email protected] using the subject line “Editorial Director”

  1. resume no more than two pages in length
  2. cover letter no more than one page in length that clearly articulates your interest in Reasons to be Cheerful and how your related experience makes you a great candidate for the role of Editorial Director
  3. at least three published clips of articles you have either written or edited (links or PDFs)