Senior Editor & Freelance Urbanist Correspondents

Next City
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (US)
Sr. Editor position has competitive salary with health and 401K; correspondent roles are freelance
Feb 06, 2019
Metro Area
Freelance, Full Time

Next City has several openings, intended to deepen our coverage of equity, sustainability and inclusion in cities. One position is a full-time Senior Editor role, based in our Philadelphia office. We also have openings for 4 freelance correspondents to cover specific beats; these positions can be remote.

Next City is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age or veteran status.


We seek a dynamic Senior Editor to lead the day-to-day execution of Next City’s journalism strategy, to assign and edit reported stories for publication on a daily basis, and to support staff on events and other opportunities to inspire change in cities. The Senior Editor is also a key voice representing the organization in various ways to outside parties, in support of the overall organizational strategy.

This position reports to Next City’s Editorial Director. The Senior Editor must know what makes a great story, how to build a narrative and argument through short news pieces and longer-form journalism, and how to work with writers to bring out their best skills. The Senior Editor helps Next City’s columnists and contributors shape their stories, taking responsibility for the quality and character of much of the website’s daily content.

Our ideal Senior Editor candidate has:

  • Editing experience required (at least 4 years preferred)
  • An advanced degree in English, journalism, urban planning or a related field, plus direct experience as an editor for print and/or digital outlets.
  • Strong communication skills and a keen interest in the English language and grammar;
  • Experience recruiting freelance writers and managing a pool of contributors;
  • An understanding of current media and publishing trends, including what drives readers to share and how to create headlines that will maximize content sharing;
  • Familiarity with CMS.

Preference will be given to candidates with knowledge of subject areas relevant to coverage of cities, including but not limited to affordable and fair housing, transportation equity, equitable economic development, smart cities, renewable energy and sustainability, and more.

We are a small staff and everyone wears many hats. You must be a team player, detail-oriented, adept at prioritizing and multi-tasking, and willing to pitch in where needed. Some travel will be required. This is a full-time position based in our Philadelphia office.

To apply, send a cover letter, resume with two references, and two story ideas you think are a fit for Next City (based on our pitch guidelines) to Please put “Senior Editor Job Opening” in the subject line. This position will remain open until filled.


We also have openings for 4 experienced beat-specific freelance correspondents, who will be responsible for delivering two 800- to 1200-word stories per week, and working with the editor to supply quick takes and news briefs for a weekly roundup. This position can be based anywhere and will be a contracted freelance role.

The beats we are hiring for are: 

  • Transportation, which focuses on solutions for making it easier, safer and more affordable to get around in cities. Storylines under this beat include public transit infrastructure and financing, newer modes of transit such as bike-sharing, scooters and ride-hailing, transportation planning and equity; and more.
  • Energy & Environment, which focuses on solutions and strategies for cities responding to climate change, renewable/sustainable energy, environmental justice, waste/stormwater management, and the creative/strategic uses for urban green space as a function of conservation, health, wellness and social equity.
  • Tech & Smart Cities, which focuses on the ways that technology is changing or has the potential to change cities, and the equity implications of those changes. This includes issues of municipal broadband and other municipal tech infrastructure, the role of surveillance and data technology in law enforcement or other aspects of government, the democratization of data and mapping as tools for community organizing and development, and more.
  • City Culture, which focuses on the ways in which art forms (music, food, literature, performance) and cultural spaces (museums, libraries, performance spaces, churches, restaurants, parks) provide opportunities for people to advance conversations about making cities more equitable, more sustainable and more democratic. Storylines within this beat include creative placemaking; diversity in museum curation and content; tactical urbanism and protest art; urban farming and food culture; and more.

Our ideal correspondents will have:

  • Experience generating and writing news stories and features on this beat, with clips to demonstrate the depth of coverage;
  • A well of sources to prompt story ideas and provide context; 
  • Knowledge of the beat from a domestic and international perspective;
  • Proficiency and comfort level speaking as moderator or guest in public forums such as webinars and panel discussions.

To apply, send a cover letter, resume with two references, at least 3 clips in the subject area you're applying for, and two story ideas you think are a fit for Next City (based on our pitch guidelines) via the link provided. Please put “<Transportation OR Energy & Environment OR Tech & Smart Cities OR City Culture> Correspondent Job Opening” in the subject line.

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