News & Updates

We’re hiring! Mississippi Ag & Water Desk seeks editorial director

The Ag & Water Desk seeks a dynamic, collaborative leader to define its editorial vision.

The Mississippi River Basin Ag & Water Desk, a new reporting and content distribution network, seeks a full-time Editorial Director to help build its innovative beat reporting program. 

The University of Missouri School of Journalism launched the Mississippi River Basin Ag & Water Desk July 8 to fill a need for connected, strategic, in-depth reporting and communication about water, agriculture and environmental issues inside the Mississippi River Basin. Through a partnership with Report for America, the program will build reporting capacity by adding 10 new full-time reporters at partner newsrooms throughout the basin. These reporters will create local and regional stories in collaboration with the Desk. 

We will also incorporate some of the strongest established reporting outlets and journalists in the region by recruiting five senior journalists as partners. We will work with the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) to provide expert subject matter training and ongoing support to the team.

The Editorial Director will help recruit and retain newsrooms, support journalists, and provide project management and editing. The Editorial Director will manage contributions from participating journalists and the distribution of the content across the region. The Editorial Director will work closely with the Executive Director and an Assistant Director to make this all a reality.

We are looking for a dynamic, creative leader with multiplatform, collaborative experience to help define the editorial vision for this collaboration and develop a strategy for executing it. We need a highly organized manager who collaborates and communicates well with a wide range of stakeholders and exhibits flexibility and empathy in the process.

The Editorial Director will be a full-time staff employee of the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri, but this position will be remote and could be based anywhere in the Mississippi River Basin. 

This is a three-year, grant-funded staff position supported initially by the Walton Family Foundation. There is a clearly stated intention to raise funds to sustain the position and the project beyond that period. Regardless of the source of funding, the Desk will be editorially independent.

Our editorial director will:

  • Supervise, lead, and inspire the project partners. This includes assigning and editing “traditional” and digital stories across multiple mediums.
  • Serve as a central point of contact for editorial leaders at the participating news outlets.
  • Ensure stories are considered through diverse perspectives, so they are inclusive, equitable and reflect the audiences they serve.
  • Strengthen the digital journalism capacity among the project partners and boost the visual storytelling capacity.
  • Maintain close relationships with  news outlets across the region and set up regular training opportunities for reporters.
  • Identify and reach new audiences through storytelling and new products on all platforms.

Fast Facts:

Full-time staff position at University of Missouri School of Journalism

Remote within Mississippi River Basin

Salary: $70,000/year; benefits eligible

To apply for this job, go to, under Staff Jobs select either current or prospective employee, and enter Job ID number 37465 in the search bar.

For more on qualifications, benefits, diversity commitments, and how to apply, visit