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BenitoLink Seeks Executive Director

BenitoLink.com, San Benito County’s new media project, is looking for an energetic and dynamic Executive Director.

The Executive Director (ED) of BenitoLink will manage the site’s overall operations. The job will require writing, editing, attending public meetings, participation at community events, working with contributors, and hands-on, day-to-day operation of the site. The ED will work closely with Vision San Benito County on a development strategy, an IT consultant on design and site maintenance, and contributors on content, to establish and grow BenitoLink’s utility to the community, and to create a sustainable business model.

The successful candidate will be responsible for providing fresh content, including basic coverage of local news and events, schools, sports, obituaries, awards, government, features/ human interest and distinct geographical areas of the county. The ED will work with the BenitoLink Advisory Committee, receiving and providing feedback on the site, engage social media to further the visibility of BenitoLink, and increase traffic to the site.

The job will require creative thinking skills to envision new possibilities for increasing community awareness of civic issues, as well as community events and concerns. It will be important to build relationships with all elements of the community. Willingness to be educated about the use of new technologies and platforms will be important, as is comfort and skill in addressing diverse groups. As a liaison, the ED and will inform and educate the BenitoLink Team of the Knight Foundation’s goals and objectives and will participate, or facilitate participation by other members of the team, in resources and training/education opportunities made available by the Knight Foundation.

The ED will meet with the BenitoLink Advisory Committee on a regular basis to establish benchmarks for performance of the site, and be open to reviews and recommendations at three month intervals during the first year.

Sample Tasks Will Include:

• Oversee appearance, content and utility (ease of use) of BenitoLink;
• Engage community groups in contributing content and giving feedback, including local bloggers and columnists;
• Work with IT person to address issues and make timely improvements;
• Be available to attend Knight training opportunities and communicate with Knight Circuit Rider about possible options for improving BenitoLink;
• Create or facilitate reports of County and City Government meetings;
• Work with contributors to assure coverage of:
– Hollister City Council (twice monthly)
– San Juan Bautista City Council (monthly)
– San Benito County Board of Supervisors
– County Planning Commission
– San Juan Bautista Planning Commission/Historic Resources Board
– Council of Governments
– Regional boards such as LAFCO, Monterey Bay Area Air and Water Quality Control Boards, when applicable
– Reports from State Assembly, State Senate, U. S. House Representative
• Create a pipeline from the Hollister Police Department, County Sheriff’s and California Highway Patrol Offices to report police blotters;
• Pinnacles National Park, San Juan Historic Park, Hollister Hills SVRA, Fremont Peak, and the De Anza Trail, San Benito Historical Society;
• Hollister Downtown Association and Business Council;
• San Benito County Chamber of Commerce;
• Cattlemen’s Assoc., Cattlewomen Assoc., and Farm Bureau
• Explore future collaboration and/or partnership with the San Benito County Library;
• Aggregate and post photographs;
• Develop new team reporters to write articles and cover events;
• Balance the composition of the BenitoLink Team to ensure it reflects the diversity of San Benito County;
• Tweet information on items of interest to San Benito County residents;
• Create a 12-month editorial calendar of events that need to be covered.

Minimal Requirements

• Bachelor’s Degree in English, Journalism and/or Communications, or equivalent experience;
• Minimal of five years writing experience for news organization;
• Team player- willing to work with others in a cooperative environment;
• Knowledge of and proficiency in online publishing, social media, including Facebook, Twitter and internet tools such as Google Drive;
• Familiarity with San Benito County;
• Working knowledge of open-source content management systems (CMS) work, preferably Drupal;
• Comfortable with digital photography and editing for a website;
• Proven ability to multi-task and be a self-starter;
• Bi-lingual in Spanish a plus;
• Video production skills a plus;
• Desktop or laptop computer with a reliable Internet connection.

Base Pay

Monthly stipend: $1,667, with opportunity of increasing as we develop sponsorships.

Please send cover letter and résumé to Julie Morris, julie@benitolink.com.

BenitoLink is a project of Vision San Benito County and the Community Foundation for San Benito County, a non-profit 501c(3) corporation.

BenitoLink Staff