News | 13 September 2023

CFA: THI Undergraduate Public Fellowship with Lookout Santa Cruz – Editorial Fellow, Audience Engagement 2023-24


Application deadline: October 18, 2023

The Humanities Institute is excited to announce a new Undergraduate Public Fellowship opportunity for Humanities students at UC Santa Cruz to work with Lookout Santa Cruz. THI’s Public Fellowships connect students in the Humanities to projects in the community, with the aim of mutually benefiting students and community organizations. The program provides undergraduate students with hands-on training and professional experience and is available to students who are declared majors and/or minors of a department in the Humanities Division at UCSC.

About Lookout Santa Cruz: Lookout Santa Cruz is the region’s largest news company and is quickly becoming the go-to new source for thousands of readers in Santa Cruz County. Our newsroom of 10 counts 140 years of collective experience, providing excellent mentoring opportunities for the fellowship applicant. 

Founded by news analyst Ken Doctor, Lookout’s innovation is being watched around the country — both for its mobile-first local news product and service, and for its business model, borrowed from the New York Times and scaled down. 

Our digital-only, mobile-first modern media products — including across social media, newsletters, email and text alerts, forums and events — drive our fundamental mission: to serve Santa Cruz County with a new and higher standard of news, information and community engagement.

Job description: Editorial Fellow, Audience Engagement

Are you curious about digital journalism and passionate about connecting with the community to tell the stories of Santa Cruz County? Duties will vary based on the interests of the applicant and the needs of the newsroom, but fellows may have the opportunity to work closely with various members of Lookout’s editorial operations, including reporters, editors, photographers and our production team. Learn the art of digital storytelling by assisting with social media and audience development. Curate newsletters, create engaging data visualizations, interact with readers online, and find user-generated content and important local stories trending on social media. Those with an interest in reporting and writing could have an opportunity to work on stories and opinion pieces. Fellows who have a passion for the English language, including fact-checking, grammar and spelling, could have the chance to gain experience in editing. 

Primary duties will include: 

  • 30% — Assist with editorial production, including curating newsletters, writing email alerts, designing digital story layouts, updating our events calendar and writing photo captions.
  • 30% — Create social media posts and engage with our readers across social media and over email to encourage feedback and receive new story ideas.
  • 20% — Monitor and engage with online groups that are active within Santa Cruz County to identify trending stories and topics of interest for our audience.
  • 10% — Design data visualizations through programs such as Datawrapper and Infogram (training can be provided.
  • 10% — Passion projects: duties can vary based on the fellow’s individual skills and interests. For example, those with passion for digital storytelling can suggest new ways to reach digital audiences and tell stories online, including through video and audio and across social media. Reporting, writing and editing opportunities are available for those with an interest and some experience in journalism.

What we’re looking for in a candidate:

  • A passion for local news and willingness to learn, try new things and give and receive feedback.
  • A curiosity about issues affecting the local community and events happening across Santa Cruz County.
  • An obsession with accuracy, attention to detail and ability to meet deadlines.
  • Digital and social media experience or a willingness to learn. 
  • Experience creating written or visual content for an online publication.
  • A self-starter, who appreciates an in-office work environment and can work independently, collaboratively and proactively to identify new ways of reaching digital readers and identify topics of interest to a local audience. 
  • A student who is a declared major or minor in a department in the Humanities Division at UCSC and in good academic standing (required).

Bonus points for:

  • Published journalism experience, including online or student publications, or freelance.
  • Bilingual English/Spanish proficiency.
  • Interest in or experience with SEO.
  • Interest in or experience with data visualizations, including sourcing and mining data sets.
  • Interest in finding and local stories and engaging with readers online, including platforms like TikTok and Threads.

How to apply:

Apply by submitting your resume with a short cover letter (no more than one page) answering these questions: Why this job? Why you? Why now?

  • For this position, please specify any journalism experience in your cover letter (including journalism-adjacent experience, like essay-writing, interviewing people for research projects, creating digital/social media content), or what your interest is in journalism in general.
  • Make sure to include writing samples (ideally published journalistic work, but class assignments or communications work you’ve done will be acceptable).

A tip for writing this cover letter is to consider how this position will further your undergraduate career as well as your professional career once you have completed your education. Feel free to be creative here. Work in the Public Humanities does not have a rigid framework and innovation and the ability to adapt is a key component.

Once the application closes on 10/18, there will be an in-person interview process with selected candidates throughout October, with official duties beginning in November 2023.


Students should apply via Handshake using job number #8230512.

Note that there are two different THI Undergraduate Public Fellowships at Lookout Santa Cruz this year. Information about the Educational Programs Assistant position is available here.

Please email any questions to Kylie Rachwalski, Experiential Learning Coordinator in the Humanities Division, at

THI’s 2023-2024 Undergraduate Public Fellowships are generously supported by the Helen and Will Webster Foundation.