Who are you and where are you from?
John Ketchum from Saginaw, Michigan. I went to college at Central Michigan University.
What has your experience been working in the media industry?
After college I moved to LA to work for Marketplace, the public radio program covering business and the economy. There I covered wealth, poverty, and inequality in America. From there, I went to Washington, D.C. to work as a producer for NPR’s Morning Edition. After a brief stint at NPR, I went to the Center for Public Integrity, a non-profit investigative newsroom where I ran audience engagement strategy. From there, I moved to New York to work on the social media team at CNN. After CNN I went on to SB Nation, Vox Media’s sports website.
So yea, I’ve had a bunch of jobs, but I really wouldn’t have had it any other way to be honest. Working at a lot places has given me the chance to see how different news organizations work and how different parts of the industry are trying to figure out the challenges we’re facing. It’s also given me the chance to work with a bunch of people who I still have great relationships with and can bounce ideas off of.
Can you describe your current responsibilities as the Deputy Editor at SB Nation?
In a nutshell, I’m in charge of night coverage. That means live sports mostly. I manage a team of about 8-12 people on any given night, that includes writers, editors, social media editors, etc. I’m in charge of what gets covered at night and how we cover it. I’m also in charge of what stories are published in the morning. The editing load is heavy, it’s a busy job that never seems to end, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun.
How do you make sure that the work you're creating is inclusive of minority voices and faces?
First and foremost, I try to play my part in making sure that we as a company are hiring diverse talent. If it’s a position I have more hiring control over, I always make sure there’s a diverse pool of candidates. If it’s a position for another team I always pass names on. I’m a firm believer that diverse staffs lead to better work, especially in journalism.
I also make sure that whoever I'm managing is looking outside their networks for stories and sources. I think a lot times, work isn’t inclusive because journalists don’t look in different places to get their information.
Is there anything else you'd like our community to know about you and your work?
In general, I think being a good editor right now means having a diverse skill set. You have to be very well read and prepared to cover whatever, but you also have to understand how to use the internet to your editorial advantage. Tapping into different networks to see what your readers want and are talking about, using social media in a way that goes beyond just retweets and likes.
You have to have editing chops and a keen sense of what makes a good story, but you also need to have an understanding of the technology you’re using. I think that’s the really cool thing about working at Vox Media, we do great work, but we have a firm grasp on the tech as well.
Please list your social handles that you'd like listed within the article.