Sunday, September 26, 2021     Volume: 22, Issue: 30

Santa Maria Sun / Job Openings


New Times Media Group in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, which runs New Times in San Luis Obispo ( and the Sun in Santa Maria (, is looking for its next staff writer, but we’re not looking for just any article-pushing, source-wrangling, story-chasing someone.

Are you sick of editing or regurgitating press releases day after day? Or maybe it’s those damn list things—you know the ones: “Top 10 hottest places to eat your lunch on a rainy day.” Or maybe it’s just not being able to put the time and reporting into a story that deserves it: the weeks and repeated phone calls that give a story what it needs to ripen into the hard-charging, data-filled narrative it’s dying to be; the time that turns a “meh” story into one that blows a hole in the status quo.

Can you see the big picture of what a story means to a community? Do you know what it takes to—yes, we know, it’s cliché—make a difference in the lives of the people you cover and bring a diversity of voices into the spotlight? Do you want to spend time with your sources to fully understand their point of view and life experience?

If so, then you’re exactly who we’re looking for: a staff writer who isn’t afraid to take on the tedious, the tenuous, or the talented. That certain someone who can wrestle a story to the ground and fill it with the things that matter to the communities of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. Oil, agricultural, water, and environmental advocacy aren’t the only things that drive this place—although those are pretty juicy beats.

There’s more, and we want to hire someone who can drive his or herself to unearth those stories and tell them in a meaningful way. We want to reach into under-covered, under-served communities (if you're bilingual, it's a plus). We want to find the real stories that float beneath the surface level ones. We want to publish the news that nobody's talking about—yet. And you should, too.

Let us know if you’ve got what it takes. We dare you. Send a résumé, cover letter, and story samples to Cindy Rucker at

UPDATED 6/11/21

Weekly Poll
What are the most important conversations to be having right now when it comes to policing?

We need to address how racial bias influences policing.
We should focus on funding the police so they can do their job.
Mental health is where our dollars need to go, both in and out of the police department.
As one Sept. 20 community input meeting attendee said, 'Let’s get back to the Old West and treat people like they should be treated.' (Interpret how you will.)

| Poll Results

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