Kevin Ridder, a journalist, editor, content manager and environmental activist based in Chattanooga, Tenn., has joined AHCJ as its new web editor.
Ridder will help lead efforts to optimize and grow digital content and educational programming across all AHCJ platforms. He will also play a crucial role in the website redesign project.
“I aim to ease the transition to AHCJ’s new website and help make it as user-friendly as possible,” Ridder said.
Ridder comes to AHCJ from the SmartNews app, where he served as the editorial content manager. There he covered breaking news and helped manage the company’s social media on Twitter and Instagram, achieving steady audience growth throughout 2022. He also performed regular quality assurance checks to ensure articles appeared correctly.
Ridder previously served as associate editor for The Appalachian Voice where he wrote about protecting endangered bats, the Appalachian pipeline resistance movement among other topics. He also played a key role in the redesign of the publication’s website. Ridder updated and rewrote old web pages, removed outdated or irrelevant information, workshopped new site layouts, and provided feedback on new designs. He also published digital news issues online, managed the events calendar, and created landing pages for events and calls to action.
“We’re so excited to welcome Kevin to AHCJ,” said Kelsey Ryan, AHCJ’s executive director. “He brings a mix of both editorial and technical expertise that will help level up our website and digital products.”
In 2016, Ridder earned a bachelor’s in environmental studies with a concentration in journalism and a minor in trombone performance from the University of Tennessee.
He still plays trombone and enjoys performing live jazz with an ensemble, spending time outside with his dog, Murdock, and hiking.