US Investigations Editor, Tracking the Backlash

Candidates must be based in the US | Full-time

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openDemocracy is a global independent media platform dedicated to challenging power and inspiring change. Our work has triggered law and policy change, criminal and regulatory investigations and widespread global media coverage, including in the New York Times, Washington Post, lifestyle and culture magazines, and more than 60 outlets across 20 languages.  

We are seeking an experienced and accomplished investigative journalist to lead the US expansion of our growing global Tracking the Backlash project.

You will have a strong investigative track record and will be highly motivated to work on stories which focus on women’s and LGBTIQ rights and equality. You will be excited to work on joint projects with colleagues, freelancers, and trainee fellows in the US, and you will also collaborate on cross-border projects following the money, networks, strategies and impacts of the global opposition to rights and equality. 

Our Tracking the Backlash team produces stories that make a difference to women and LGBTIQ people around the world. Over the last year we’ve published multi-part investigations into Christian conservative support for the far right in Europe (including through unregulated ‘Super-PACs’), and a major series on how vulnerable pregnant women are targeted with misinformation about their health and rights across four continents. 

We’re looking for a curious and collaborative investigative journalist who shares our commitment to high journalistic standards and rigor; who is excited to share their knowledge and experience with others; and who is keen to support younger women and LGBTIQ reporters to develop their investigative techniques. 

Ideally, you’ll have at least seven years of newsroom experience, with a track record of producing original and revelatory investigations that create change. You’ll have proven experience with investigative skills including data journalism, analysing financial accounts and undercover reporting. Ideally, you’ll also be familiar with the specific issues our project focuses on. However, if you have comparable experience, you may still apply.

A key goal of the Tracking the Backlash project is to build a more inclusive international media ecosystem. We strongly encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply for this position, including women, people of color, LGBTIQ people, working-class people and people with disabilities.

This job is full-time and includes benefits. It is a remote-working position and you may be based anywhere in the US.

 

Main responsibilities

  • Planning and producing several ambitious Tracking the Backlash investigations in the US, working closely with an early-career fellow who you recruit and mentor
  • Identifying, commissioning and assembling teams of freelancers to work on quicker-turnaround Tracking the Backlash stories as well bigger investigations
  • Ensuring that best journalistic practices have been followed throughout, including that all published material is legally defensible and of a high quality
  • Developing and leading strategies to ensure our stories attain wide reach and impact across the US, including oversight of US social media and press outreach 
  • Building a strong, diverse and active network of journalist and media contacts in the US to collaborate on developing, executing, and co-publishing investigations
  • Expanding our network of other contacts in the US including state-level civil society organisations and research groups monitoring similar movements and issues
  • Coordinating and strategizing with the wider global Tracking the Backlash network, on specific stories but also attending and/or leading trainings and planning meetings
  • Representing the project to external partners, including through media interviews as well as public events and meetings with researchers and civil society
  • Supporting other journalists, and a full-time fellow, to develop investigative skills and apply them to Tracking the Backlash issues in the US and internationally
  • Monitoring US media coverage of organised opposition to women’s and LGBTIQ rights on an ongoing basis -- as well as the reach and impact of our investigations in the US

 

Job requirements: 

  • At least seven years of professional journalism experience with a strong track record of producing or editing ambitious investigations that have real-world impact
  • Integrity and courage in taking on difficult subjects and experience investigating movements, threats, or injustices against underrepresented communities
  • Experience planning and managing complex projects over longer periods of time, coordinating and supporting remote contributors to produce their best work
  • Demonstrable ability to identify and develop new ideas for investigations
  • Demonstrable experience of diverse investigative techniques including data journalism, undercover reporting, and freedom of information requests
  • Excellent editorial and ethical judgement and storytelling skills
  • Impeccable standards for depth, detail, rigor and accuracy
  • Strong working knowledge of libel law and open records law in the US
  • Experience conducting physical and digital security risk assessments 
  • Strong interpersonal skills and enthusiasm for collaboration and learning
  • Experience mentoring or training younger journalists over a sustained period 
  • Knowledge of current women’s and LGBTIQ rights issues in the US, and/or experience investigating far right or religious conservative movements
  • Outside of ongoing COVID19 restrictions, a willingness to travel for stories and meetings (not to exceed 15% of your time)

 

Desirables:

  • Experience producing or participating in multimedia projects
  • Experience in impact production – from broadcast and press outreach to engaging with non-journalists to amplify the reach of investigations 
  • Experience with content management systems (ex. Drupal, WordPress)
  • Experience managing budgets and reporting to funders on grant commitments 
  • Specific knowledge of organised movements against sexual and reproductive rights
  • Located in the Midwest, South and Southwest, regions of the US where our network of journalists and partners is currently underrepresented

You can expect:

  • An inspiring and supportive team and global network of colleagues to work with 
  • Commissioning resources to work on projects with teams you assemble
  • A travel budget (though as a project we prioritise partnering with local journalists)
  • An 18-month contract with expectation of possible long-term renewal subject to funding, with a 6 month probation period
  • A salary & benefits competitive with other independent nonprofit news organisations 
  • Opportunities for personal and professional growth, including via internal and external trainings 
  • Being part of a strong and growing media organisation with a clear and exciting mission to challenge power and inspire change through impactful reporting projects

Location: Candidates must be based in the US

Contract: Full-time 18 month contract, with expectation of possible long-term renewal subject to funding

Salary: Competitive, with benefits. Must have minimum 7 years' experience

The deadline for applications is Monday 20 April 2020 at 11:59pm GMT

Questions? Send them to recruitment@opendemocracy.net.