MuckRock Collaborations Editor
The MuckRock Foundation is seeking a collaborations editor to help us develop, execute, and grow our partnerships with news organizations and other groups working to inform the public. We’re seeking candidates excited to take our tools, 3,000 newsroom partners, and a thriving community to invent and test new ways of investigative and community reporting. The position will have an initial focus areas of policing and COVID-19 that support the work of organizations serving communities of color as well as news deserts across the United States, shifting to other subjects over time based on public need and organizational capacity.
We’re expanding on this work with a full-time Collaborations Editor position focused on nurturing high-impact partnerships with newsrooms, community groups, and other organizations dedicated to informing the public, with a special focus on police accountability and COVID-19’s disparate impact. This position will involve some original reporting but is more focused on helping develop thoughtful and equitable collaborations that provide partners a mix of intuitive software, expert training, and strong community to produce reporting that makes a difference.
Success for the role will be measured in organizational partnerships, audience members actively participating in our work, and the ability to show impact and build sustainable support for both this work and initiatives that expand on it.
Our goal is to use this initial position as a template for expanding reporting collaborations into other topics of public importance, from healthcare and education to the environment and infrastructure. We’re looking for someone with strong interest in experimentation, learning, and developing new ways to inform and engage the public on the issues that matter most.
We’re also keenly focused on ways of sharing how we work and what we’ve learned along the way, helping others build on our work and processes to help broaden our long-term impact.
A “typical” week could potentially include facilitating a partner discussion around reporting on a new data set, soliciting and reviewing applications for reporting grants, publishing a Q&A with a partner on their work, and working with our software developers to help guide the evolution of platforms like MuckRock and DocumentCloud to better fit the needs of partners and the public. Another week could involve launching a crowdsourcing campaign to gather personal stories about the impact of a certain policy, strategizing around launching a multi-newsroom investigation, and developing off-the-wall ways to celebrate transparency.
We’re looking for someone who can help set up a repeatable partnership process, from running and documenting onboarding and building trust to sunsetting a successful project and incorporating feedback for next time.
Who we’re looking for
We’re looking for a partnerships ringleader who can make quick connections between ideas and people, balance short term tasks and long term priorities, and is excited to help others shine.
Women and members of under-represented groups are strongly encouraged to apply, as well as those with relevant experience outside of journalism such as community organizing, non-profit and advocacy organizations, and other roles that require a high degree of clear communication and organizational skills.
You’re excited by the challenge of informing the public.
Whether you’ve worked primarily in journalism or in other fields focused on informing the public — such as community organizing, research, or data-driven advocacy work – you care deeply about building informed and engaged communities, and understand that that work requires working across different mediums, ranging from digital and television to meetups and participatory projects.
When possible, we like to find ways to actively involve the public directly, whether that’s helping hundreds of people sift and categorize documents, massive records request campaigns or creative ways of making obfuscated topics feel tangible to those impacted.
You have soft touch and high goals.
Journalistic partnerships are notoriously tricky. You’re able to establish, track, and execute on ambitious goals while also understanding that those goals might need to shift depending on resources, time, and what the projects actually turn up.
You understand that some partners might join eager and then have to dial back, and you can set clear expectations and paths for participation that ensure the overall project can continue forward. You can be diplomatic while still advocating for the larger effort’s success.
You should be an expert communicator that can find tune just the right level of bureaucracy to keep things on track properly while minimizing busy work.
You’re excited to learn and help develop new approaches and tools.
What’s (sort of) worked the past few centuries when it comes to journalism is not what is going to help solve deep and broadening news deserts, rampant misinformation, and a mainstream press that has often overlooked or harmed under-represented and vulnerable communities.
Technology, data, and partnerships alone are not enough to solve these challenges, but by pioneering new approaches and finding ways to engage a broader range of partners, we can help better inform the public and begin to help newsrooms improve their work.
- Help develop, organize, and support a cohort of newsrooms and non-profit organizations interested in informing the public on key subject areas based on the use of public records, open data, and other journalism tools.
- Find creative approaches to uses the data, documents, and network of MuckRock and DocumentCloud to engage the public around these issues, including crowdsourcing campaigns, events, and development of resources.
- Identify potential partners and ways to ensure that our processes smoothly assist in their work while integrating our values of transparency, equity, and impact.
- Help set up and manage communication flow with partners, whether through Slack channels, newsletters, Notion, or other organizing tools that keep things simple and on track.
- Clearly delegate and track partner and freelancer progress, orchestrating partnerships in a way that gets stuff done while building lasting connections that benefit all parties.
- Collaborate with colleagues across MuckRock to help test, prototype, and improve our organizational processes, software, outreach, and other operations.
The salary for this role starts at $75,000 (not dependent upon location) and includes the following benefits:
- Three weeks of paid vacation annually, plus ten holidays (US postal holidays), and week between Christmas and New Year’s Day off.
- Health insurance with full premium for employees paid and 75% of premium for dependents.
- Professional development, including covering costs for conference and event attendance.
- All board meetings are open to all staff and include meaningful engagement.
- Company dental, vision, life, 401k, and health flexible spending account plans.
- Budget for a new laptop that you pick out and other home office purchases.
- Distributed team with flexible scheduling.
To apply, please fill out the application form located here(preferred) or email a resume, optional cover letter, and links to any public works or a portfolio to jobs@MuckRock.com.