Nieman Foundation at Harvard
“Journalism moves fast…philanthropy moves slow.” Press Forward’s director wants to bring them together
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Nov. 14, 2022, 11:46 a.m.

Hello, we’re hiring a staff writer! Come work with Sarah Scire, Joshua Benton, Hanaa’ Tameez, and me.

That listing right up there ^ is where to apply, but let me tell you a little more about the job.

We’re looking for somebody who is genuinely interested in the future of news and journalism online, and who also sees this beat as a wide-ranging opportunity. Writing about digital media = writing about life on the internet = writing about real life, and many of the challenges confronting journalism reflect broader societal rifts. We’re looking for someone who approaches this beat with deep curiosity and openness, who is skeptical or even scathing when warranted but who is also fundamentally optimistic about innovation in digital journalism and wants to play a part in making this industry better and more sustainable.

Bringing that back down to earth a bit: We’re also looking for someone who has at least two years of journalism experience. (That can include college journalism experience.) And it is essential that this person be an excellent writer.

Here are some other qualities of a successful Nieman Lab staff writer:

— You dig, dig, dig. You call/text/email/DM (um, if Twitter still exists by the time you are hired) to get the full story and make sure you understand what is going on. You’re good at finding the kernel of a post and identifying what’s interesting and what isn’t.
— You’re motivated, organized, and self-directed, and you’re excellent at written communication with colleagues — Slack is our hub. (This position can be remote; more on that below.)
— You get obsessed and passionate; you recognize that being an expert on small things helps you see the patterns behind big things.
— You have a finely calibrated bullshit detector and recognize when something is PR speak or dumb or just a lot of words.
— You are empathetic. You may be able to write brutal takedowns when necessary, but you also understand that most of the time, we are writing about kind humans who want to make journalism better. There are many terrible ideas in the world and making fun of some of them is definitely a delightful little aspect of this job, but for the most part, we want to focus on good ideas, and on what is working.
— You read a lot — both news stuff and other stuff. (One of the responsibilities of the job is helping with our “What We’re Reading” section of curated links.)
— You have ideas for how to make Nieman Lab better.

Our team has a wide range of outside interests and family commitments. We are looking for someone who’s excellent at managing their time and meeting the deadlines of a daily publishing schedule (our newsletter goes out Monday through Thursday at 3 PM ET), and who’ll be a vibrant and involved colleague on Slack. In return, we trust you to have your own life and, for the most part, get things done at the times that work for you.

We’re able to consider remote candidates in the states where Harvard is registered to do business — currently California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The rest of our team lives in the Boston area, but we work remotely most days.

As a Nieman Lab staff writer, you will be a full-time Harvard employee, with the truly excellent benefits that entails. These benefits include, but are not limited to, top-notch health/dental/vision/life insurance, paid parental leave, a Harvard-funded retirement plan in addition to an employee-funded one, tuition assistance (take Harvard Extension School classes for $40 or other classes for 10% of the normal cost), discounted public transportation passes or a bike commuting allowance, 20 days of paid vacation per year plus the week off between Christmas and New Year’s, generous sick time, and personal days — and the list goes on.

This is a union job. The salary range for this position is $68,000 to $72,000.

Apply here. To be considered, you must apply at that Harvard HR site link, where you should include a brief cover letter telling me why you think you’d be right for the job. Please don’t email me application materials directly; I’m not allowed to consider anyone who doesn’t go through the official HR process.

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