Journalism is in urgent need of repair. Its preoccupation with dysfunction, corruption and pathology undermines public discourse, inhibits citizenship, and fails to provide society with key information to self-govern and self-correct. The endlessly negative coverage has fed people’s loss of trust in the news – further eroding journalism’s viability.
The Solutions Journalism Network is leading a mindset shift and practice change to confront this failure, building capacity for reporting about responses to social problems. Solutions journalism provides a framework, grounded in journalistic ethics and informed by today’s professional challenges, that enables journalists to cover society more comprehensively, revealing possibilities for civic agency and connection.
In SJN’s 5.5 years, solutions journalism has become a credible reporting practice recognized for driving meaningful impact in society. Over 12,000 journalists have been exposed to our curriculum. More than 180 news organizations have engaged SJN to produce staff workshops, develop reporting projects, and consult on audience or community engagement activities. Around the world, demand is growing for tools, resources, and best practices around how to do solutions journalism in an international context.
We’re looking for an entrepreneur to work with SJN’s Journalist Practice Change (JPC) team to seize on that demand, creating services and curating a networked community that extend our reach and impact dramatically.
The JPC program responds to the question, “How do we drive the rapid adoption of solutions reporting by many journalists with low investment?” It complements and synchs with our approach in newsrooms, which relies on direct, in-person training and project-based learning. But JPC is anchored in network linkages and peer-to-peer learning. It relies on recognition, support, and connection to spread the solutions approach in highly leveraged ways. We expect that, over the next three years, a majority of solutions journalism practitioners, especially those outside the U.S., will be spawned by our network/JPC activities.
SJN’s Online Engagement Manager will learn what our community is talking about, what resources they’re looking for, and how we can better serve, celebrate, and connect them with each other. S/he will determine and carry out our social media strategy, striking the right balance between “push” and “pull” campaigns—both sparking conversations and engaging our followers in deeper ways (“pull”), and simply sharing cool and useful tools with them (“push”). This person will identify the journalistic rock stars whom we want to highlight and others can learn from: the freelance reporter who’s done more solutions journalism than most newsroom reporters; the editor who writes a monthly missive on the importance of solutions journalism coverage to her publication; the local publisher who’s successfully fundraised around the practice. What might we—and others!—learn from what they’re doing? How do we spread that knowledge to--and create conversations within--our network of over 3,000 journalists and 17,000 Twitter followers?
This person will be responsible for:
· With the VP of JPC, co-creating SJN’s social media strategy, including on the SJN Facebook group (2,000+) & Twitter (17,000+), balancing “push” and “pull” strategies;
· Executing on that strategy by acting as the manager of SJN’s daily social media presence;
· Helping to rethink and redesign, as well as acting as chief curator for, the SJN “Hub” (www.solutionsjournalism.org/hub), surfacing new content, conversations, and individuals in compelling ways;
· Identifying both the loudest, most participatory members in our community, and the quiet but persistent lurkers, and figuring out how to make both groups more engaged and useful to the whole;
· Helping to turn our knowledge strategy upside-down, continually harvesting and spinning out knowledge from the network, to the network via newsletters, blog posts, Q&As, FB lives, webinars, and more;
· Using digital analytics to quickly spot trends, identify connectors and influencers, and amplify powerful ideas;
· Mining the latest social media and digital engagement tools and tactics to create a consistently meaningful and rewarding experience that advances the value of our community.
This position is part of a bigger puzzle in Journalist Practice Change that we’ve been piecing together over the past few years. We’re aiming to strengthen connections and networked learning between and emphasize collaboration among journalists doing this work, whether across town or across continents. We’re focused on supporting local media entrepreneurs around the world with the resources they need to make solutions journalism projects thrive. And we’re building strong and sustainable relationships with networked journalism organizations to more effectively reach journalists currently outside of our orbit.
Does this sound like your calling? We hope so: We’re an energetic, ambitious, and fun bunch…a…funch…who recklessly construct portmanteaus and face a quotidian battle against our collective 3pm chocolate addiction. We want someone great to join us. We need a focused entrepreneur for this job, someone who sees opportunities at every turn—and can execute upon them. We need someone who knows how to solve problems, with an appetite for experimentation and an appreciation for ambiguity.
Diversity of perspective, identity, and experience is also incredibly important to us: We want to reflect and serve the whole of society. As a result, we encourage diverse applicants to seek employment, and we make all employment decisions without regard to race, age, gender, sexual orientation, or any other factors protected by federal, state or local law. SJN is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Also, other terribly important things:
· A genuine, heart-fluttering interest in and commitment to the future of journalism, the infinite possibilities of solutions journalism in communities around the world, and bringing people together in powerful ways;
· Project management experience (bonus points for an affinity for project management tools like Asana, Trello, Slack, Salesforce, etc.);
· Being comfortable speaking about—and for—SJN in public channels, and doing so in a smart, compelling, and humorous way;
· Supporter of surveys, devotee to data, advocate of alliteration;
· Familiarity with newsletter platforms (see: Chimp, Mail);
· Unflagging team orientation, but an ability to work solo.
Won’t you join us?
SJN is based in NY, but we’re open to you being remote if you really are That Good.
Compensation: Commensurate with experience. Health, dental, and vision; generous time off; flexible work schedule.
Applications due: January 24, 5pm ESTFirst-round interviews: January 28-February 1Second-round interviews: February 5-8Final-round interviews: February 12-13Start date: Early March