Job Posting: Community Manager, Elections

The American Press Institute is hiring a contract-based Community Manager to manage a network of local news leaders and connect them to experts in misinformation and election integrity. This person will help newsroom decision-makers learn from one another as well as the growing body of experts in the field of honest elections and misinformation as news organizations navigate a broad spectrum of election reporting challenges such as disinformation campaigns, polarization and attacks on press credibility.

This role is grant-funded through the 2020 election in November, with funds and tasks to extend to the end of the calendar year.

The community manager will be responsible for building and sustaining a network of local news decision-makers across the country, especially in “swing states” and districts where there are highly contested elections. We’re looking for someone who is strategic, creative and detail-oriented — who is comfortable taking a proactive lead to help journalists learn from one another, and reactive to changing plans as campaigns, current events and editors’ needs dictate.

A primary focus of the work will be to facilitate conversations and connections among news leaders across the country and to coordinate with experts working on honest and open elections. This person should have the ability to listen to and understand the needs and challenges of local news decision-makers, both to help inform organizations working to improve 2020 election reporting and to bring those leaders in closer contact to resources that can help them.

The best candidates should be skilled at connecting problems with solutions. Candidates need not themselves be experts in election misinformation, but they should have the ability to understand the growing menu of available resources around those topics and understand how to translate them into manageable options for busy newsroom leaders. They should be a patient listener and creative problem solver. Candidates should also be detail-oriented enough to forge and nurture those connections among busy people.

The person should expect to help organize virtual communications between newsroom leaders and election and misinformation experts; help organize at least two in-person meetings of the same group; identify the best way for these people to stay in contact as needed; and organize webinars or other ways for newsrooms to learn from experts in the field. Some of the work will involve match-making between newsrooms and expert advisers, including helping arrange in-person help for key election reporting challenges. They will also manage the process of identifying experts who can provide this support. Other aspects involve fostering conversations and sharing among the entire network, both in-person and online.

The job will also involve writing and sharing lessons publicly throughout this work. We are located in Arlington, VA, but welcome applications from remote candidates.

Job responsibilities:

  • Build and sustain a network of newsroom leaders who can communicate and learn from one another as they combat misinformation and other threats to honest election reporting
  • Develop and oversee a process to connect local news organizations to expert advisers who can assist them in person with key challenges
  • Respond in real-time to the questions and needs of news leaders, and help facilitate learning opportunities for longer-term, strategic decisions on election coverage and transparency
  • Work with experts on best practices for covering election threats — including many journalism support organizations, civic and academic institutions — to share the needs of these news leaders and make their resources and expertise further accessible to them
  • Nurture relationships among local news decision-makers, and between these editors and experts who can help them
  • Plan meetings and calls, in-person or virtual, as needs dictate
  • Work with API’s director of accountability journalism to develop insights and resources to be shared in and outside the network
  • Help represent the project externally

Desirable characteristics:

  • Facilitation skills, online or off, with a demonstrated ability to support useful and enriching insights among many people
  • Awareness or experience with strategies journalists can use to combat misinformation, polarization and attacks on press credibility, or an eagerness to learn quickly
  • Capability to convey complicated ideas quickly and translate them for non-experts
  • Confidence in coordinating with newsroom leaders and subject experts on tight deadlines
  • Knowledge of the variety of organizations working to improve journalism
  • An eye to the breadth of local news ecosystems and the work newspapers, public radio, TV and online news organizations are doing to improve election coverage
  • A team-player mentality as the project takes shape and may morph with the campaign and current events

How to apply

To apply: Please send an email to election2020@pressinstitute.org, and include “Community Manager, Elections” in the subject line. Include a resume, tell us about yourself and why you are interested in and qualified for this job, and include links to work that may be relevant. Interested individuals are strongly encouraged to apply immediately, and before Monday, Feb. 10.

About the American Press Institute

The American Press Institute advances an innovative and sustainable news industry by helping publishers understand and engage audiences, grow revenue, improve public-service journalism, and succeed at organizational change. The American Press Institute is a national 501(c)3 nonprofit educational organization affiliated with the News Media Alliance. It works with and draws on the best ideas from anyone working in news publishing and journalism and anyone interested in its mission of making journalism sustainable.