News Voices: New Jersey Manager

· Negotiable, New Jersey
Employment Type Fixed Term

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Job Title: News Voices: New Jersey Manager 


Position Status: Full-time. This is a 24-month fixed term position, with continuation dependent on funding and other strategic considerations.


Classification and Tier:  Exempt, Tier Two


Work Location: New Jersey remote office


Posting Date: May 18, 2020


Position Summary:


Free Press is hiring for its News Voices program in New Jersey, to center the information needs and voices of community members in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. This position will organize with newsrooms and community members in three communities around the state to respond to systemic barriers that make information inaccessible or unaffordable.


Free Press launched its News Voices program in New Jersey in 2015, and has since organized in communities around the state, launched innovative, locally-led projects, won awards for its work, and passed landmark legislation to dedicate public funding to support the news and information needs of New Jersey residents. 


This new area of work will identify and address information gaps and inequities during the COVID-19 public health crisis and anticipated recovery. In partnership with the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University and Outlier Media, we will focus on our work in Atlantic City, Camden and Newark. News Voices and other project partners have built solid working relationships with local residents, journalists, community leaders and other stakeholders in these cities, working together to create equitable news coverage.


Our NJ-based manager will work closely with journalists serving these cities, lead community organizing and outreach, and identify community information needs surrounding COVID-19 using Outlier’s SMS-based needs assessments. The manager will implement and develop tactics to further surface community information needs, facilitate dialogue among residents and reporters, and engage stakeholders in collaborating around local COVID-19 coverage, especially to reach underserved and less connected people in these communities.


In addition, they will develop and facilitate best practice guides, workshops and collaborative projects based on the needs and assets of local communities that prioritize racial, gender and economic justice. 


This initiative builds on Free Press’ place-based work in New Jersey, Philadelphia and North Carolina that fosters long-term change in local media by transforming the relationships between newsrooms and communities, building trust between them, and creating pathways for journalists and community members to work together to reshape local news. 


The manager will represent Free Press and promote our work at community meetings, conferences and other events. They will also create content to support our online organizing and engagement efforts, develop creative online and offline actions, and share the New Jersey-based work with peers, allies, and supporters across the state and around the country.


The position is based in New Jersey to ensure that the manager can engage deeply with the communities we’re working in while maintaining connections with the national scope of Free Press’ work. 


The manager will report to the News Voices director and works closely with the rest of the News Voices team. This job requires a flexible schedule, including evening and weekend work. If and when social distancing restrictions are lifted, frequent travel throughout the state and occasional domestic travel are required. 


Free Press is composed of two separate organizations, Free Press and Free Press Action Fund. Both entities share the same overall mission and employees. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name "Free Press".


Primary Responsibilities:


Project launch and strategy: In coordination with project partners, work with Free Press staff to develop strategy and goals, evaluation metrics and process, map stakeholders and allies, and create a detailed timeline with methodologies and roles.


Investigate and examine information needs of communities: Using Outlier Media’s platform, virtual conversations, phone trees, and more, assess information needs of residents in Atlantic City, Camden, and Newark. Follow-up with residents with responses and connect with local reporters and community organizations to address these needs.


Build a network of community members and journalist allies: Lead engagement with community members in three target cities, including Free Press members, community-based organizations, journalists and community leaders. Build relationships with organizations and media outlets that are based in or serve target neighborhoods. 


Host workshops: Design and conduct workshops with journalists on community engagement and information needs assessments, and with residents on building relationships with journalists and lifting up local perspectives in news coverage.


Coordinate collaborations and new coverage strategies: Support existing and guide launch of innovative newsroom-community journalism collaborations, reflecting the input of newsrooms and residents. Develop strategies to incentivize media to center the needs of community members and to develop deep relationships with the public.


Consult with national leaders: Consult with experts, organizations and journalists outside New Jersey to develop best practices around community engagement, especially in communities where barriers to accessing information exist. In coordination with partners, develop plans to integrate lessons learned outside of New Jersey, including experts sharing their work and experience with both community organizations and local newsrooms via video calls and in-person meetings.


Lead and learn: Stay up to date on the latest trends in journalism and campaign strategies and articulate the value of using community engagement and organizing to strengthen relationships between newsrooms and communities. Implement strategies, technologies and best practices by regularly communicating with allies, newsrooms and campaigners, attending conferences and trainings as needed and reporting back to Free Press program staff. Speak to the media and allies about the News Voices project. 


Advance race equity: Free Press is a multiracial organization committed to advancing race equity in our work, which includes being explicit about the impact of media and technology issues on communities of color and building alliances with racial-justice organizations. Clearly and consistently articulate an understanding of racial equity and structural racism and the centrality of this analysis to the work Free Press does and how we operate. Integrate that knowledge into work projects and interactions by addressing structural implications and disproportionate impacts of policies, activities and decisions on race, class, gender and other group identities within the context of job responsibilities and projects.


Member engagement: Collaborate with programmatic staff to develop local and national member-engagement strategies, campaign actions and events, recruit and manage volunteers and expand our membership base through public engagement. 


Personal Attributes:


  • Must have a commitment to racial equity and experience working with communities of color.
  • Must be able to work both independently and collaboratively with internal and external colleagues and allied organizations.
  • Must be able to address challenges and seize opportunities as they arise.
  • Must be a team player with a low-ego approach to collaboration.
  • Must have a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, ability and socioeconomic circumstance.
  • Must have a strong work ethic, with a sense of urgency and ability to work under tight deadlines.
  • Must have experience telecommuting or working virtually, and working with an off-site manager, or comparable work experience that demonstrates an ability to succeed in an off-site work situation.
  • Must be able to remain positive, tactful and composed under pressure.
  • Must be able to handle changes in work priorities with ease.
  • A great sense of humor, humility and flexibility are musts.


Minimum Qualifications:


  • Bachelor’s degree and/or 3+ years of experience leading successful organizing efforts and/or experience working as a journalist, with a combination of online and/or offline organizing, rapid-response work, volunteer engagement, political advocacy, coalition building, training and reporting
  • Experience working with diverse communities
  • Strong interest in media and technology issues and demonstrated experience working on those or similar issues
  • Experience in community storytelling and/or familiarity with trends in journalism and press freedom
  • Experience working on public education, community engagement or other similar campaign-organizing work  
  • Excellent interpersonal, written and verbal communication skills
  • Experience writing email alerts, blog posts and other web content for campaigns and organizational outreach
  • Attention to detail, flexibility and demonstrated capacity to operate in a fast-paced environment 


Desired Skills and Experience:


  • Fluency in Spanish.


Compensation & Benefits


This position is categorized as a “tier two” position, in the context of five possible functional classifications at Free Press, ranging from coordinator (tier one) to executive (tier five).


Free Press is committed to offering competitive pay and generous benefits, including group medical, dental, vision and  short- and long-term disability insurance, retirement benefits, health reimbursement accounts and paid family leave. Annual paid time off is a total of nine weeks, including vacation, health-care leave and holidays.


The typical starting salary for a manager at Free Press who meets the above qualifications is between $55,000–$65,000.


How to apply


Complete our online application at the link on the top right of this page. Fully answering the application questions is an important part of the application process.


Free Press provides reasonable accommodations for the application, interview, or any other aspect of the employee selection process to applicants with disabilities. Please email amartyn@freepress.net to request an accommodation.


Key dates


This position was posted the week of May 18, 2020. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and we encourage candidates to submit applications by May 29th. This search will remain open until the position is filled. The ideal candidate will be available to begin work on or around July 1, 2020.


Free Press Is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We value excellence and diversity in our workforce. People of color, women, people with disabilities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transgender, gender-nonconforming and formerly incarcerated individuals are strongly encouraged to apply.


 

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  • Location
    Negotiable, New Jersey
  • Employment Type
    Fixed Term