Job Description.

The Emancipator is seeking an Audience Engagement Director to develop an audience engagement strategy and workflow and lead the experience of The Emancipator.  

About The Emancipator.

The Emancipator is a digital publication that reimagines the first abolitionist newspapers in the United States for a new day. Just as 19th century anti-slavery publications reframed and amplified the quest for abolition, the new Emancipator centers critical voices, debates, and evidence-based opinion to reframe the national conversation on racial equity and hasten racially just outcomes. We are driven by a commitment to understanding how systems work to allow everyone to live and thrive. Joy and possibility underlie our ethos. 

About You. 

The Emancipator is looking for a driven, nimble collaborator who will focus on fostering loyalty, engagement, and affinity to The Emancipator. 

This position on the leadership team is in charge of cross-platform audience engagement and brand growth in and beyond the newsroom. 

This person will serve as a highly motivated, innovative thought leader who will develop engagement strategies for our digital audience and our IRL community.

This digital leader will work to target our audience and produce content and approaches that grow our resonance. Strategy, creative thinking, and entrepreneurial skills are essential for success, and this role requires editorial and technical experimentation.

You will define the tools we use for analytics and use them to define goals to help us understand and expand as we build toward a robust national audience.

The ideal candidate has strong attention to detail, and experience distilling and illustrating complex issues and themes. Must have the ability to work with experienced professionals and emerging practitioners, including students and freelancers. 

This candidate should be a whiz with reader metrics, someone able to crunch numbers, break down complex data sets, and filter real-time metrics to spot opportunities. 

But we also need a journalist who sees our stories and reporters as more than just data points. We need someone who can help decipher the *why* behind a story’s success, and who believes deeply in The Emancipator’s journalistic mission and the role metrics can play in making the publication a vital part of the community. 

You are collaborative and energetic, a person who understands the pace and odd hours that sometimes come with a startup enterprise, and who is willing to work hand-in-hand with a wide variety of reporters, editors, and producers. 

This role will also lead nontraditional distribution efforts, getting stories and information to those who need it the most, whether through audio, digital, social media or in person work.

We’re looking for someone who brings strong journalism fundamentals, a passion and curiosity for reaching audiences where they are at, and a drive to have impact. Working in our cross-platform newsroom, they will use social media and engagement tools to report and engage sources.

This is a unique opportunity to develop a new digital property’s audience strategy from the ground up, bringing big ideas to life cohesively across platforms — from the digital world to IRL. You’ll be central to creating the kind of inclusive, joyful, can-do culture that symbolizes the mission of this startup. You are not creating for the moment; you are creating for the future. 

The Engagement Director reports to the two co-editors in chief. Our team is based in Boston but we are open to discussing a remote or hybrid schedule. This is a full-time position. 


Core strategic functions include leading audience development and creation, support and evolution of brand strategy:

  • Manages the day-to-day audience expansion and brand growth needs of The Emancipator editorial team, working across multiple projects (newsletters, SEO, headlines, audience acquisition and retention) while anticipating needs of synergy and internal business partners. 
  • Oversee and direct social media team members in pitching ideas, researching, crafting, and building social media messages, building social sharing toolkits, and devising social deployment of special projects and series in a timely manner. 
  • Finds and socializes insight-driven recommended actions across the editorial staff, working with individual teams to adjust factors like presentation elements, publication time, and general promotional strategy on both a per-story and broader strategic basis.
  • Use audience flow data to analyze usage of The Emancipator website which informs work with the product team to elevate user experience, optimize for engagement and prioritize accessibility.
  • Celebrate growth and offer constructive feedback that is foundational to a trusting, transparent relationship with senior leadership

Research: building on new insights, applied information architecture, integrated engagement strategies, audience research and analysis.

  • Work with colleagues across the organization to set and test hypotheses about how to cultivate habits, drawing more readers and identifying opportunities to drive deeper engagement.
  • Use engagement tools like the Public Insight Network, Hearken, Typeform, and GroundSource. 
  • Look for creative approaches to engage the community in coverage and identify the information needs and habits of stakeholders
  • Drive engagement through experimental approaches onsite and via our channels (newsletters, app, social media, other platforms) based on key engagement goals.
  • Build an audience and distribution network that strengthens the journalism that’s based on community feedback
  • Collaborate with team members, folding into every phase of the editorial process (from brainstorming to newsgathering to distribution).
  • Methodically make decisions in response to data.
  • Working in tandem with product, engineering, audience, marketing, and business teams, and partner with publishers and platforms to distribute content where our audiences are.
  • Perform analysis on editorial stories, projects, and readership patterns.
  • Lead training/seminars and deliver reports to editors and stakeholders on story performance and audience insights. 
  • Own relationships with vendors and introduce new tools to the newsroom.
  • Conduct real-time analysis for breaking and developing news events, giving guidance to journalists on best practices, story angles, publish times, and audience trends.
  • Help work on SEO and identify opportunities on search and social media
  • Manage site taxonomy, navigation, and metadata tagging.
  • Provide data and performance metrics needed in building strategy deliverables requested in building partnerships and launching new programs across all platforms
  • Create executive level summaries, progress updates and impact reports providing actionable insights on media performance and optimizations. Assist in building sales materials and liaising on branded content initiatives. 
  • Build strategic voice beyond the boundaries of our company through community engagement by developing relationships with other thought leaders who are leading with antiracist practices.


  • A journalism background and 8+ years of experience with building engagement within online communities.
  • A track record of successful, audience-focused work.
  • A progressive understanding of the ways that readers engage with content on social, search, and mobile platforms.
  • A willingness to adapt and be audience focused, with a curious mindset and a commitment to creating an inclusive work environment. 
  • Previous experience with analytics programs such as Chartbeat, Omniture, and Feedly.
  • Solid understanding of social media, newsletters, news alerts, and other channels. 
  • Strong writing and editing skills.
  • Facility with content management systems and other digital publishing tools.
  • Skilled at multitasking and juggling multiple projects at once.
  • A team player who thrives working in a group setting.
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