The Marshall Project is seeking to expand its award-winning accountability criminal justice journalism to communities across the country where local news resources to cover this urgent issue are being slashed or eliminated. Criminal justice is overwhelmingly a local matter. Police departments, courts, judges, district attorneys and other arms of the justice system are run by people elected locally, and laws regulating them are passed by state and local governments. To examine whether these institutions are serving the public fairly, communities need journalists equipped with the reporting, editing, data, visual and community outreach resources to investigate abuses and communicate with a wide range of people whose fates depend on how the justice system is run. We envision a series of Marshall Project non-profit journalism teams staffed by local reporters who know their community better than anyone, with our national team providing editorial and operational support. We will work in partnership, not competition, with local journalists and existing news outlets. Fact-based investigative, data and engagement projects are central to our model. We aim to produce journalism that is written for, and accountable to, the communities in which the teams are based. We will write for people with power to implement changes when abuses are exposed, and for those who have felt powerless. We intend to expand our sources and readers to make sure we are talking to people who often feel excluded or caricatured by the news media. We will also explore alternative ways of telling stories so we make sure our journalism reaches those who might face literacy challenges or who haven’t traditionally received their information from written news outlets. The managing editor will collaborate with the editor-in-chief, the chief strategy officer, and the president of The Marshall Project to establish, oversee and expand the teams, shape their journalism, and recruit and supervise local editors-in-chief and other staffers.
Responsibilities: Setting the journalistic vision, strategy and goals for these local teams, overseeing the editors-in-chief, and establishing strong communications with, and support from, Marshall Project national resources, including data, investigations, photography, illustrations, audience, design, production, partnership, technology, development, HR, and finance. Recruiting a diverse pool of candidates to staff the news teams, in collaboration with local editors-in-chief. Hiring is foundational to journalistic success, and we expect the managing editor to continue talent scouting to build and maintain a robust list of prospective hires in communities across the country. Identifying potential communities for local networks and collaborating with the chief strategy officer on feasibility studies that identify information needs, local media partners, community leaders, key players and stakeholders in the justice system. Providing editing support and oversight on individual projects and the news teams across the networks. Establishing and upholding rigorous journalistic standards of fairness and accuracy. Overseeing engagement journalism and audience, in collaboration with the director for audience development. This might include community outreach, live events, newsletters and a range of innovative ways to distribute our journalism and make sure it reaches a wide readership, including people behind bars and their families. Working with the director of News Inside and Inside Story to distribute our journalism to incarcerated audiences. Collaborating with the director of audience development to identify and reach existing and new audiences, establish and analyze audience metrics, and disseminate a range of engagement journalism tools. Overseeing partnership with local news outlets across the networks in tandem with our partnership team; promoting and marketing the work produced by the networks.
Requirements: We do not expect every candidate to be equally skilled in all these areas, and this is not a complete list of all relevant qualifications applicants might bring to the job. Please tell us about your other assets not mentioned here that may be valuable to this role. Reaching talent across a range of backgrounds and experiences is deeply important to us. If you do not meet all the criteria but are still interested in this role and/or in The Marshall Project, we'd love to hear from you. We are looking for an experienced, innovative news leader with a track record of producing ambitious journalism with impact and fostering workplaces that are fair, humane, and inclusive. You need a collaborative spirit, resourcefulness in working with a small but mighty team, willingness to wear many hats, and openness to experimentation and adaptation. 10 years’ experience or more leading news coverage and managing journalists, with 15 years’ experience in journalism. Leadership experience in a local news outlet and in producing news for local or regional audiences and communities. Experience in conceiving and editing investigative projects. Experience with, or interest in, engagement journalism -- reimagining storytelling forms, distribution platforms, and information needs of readers so that the teams reach a wide range of people, including those behind bars or justice-affected communities who seldom see news that could affect their own lives or reflects their lived experiences. Experience in working with data-driven articles and data journalists. Ability to juggle managing multiple teams across geographic areas. Track record of work with product and audience teams, designers and developers to conceive and implement journalism tailored to a range of audiences, from criminal justice experts to new, diverse and justice-affected audiences. The Marshall Project is headquartered in New York City but has journalists and editors in multiple locations across the country. We are open to locations outside New York City, though you need to be in the United States. The position requires regular travel to the cities where our news teams will be based. Please include in your cover letter a brief description of a new project you launched or managed, or a job you held, which allowed you to demonstrate your leadership, organizational skills, and innovation.
Compensation and benefits: This job is full-time, with a competitive salary and benefits including employer-paid medical, vision, and dental insurance; 17 days of paid time off each year, plus a week off at the end of December; paid family leave; and 401(k) matching.
Who we are: The Marshall Project is a nonprofit news organization dedicated to covering America’s criminal justice system. In 2016 and 2021, The Marshall Project was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. We have also been honored with the Goldsmith Prize, multiple National Magazine Awards, and for General Excellence from the Online Journalism Awards. We are not advocates—we follow the facts and we do not pander to any audience—but we have a declared mission: to create and sustain a sense of urgency about the criminal justice system. We do not generally cover breaking news (although we curate the reporting of other news outlets in our morning newsletter). Our work includes investigative and explanatory projects and shorter pieces aimed at highlighting stories that other news organizations miss, underestimate or misunderstand. To assure our work reaches a larger audience we partner or co-publish with other media outlets on almost all of our work; we have partnered with more than 200 newspapers, magazines, broadcasters and online sites. We are an equal opportunity employer, committed to diversity. We welcome qualified applicants of all races, ethnicities, physical abilities, genders and sexual orientations, including people who have been incarcerated or otherwise involved with the criminal justice system.
How to apply: To apply, use this form to send a cover letter and resume. Please include in your cover letter a brief description of a new project you launched or managed, or a job you held, which allowed you to demonstrate your leadership, organizational skills, and innovation. Due to the expected volume of applications, we will follow up with the most promising candidates but cannot respond individually to all applicants. Please know it usually takes us more than a month to review applications.