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As a nonprofit media organization, The Marshall Project does not exploit its audience for revenue, or trade on clickbait. We see our audience as an essential element of impact, and want each story to connect with the right audience at the right time to generate pressure for change. At the same time, we do ask our readers to support our work. This is not only an important stream of revenue for the organization; it also demonstrates that our journalism is appreciated by our readers.

In 2020, The Marshall Project saw very rapid growth in both audience and membership. Our challenge now is to sustain that audience, to continue growing our membership and to reach and draw in new audiences for our work.

The Audience Director at The Marshall Project should help us understand and develop its diverse audiences, including general audiences who have not yet engaged deeply on criminal justice; criminal justice experts who need fresh and accurate information to do their best work and people who’ve been directly affected by criminal justice, whom the media have too often neglected and marginalized. Each one of these cohorts is ripe for growth, but the most robust opportunities lie with general audiences: drawing in new readers, sustaining and developing their interest, turning them into knowledgeable supporters of criminal justice reform and inspiring them to support our work financially.

Our Audience Director should have a substantial background in audience growth. They should have at least seven years’ experience developing readership on various platforms, with a keen sense of industry innovation in the field of audience development. As a growing nonprofit, The Marshall Project may not be the first to test and exploit new platforms, but we want to stay abreast of new tools and technologies and make sure we are adopting those that show promise.

The Audience Director will work closely with the Director of Communications and Strategy; the Director of Development, including her Membership Manager; the Director of Product; the Audience Engagement Editor and top editors in our newsroom.


  • Envisioning, executing and evaluating various strategies to grow or create audiences across multiple platforms, with a focus audience development and revenue
  • If and when The Marshall Project expands into new localities, working with colleagues to develop strategies for local audience outreach and development
  • Working with our Audience Engagement Editor to translate our audience goals into measurable metrics of success
  • Being a champion for audience growth and working with the Audience Engagement Editor to communicate our audience goals to the full staff
  • Working with colleagues in the newsroom and on the business side to create new products for attracting and developing audience
  • Understanding our current analytics products and defining ways to improve them; working with our designers and developers to realize those improvements
  • Managing paid promotion campaigns on various platforms
  • Working with the Audience Engagement Editor to turn messy, complex data into clear and actionable insights
  • Preparing materials for our Board of Directors and major donors


  • A minimum of seven years’ experience developing audience for a newsroom or comparable organization
  • Advanced understanding of audience analytics, with specific expertise in mining Google Analytics, Chartbeat, and other tools for audience insights
  • Expert knowledge of social media trends, user experience and SEO optimization, with the ability to train and work with teams on SEO and product development
  • Strong writing and editing skills, with keen attention to detail
  • Ability to manage both urgent, short-term projects and complex, longer-term projects

This position is full-time and will ideally be based in our New York City newsroom, although we are open to other locations. Due to COVID-19, our office is currently closed, and we are all working from home until September.


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.


The Marshall Project is a nonprofit news organization dedicated to covering America’s criminal justice system. In 2016, The Marshall Project was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism and was a Pulitzer finalist for investigative reporting. 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 100 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.

To apply, use this form to submit a resume, cover letter and references.

Due to the expected volume of applications, we will follow up with the most promising candidates but cannot respond individually to all applicants.