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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.


As a nonprofit media organization, The Marshall Project does not exploit its audience for revenue, or trade on clickbait. Instead, we seek to expand the audience for our journalism in order to maximize our impact, awaken and inform the public, and engage the millions of people whose lives have been ensnared in the criminal justice system. 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 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 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 real 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. Because we are a small team, the director should expect to be hands-on and be willing to directly perform a range of duties including analyzing audience data and preparing presentations for the full staff on analytics, working directly with off-platform teams, as needed, and drafting and editing social copy.

  • Envisioning, executing and evaluating various strategies to grow or create audiences across multiple platforms
  • As The Marshall Project expands into new localities, working with colleagues to develop and manage strategies for local audience outreach and development
  • Working with our Audience Engagement Manager and Newsletter Manager to translate our audience goals into clear and actionable metrics of success
  • Understanding our current analytics products and defining ways to improve them; working with our designers and developers to realize those improvements
  • Working with colleagues in the newsroom and on the business side to create new products for developing audience and turning them into supporters.
  • Overseeing outreach to third-party platforms such as Apple News, Pocket, Flipboard, and more, and building relationships with key players there
  • Brainstorming and executing re-circulation strategies
  • Managing paid promotion campaigns on various platforms
  • Preparing materials about our audience for our staff, Board of Directors, and major donors Facility with writing inviting headlines, combined with a sophisticated understanding of SEO strategies
  • Creating innovative audience strategies to connect our work to non-traditional audiences, which might include justice-affected communities, incarcerated people, and low-literacy communities.


The Audience Director reports to the Managing Editor and is a senior figure in the newsroom, overseeing our Audience Engagement Manager and Newsletter Manager, and working closely with the Director of Product and other top editors. This position also works closely and collaboratively with the business side of The Marshall Project, including the Chief Strategy Officer, Chief Development Officer, and Senior Development Manager who oversees our growing membership.


  • Substantial 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
  • Experience and/or relationships with third-party platforms
  • 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 can be based in any U.S. location.


This job is full-time, with a competitive salary and benefits:

Salary Range: $110,000 - $130,000

100% employer-paid medical, employer subsidized vision and dental insurance; matching traditional and Roth 401k (immediate vesting). Voluntary benefits include: Health and Dependent Care FSA, commuter benefits, pet insurance, short and long term disability insurance, employee and dependent life insurance, AFLAC accident, hospital indemnity, and critical illness coverage, legal benefits, personal excess liability insurance, and employee discount marketplace. We also observe 17 days of paid time off each year (in addition to office closure between Dec. 24 and Jan. 2), and provide paid parental leave.


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.