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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.
Cleveland will house our first non-profit journalism team, staffed by local reporters who know their community better than anyone. Our national team will provide editorial and operational support. We will work in partnership, not competition, with local journalists and existing news outlets.
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 — while maintaining our commitment to fact-based reporting. Investigative, data and engagement journalism will be central to our model.
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 editor-in-chief will set journalistic priorities, investigative targets and engagement projects; recruit, edit and oversee a diverse reporting team; and uphold rigorous journalistic standards of fairness and accuracy. To start out, we anticipate a news team of three reporters. The editor-in-chief reports to The Marshall Project’s managing editor, local.
Oversee the team’s engagement journalism and audience efforts, in collaboration with Marshall Project’s national director for audience development and the Cleveland outreach manager. 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.
Actively seek out community input in Cleveland and the county; cultivate an ongoing dialogue with a range of local stakeholders, from criminal justice officials to those affected directly by the criminal justice system.
Oversee local partnerships in tandem with our national partnership team.
Coordinate with The Marshall Project’s centrally-based teams, including data, photography and illustrations, audience, design, production, partnership, technology, development and HR.
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, willingness to wear many hats, and openness to experimentation.
We do not expect every candidate to be equally skilled in all the areas below, 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.
10 years’ experience or more leading news coverage, managing journalists and meeting the news needs of local communities. Familiarity with criminal justice issues and key institutions and stakeholders in the Cleveland area.
Experience in conceiving and editing investigative projects would be ideal. Experience in working with data teams and data projects would be helpful, though data support will be provided by The Marshall Project’s central data team.
Experience with, or interest in, engagement journalism — reimagining storytelling forms, distribution platforms, and information needs of readers so that our journalism reaches 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.
You must live in the Cleveland/Cuyahoga county area.
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.
Annual salary minimum, $120,000
WHO WE ARE
The Marshall Project is a nonprofit news organization dedicated to covering America’s criminal justice system. We have won two Pulitzer Prizes: in 2021 for national reporting and in 2016 for explanatory journalism; we were also 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.
HOW TO APPLY
To apply, use this form to send a cover letter and resume describing how your experience equips you for this position.