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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.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

The Marshall Project is expanding 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, prosecutors 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 houses our first nonprofit journalism team, staffed by local reporters who know their community better than anyone. Our national team provides editorial and operational support. We will work in partnership, not competition, with local journalists and existing news outlets.

We produce journalism that is written for, and accountable to, the communities in which the teams are based. We write for people with power to implement changes when abuses are exposed, and for those who have felt powerless. A core part of our mission includes expanding our sources and readers to make sure we are talking to people who often feel excluded by the news media -- while maintaining our commitment to fact-based reporting. Investigative, data and engagement journalism will be central to our model.

We are committed to alternative ways of telling stories so we make sure our journalism reaches those behind bars, 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; edit and oversee a diverse reporting team; and uphold rigorous journalistic standards of fairness and accuracy. The job requires ability to help conceptualize and coach reporters on story framing and reporting strategies, as well as line-editing the resulting articles. The Cleveland editor-in-chief reports to the Managing Editor, Local.

  • Oversee the team’s engagement journalism in collaboration with The Marshall Project's engagement editor and Cleveland's engagement reporter. Engagement journalism is the third pillar of our strategic plan. This work requires ensuring our reporting is both relevant and accessible to Cleveland's justice affected audience, which includes incarcerated people and their families. This work might include community outreach, live events, local broadcast partnerships, and a range of innovative ways to both generate and distribute our journalism.

  • Actively seek out community input in Cleveland and Cuyahoga 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.

Job Requirements

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. Since this is a new venture and we’re still learning, you should be adaptable and ready to pivot as needed. - You must be comfortable with the technology and management of a remote and hybrid team, able to communicate clearly and efficiently with both your team on the ground in Cleveland and the many colleagues who support the team at The Marshall Project remotely.

  • Substantial experience leading news coverage, managing journalists and meeting the news needs of local communities. Knowledge of criminal justice issues is essential; it’s an added asset to know 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, telling stories in nontraditional forms and with 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.

  • Ability to manage a range of talent and experience levels; a successful candidate will understand how to meet staffers where they are and help them build skills as needed.

You must live in or be willing to move to the Cleveland/Cuyahoga county area soon after starting this position.

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 have the exact combination of skills listed here, but are still interested in this role and/or in The Marshall Project, we'd love to hear from you.

Compensation and Benefits

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

Annual Salary Range: $130,000 - $150,000

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.

How to Apply

To apply, use this form to send a cover letter, resume, and 3 work samples.

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