We’re looking for a creative, experienced journalist who has a proven track record for telling stories in nontraditional ways. You would help shape and execute Marshall Project strategy to envision a wider range for our storytelling that can reach those who wouldn’t necessarily respond to a traditional written narrative. These formats could include video, audio, animation, text messaging, interactive graphics and other forms of alternate storytelling and outreach.
You will work closely with your colleagues and our wide range of partners on both original projects and ways to re-imagine ongoing ones with alternate storytelling forms. We’ve already been experimenting, and want to push further. One example is our Cleveland-based Testify project, where we also described our findings through radio spots, an audio story, and an illustrated guide. Another is Inside Story, our video series for incarcerated audiences, alongside News Inside, our print magazine circulated in prisons.
By telling stories in nontraditional ways, we hope to achieve a core mission of The Marshall Project – reaching people who have been directly affected by the criminal justice system and general audiences who may be new to criminal justice topics. We are also trying to engage younger people, many of whom have interest in changing criminal justice and who could be attracted by innovative story presentations. Above all, we seek to use video, audio and multimedia storytelling to engage incarcerated audiences and communities that face challenges with literacy, access to the internet, or know very little about how the criminal justice system works.
You’d bring a passion for journalism as a way to expose abuses, tell otherwise untold stories, and help people learn about the U.S. criminal justice system. You need to value close collaboration with others, since almost every project you work on will be a team effort, both within The Marshall Project and with outside partners. You’d want to push the boundaries for what journalism can do, but also have a deep understanding of journalistic ethics and know when you’d be stepping over the line. You need to have a news gut and a keen eye. We’re game to experiment and learn from failures as well as successes.
We recognize that this position involves a wide range of skills, and that not all candidates will have experience in all the formats we want to deploy, such as video, audio, interactive graphics, illustrated primers, and so on. While it would be helpful to have experience in creating some of these formats, the most important skill we seek is the ability to conceive and edit them and to hire freelancers or contributors and oversee their work. Some of our projects would also be produced in partnership with other media organizations that specialize in these forms.
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 with other media outlets; we have ed 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.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
Working with colleagues to identify stories that could be told in nontraditional ways.
Collaborating with editors, reporters, multimedia editors, our innovative product team, and our audience and engagement department to create multi-platform, alternate storytelling strategies around specific projects.
Thinking ambitiously about multimedia storytelling, and knowing the right people to turn to – either internally or externally – to execute the collective vision for that project.
Collaborating with a producer for Inside Story, our pioneering video series that is circulated within prisons and jails, and providing newsroom signoff on each episode.
Working closely with our audience team to create products to connect with off-platform audiences. You don't need to be an expert on all distribution channels, but you'd need to be able to think creatively about how to spread our work far and wide.
Working with our local newsrooms to develop strategies to support and extend their reporting, with a specific focus on using new formats to engage and connect with communities that may have been overlooked in the past.
Working with our expanding engagement team to brainstorm how best to reach out to communities to discover their information needs, incorporate their perspectives, and distribute our work in forms that feel relevant and useful to them.
Collaborating closely with our award-winning data, product and design teams to integrate data visuals into nontraditional formats, experiment with techniques like content localization, and ensure that our multimedia storytelling is guided by our UX standards.
Who You’d Be Working With
You would report to the Editor-in-Chief, and work closely with, among others: the managing editor and managing editor, local; the directors of product and technology and their teams; our engagement working group; our multimedia team; and our partnership team.
We are not specifying specific years of experience, but this is not an entry-level position.
A track record of creating short- and long-form projects with demonstrable impact, preferably in alternate storytelling formats. Experience creating or editing audio, visuals and/or graphics would be important, although we do not expect applicants to be equally skilled in all formats. The key is knowing how to oversee, assign and critique projects in alternate formats.
Experience working on investigative journalism–with an emphasis on audio, visuals, and graphics–with an interest in criminal justice issues.
The ability to demonstrate visual thinking and decisions through an open, collaborative process that incorporates many formats, including video, audio, sketches, mockups, wireframes and other tools as needed.
Experience collaborating across teams and departments, ability to manage a freelance budget, and adeptness at supervising contractors.
Conversant in the tools, opportunities, and limitations of digital news design such as mobile/responsive user experience and embedded media.
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 minimum, $120,000
100% employer-paid medical, employer-paid vision and dental insurance; matching traditional and Roth 401k (immediate vesting), 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; home and auto insurance; legal benefits; personal excess liability insurance; discount marketplace; 17 days of paid time off each year (in addition to office closure between Dec 24 and January 2); and fully paid parental and family leave.
Our headquarters is in New York City, but we will consider remote candidates who live in the United States.
How to Apply
To apply, use this form to send a cover letter and resume. Please submit a portfolio, (website, PDF or other) with the application to show us the work you’ve done in nontraditional storytelling.
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.