Program Specialist

The Open Society Foundations’ Program on Independent Journalism supports creative, talented, and open-minded groups and networks of journalists or media organizations producing verifiable, trustworthy information on any platform, especially in the places where such content is not only scarce but also difficult to produce.

We are interested in the development of new ideas, taking advantage of the digital revolution in the production of news. We wish to secure a free and safe environment, focusing on activities that protect journalists, citizens practicing journalism and sources or information from physical and legal harassment. We aim to improve global and regional connections, facilitate knowledge circulation, exchange ideas and learn from various contexts. We work in a participatory and creative team culture.

The Program on Independent Journalism seeks to hire a Program Specialist to do programmatic work as part of a team that supports investigative journalism in its quest for more transparency in our societies and more accountable powers.

This program specialist will support grant-making to national, regional and global organizations doing or supporting investigative journalism: non-profit investigative centers, networks, training-by-reporting initiatives or other types of enterprises. This job involves scoping the field by travelling extensively, researching and engaging with protagonists of investigative journalism, including data journalism, fact-checking and open-source- based reporting. The program specialist also researches and writes documents assessing the organisations and grants and actively supports the team to select the benefiting projects and organisations and evaluate their progress.

Job profile

  • Be part of the grant-making and other activities that the Program undertakes in strengthening journalistic organizations and networks.
  • Ensure due administrative, financial and legal processes are followed while making the grants.
  • Analyze governing structures and financial statements of applying organizations.
  • Monitor audience outreach and engagement of the Program’s grantees.
  • Continuously scope the field of investigative reporting by talking to experts, travelling, reading specialized material and investigative stories, participating in relevant events on the subject, and provide feedback to the team.
  • Keep abreast of tools and practices used in investigative journalism and follow innovation trends.
  • Research and analyze existing and emerging models of journalism funding and identify potential sustainability solutions for investigative journalism organizations around the world.
  • Conduct research and provide feedback for grant-making to the investigate journalism team. 
  • Be able to travel extensively to build relationships with grantees, colleagues and other leaders in the field.
  • Participate in the program’s meetings, retreats and workshops and contribute with ideas and suggestions on how to advance and improve the program’s goals.
  • Liaise and work with colleagues across the organization to advance the general mission of the Open Society Foundations.

Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will have:

  • 3-5 years of relevant work experience in journalism, preferably investigative and/or data journalism;
  • Good understanding of the latest trends in journalism generally and of the developments in the field of investigative journalism in particular;
  • Preferably have hands-on experience as an investigative journalist;
  • Familiarity with the distribution of journalistic content via online platforms and social media;
  • Familiarity with models of funding of investigative journalism organizations and projects;
  • An analytical mind, preferably with an ability to analyze budgets and financial statements;
  • An ability to prioritize multiple tasks and work under tight deadlines while not losing attention to detail;
  • Show a capacity to come up with creative solutions to problems;
  • An ability to work well with people from a variety of cultures and backgrounds;
  • Very good command of English and good command of other language or languages;
  • Experience as a grant-maker or a recipient of grants would be desirable but not essential.
  • Willingness to travel extensively.

We are strengthened by the diversity of our colleagues across the Open Society Foundations. We welcome applications from people of all cultures, backgrounds, and experiences, and are committed to providing reasonable accommodations so that colleagues with disabilities are able to fulfill the essential functions of the job.

Department: Program on Independent Journalism

Location: London

Application Deadline: December 16, 2017