Location: Flexible: Ideally Nairobi, Johannesburg or other hubs on the continent
Deadline for application: 25 April
Salary: To be negotiated based on experience
IRIN News seeks an experienced journalist and editor to drive its coverage of sub-Saharan Africa. Based on the continent, the Africa Editor will be responsible for commissioning and editing news, analysis, commentary, photo essays and multimedia projects from freelance correspondents. He or she will also write editor’s commentaries and other desk copy and contribute occasional reporting from the field.
IRIN is an award-winning news organisation focused on covering humanitarian crises and policies. We were founded in 1995 by the United Nations as a result of the information gap exposed by the Rwandan genocide. Now a non-profit media outlet, we cover conflicts and crises around the world and report on the humanitarian aid sector. Our frontline reporters amplify the voices of some of the most vulnerable people on earth and critically examine the multi-billion-dollar aid industry. Our work often informs policy and decisions that help people displaced or affected by conflict, lack of economic opportunity, climate change, and natural disasters. We are a go-to source for decision makers in the humanitarian aid sector, including NGOs, the UN, governments and analysts, and we offer more general readers coverage from places often overlooked by mainstream media.
IRIN was born in Nairobi, and sub-Saharan Africa remains an integral focus of our work. We are looking for an editor with deep roots in Africa and a commitment to living and working there. He or she must possess excellent news judgment; strong hands-on editing skills; wide-reaching knowledge of the region; dynamic ideas for digital storytelling and strategies to reach wider audiences; and a willingness to work collaboratively as a core member of IRIN’s decentralised editorial team. She or he will report to IRIN’s executive editor and join our small, passionate outfit at a historic time for IRIN, non-profit media organisations, and the humanitarian aid sector.
Roles and Responsibilities
- Working with the executive and managing editors, set editorial priorities for sub-Saharan Africa; identify regional and thematic issues that can inform and enhance IRIN’s broader coverage.
- Monitor humanitarian developments throughout the coverage area, in particular within IRIN’s core themes of conflict; aid policy; refugees and migration; climate change; and food security, and update the executive and managing editors weekly or as warranted.
- Manage a network of contributors and freelancers; field and shape pitches and work with reporters to file thoughtful, focused coverage.
- Proactively commission news, features, analyses, commentary, photo essays, data-driven and multimedia content.
- Edit and fact-check all coverage from the region, providing quality control and oversight and ensuring that each piece adheres to and advances IRIN’s editorial focus and mission.
- Work closely with the digital producer and managing editor on web and other presentation formats and ensure that maps, graphics and other visual material are accurate and appropriate.
- Produce original content from the desk, which may include but is not limited to newsletter items, weekly features, podcasts, news briefs, round-ups and editor’s commentaries.
- Build IRIN’s roster of core contributors by identifying and recruiting multimedia journalists and reporters who can provide the best humanitarian coverage from sub-Saharan Africa.
- Meet editorial production targets.
- Promote IRIN coverage via social media channels, both by working closely with the audience engagement manager and via your personal channels.
- Manage regional budget and freelance payments; contribute to risk analyses and donor and impact reports.
- Support efforts to identify potential distribution and co-production partners and engage in outreach at the regional level.
- Occasionally travel for field reporting, conferences and events, IRIN internal meetings, and meetings with contributors and other stakeholders.
- Occasionally edit copy from other regions or perform other editorial tasks, as assigned by the executive and managing editors.
- At least five years of experience in a journalistic editing role, preferably with a global news organisation, including hands-on multiplatform editing, setting and executing coverage priorities, and managing correspondents and freelancers.
- Demonstrated understanding of sub-Saharan Africa, with a core of work focusing on the region.
- Written and verbal fluency in English.
- Experience managing budgets and workflows.
- Active network of freelance journalists and analysts across the region.
- Multimedia reporting, editing and production skills.
- Understanding of the humanitarian sector.
- Proficiency in French.
- Advanced degree in journalism, communications or a relevant field.
- Data reporting and analysis experience; front-end coding skills.
- Collaborative mindset and work style.
- Excellent written, verbal, and digital communication skills.
- Ability to work independently and remotely as part of a multinational, geographically dispersed team.
- Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines.
- Aptitude for identifying trends based on informed analysis.
- Comfort with the pace of a 24/7 news cycle.
- Confident and collaborative editor, equally at ease working on time-sensitive reporting and in-depth or analysis pieces; able to honor both the contributor’s voice and IRIN’s editorial focus.
- Resourceful and creative thinker, able to identify the most impactful way to tell and present each story within budget and time constraints.
- Ability to identify and mentor talent by inspiring, influencing, and motivating others.
How to Apply
Send your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org (subject line: Africa Editor). Please include a cover letter outlining your relevant experience, your interest in working with IRIN, and pitches for three stories from sub-Saharan Africa you would want IRIN to tell – and how you would execute them. Please include links to previous work, which may include articles, multimedia or other editorial projects you have reported and written, produced, edited, or managed (and a note on the role(s) you played).
More About IRIN
Some 180,000 people (mostly government, UN and NGO officials, journalists and academics) visit our website every month; 36,000 subscribe to our email newsletter; and millions more access our work through social media and syndication by mainstream media. Our journalism has prompted public petitions, donations and charity telethons, new aid programmes, debates in parliaments and changes in UN policy.
After 19 years as part of the United Nations, IRIN spun off in 2015 to become an independent non-profit media organisation, now headquartered in Switzerland. Our board of directors is led by Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist, author, and professor Howard French.
Our reporting tackles many of the key issues of our time, from migration to climate change, from the war in Syria to a multi-billion-dollar aid industry in turmoil. In a recent audience survey, readers noted that they see IRIN as unique in a number of areas, including reporting on issues that many news agencies overlook; conducting exclusive investigations into the aid sector; reporting from undercovered locations; and offering expert analysis and opinions unavailable elsewhere. Our work is regularly cited and reproduced in academic journals and local and international media outlets, including the BBC and The New York Times.
We are funded by a mix of governments and foundations.