The role of the Public Editor’s office is to foster greater newsroom transparency and accountability on behalf of NPR’s listeners and readers. The editorial researcher sits in the newsroom but the office works outside the newsroom structure. Public Editor office employees are expected to maintain cordial relations with the newsroom, while remaining professionally separate and observing complete confidentiality regarding Office operations.
Duties & Responsibilities:
Label, synthesize and prioritize listener and reader complaints/inquiries that come in by email or over social media for greater transparency and accountability within the organization. Advise public editor on concerns raised by NPR’s audience that the office needs to investigate. Judge complaints using NPR’s own ethics handbook as a guide. Assemble research that will be used in response to those emails or social media complaints (including researching links to past coverage and pulling newscast scripts). Write templates for some responses. Answer emails at the direction of the public editor. Prepare weekly report for newsroom leaders.
Assist the public editor in assembling and posting weekly (or more) blog posts.
Identify topics for blog posts.
Conduct in-depth and accurate research into listener/reader complaints that the office will be responding to. This includes assessing NPR’s past coverage by tracking down reports, and/or working with RAD to evaluate coverage, as well as monitoring ongoing coverage of various topics. Evaluate the topics as they relate to current industry debates over evolving journalism ethics and practices.
Write a minimum of one blog post per quarter on a topic of concern to listeners/readers, to be determined with public editor.
Seek editor/reporter/producer response to audience coverage concerns, when appropriate.
Select and edit photos to illustrate the blog posts.
Fact-check blog posts for content, and edit for AP style.
Publish final version
Plan and coordinate audience engagement efforts. Employ social media tools (i.e. Facebook and Twitter) to expand the reach of the office and direct followers to blog. Assemble and send out internal and external newsletters featuring blog posts.
Engage with audience members on Twitter and Facebook, as needed.
Handle any incoming telephone calls and communicate directly with audience members, and respond to mail complaints.
Coordinate content promotion with npr.org editors to publish column on NPR.org home page rotator
Work with staff at member stations to arrange public editor events, visits and on-air appearances. Book NPR studios when required for remote interviews.
Compile and submit travel expenses.
Arrange meetings with interested parties at the request of the public editor and reserve meeting space at NPR when needed.
Handle invoices submitted by outside editors.
Education: Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience, with reporting or production experience and training.
Minimum Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
At least three years of journalism-related experience, with the ability to collect, organize and assess information.
Published work (print or radio) that demonstrates writing ability and/or experience at an editor’s level (print or radio).
Demonstrated familiarity with journalism standards, practices and ethics and the current debates over these issues.
Strong fact-checking and research skills.
Strong written communication skills, including grammar and punctuation and familiarity with AP Style.
Knowledge of and experience using current social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter.
Knowledge of and experience using blog and newsletter publishing content management systems.
An ability to work as a self-starter and under pressure of deadline, demonstrating at all times respect for the diverse constituencies at NPR and within the public radio system.
Ability to juggle multiple requests and issues, and to multitask effectively.
Professional telephone manners and strong interpersonal skills.
Ability to use Microsoft Office suite.
Strong organizational skills.
Preferred knowledge of the US public radio system and its values.
Preferred radio journalism experience.
Help select, train and supervise interns.
Order supplies as needed for the office.
Other duties as assigned, including very occasional transcribing.