Director, Program on Independent Journalism. London. Posting Date: 06/17/2019. Deadline: 07/18/2019
Independent journalism uncovers, verifies and interprets reality. When it also engages audiences and communities it elicits the self-reflection and critical thinking any open society requires. The last year has seen unprecedented attacks on journalism, laying bare how much it matters. A record 262 journalists were jailed in 2017 and 60 have been killed so far in 2018. Governments that have traditionally defended press freedom globally are now attacking independent media.
The toughest challenge facing journalism, however, is to stay true to its core public service while navigating the stormy waters of digital disruption. These have eroded media revenue, brand and editorial control, all which have resulted in diminished quality and public trust. Yet despite the challenges, many producers of quality journalism flourish in different shapes around the world, networking and collaborating to enhance their capacity and impact.
The strategic aim of the Open Society Foundations (OSF)'s Program on Independent Journalism (PIJ) is to find those pushing the field into new terrain and journey with them along this uncertain path, making sure that our questions and our support help them keep an open mind and an entrepreneurial spirit.
To accomplish its goals the Program has four portfolios of work:
1. Support efforts to build a free and safe environment for journalism;
2. Help investigative journalism collectives to network, collaborate and build technical expertise;
3. Support creative journalistic initiatives wherever quality information is scarce, so that they can take root, engage citizens and grow at the dynamic pace promised by digital technology
4. Support initiatives that are producing and/or sharing innovation in the journalism field.
OSF is looking for a new director to lead the work and staff of OSF's Independent Journalism Program. The director is responsible for shaping strategy; identifying major shifts and trends and shaping the program's goals and portfolios accordingly; overseeing grant-making to more than a hundred organizations every year; building and maintaining communications within OSF and with other philanthropies; and leading and managing the development and growth of a team of 14 staff. The director is expected to bring innovative thought leadership and conceptualize the ways OSF can support the field as a grant-maker and advocate, catalyzing networks and spotting and promoting pioneering work.
Programmatically, the new director will be expected to utilize a keen understanding of current challenges in press freedom and journalists' safety, not only on a global level, but also in a particular region or country. The director must be a seasoned and respected professional, familiar and/or engaged with the major organizations and networks advancing independent journalism globally. She or he will also need to have a superb grasp of the ever-changing landscape for digital journalism and the impact of technology on media. Excellent understanding and experience of internet governance and digital platform regulation is required.
The work of PIJ intersects with that of many of OSF's other regional and thematic programs and the director maintains overall responsibility for identifying and nurturing opportunities for collaboration across these, as well as with the network's national foundations. As a member of OSF's Senior Leadership Group, she/he not only leads the work of the Program on Independent Journalism but is responsible for maintaining and strengthening the institutional, programmatic, and financial integrity of OSF as a whole.
The role includes a significant leadership dimension, including coaching colleagues from a rich and diverse array of backgrounds and managing cross-department, cross-program projects in a manner that encourages clear communication and respectful colleagueship. Building good relationships is critical for the job. This requires the development and nurturing of trust within internal and external fields, across cultures and geographies in which competing interests, complex political and cultural factors, and tensions between long and short-term goals must be managed effectively.
The Program Director's role includes the following activities:
Competitive rates of pay apply.
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 adjustments so that colleagues with disabilities are able to fulfill the essential functions of the job.