Position in: East Africa

Do you want to lead the fight against misinformation across Africa?

Code for Africa (CfA) has an immediate vacancy for a full-time managing editor based in East Africa to join our PesaCheck team.

Candidates must have demonstrable experience in mainstream newsdesk management, with proven success at running diverse editorial teams that consistently produce high-quality and impactful content on tight deadlines.

PesaCheck is a pan-African fact-checking initiative incubated by CfA that separates fact from fiction, by tracking and debunking misinformation and hate speech published both online and elsewhere in more traditional media. It also tracks and analyses promises by public officials, and shines a light on public finances, to ensure the public is not misled.

The successful candidate will lead a multinational and multilingual team that publishes hard-hitting investigative content in four languages, using digital collaboration tools, for a global audience and international media partners.

Required: minimum requirements include:

  • Demonstrable newsdesk management skills, honed during at least five years in a mainstream media or equivalent digital publishing environment.
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills, and demonstrable aptitude for nurturing leadership that draws the best out of young teams.
  • Exceptional copywriting and editing skills, to help set world-class editorial standards for PesaCheck’s newsroom.
  • Robust critical-thinking and strong research/investigative skills, to help the team keep ahead of the curve in a fast-evolving field.
  • Proven track-record for creative problem-solving in fast-paced impact-driven environments, where solutions involve balancing human/technology considerations.
  • Demonstrable ability to self-manage, creating your own and wider team timelines and milestones, with clear systems/processes.
  • Digital first workplace skill-sets, including proficiency in collaborative work solutions such as Google Drive (Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, etc) and Slack (or equivalents such as Teams), as well as project management tools like Trello (or equivalents).

Preferred: candidates who are able to demonstrate the following will have an advantage:

  • Previous experience in a similar newsroom leadership or watchdog organisation role.
  • In-depth knowledge of the fundamentals of verification and fact-checking for combating misinformation.
  • Working knowledge of French, and/or Arabic, in addition to the African languages within PesaCheck’s 15 country focus area.

Language and Location Requirements:

  • Location: East Africa
  • Languages: English

About the Role:

PesaCheck is Africa’s largest fact-checking initiative, with in-country researchers in 13 African nations who publish daily investigative reports that debunk misinformation or hate speech in English and French, as well as kiSwahili and Amharic. Additional African languages will be added as the initiative grows.

The successful candidate will supervise a newsroom of 20+ multidisciplinary editorial staff, across multiple time-zones, and would be responsible for the overall day-to-day operations. This includes recruiting and nurturing and growing the core team of deputy editors, in consultation with PesaCheck’s publisher and HR team, and implementing the newsroom production systems and editorial policies or standards to ensure that PesaCheck runs smoothly. Key duties include setting editorial targets and production schedules (with an emphasis on enforcing publication deadlines where necessary), ensuring that the editorial diary or calendar (which is called the ‘docket’ in Kenya) is synchronised seamlessly across PesaCheck’s News Desk and CopyDesk, and monitoring the resulting editorial output to ensure it meets agreed standards and relevance. This means that the Managing Editor has final sign-off on all fact-checks, giving the greenlight for public release and syndication of editorial packages.

The Managing Editor also implements the strategic roadmap, nurturing PesaCheck’s external editorial partnerships, growing our audiences and reach, and ensuring that the rollout of editorial special products or initiatives (like DebunkBot and PesaYetu and PromiseTracker) remain on-track and on-target. The Managing Editor furthermore ensures that PesaCheck’s technical production systems are fit-for-purpose, and that our knowledge products (like our courseware or research) remain aligned with the organisation’s mission and standards.

Finally, the Managing Editor is the newsroom’s editorial champion, coordinating the defence of our standards and editorial products and in-country teams.

Responsibilities: Your daily responsibilities will include:

  • You will co-develop PesaCheck’s strategic roadmap and partnerships, and will manage all daily operations at PesaCheck, supported by your team of deputy editors, with guidance as needed from CfA’s senior management.
  • You will shape PesaCheck’s team by recruiting, managing and nurturing editorial staff, with support from CfA’s HR team.
  • You will set editorial targets and production schedules, and will help guide the NewsDesk’s daily content strategies, to ensure that PesaCheck meets partner and audience expectations.
  • You will set PesaCheck’s editorial standards and product benchmarks, and will champion adherence to procedures and protocols to achieve consistent editorial excellence.
  • You will ensure the accuracy, clarity, and appropriateness of all PesaCheck content.
  • You will sign-off on content before publication.
  • You will regularly represent PesaCheck at partner consultations and public stakeholder meetings. 

In addition to these responsibilities, you will actively serve as a member of CfA’s management committee (ManCom), contributing to the organisation’s overarching pan-African strategies and project portfolio.

What We Offer:

  • A competitive salary, subject to experience, with opportunities for performance-based growth, both in terms of career path and public stature.
  • A dynamic workplace, with a transnational team, occasional international travel, and generous vacation benefits.
  • Ongoing opportunities to learn new cutting-edge skills and techniques/technologies to future-proof yourself in a rapidly evolving industry.
  • A chance to shine on a global stage, writing for international audiences and interacting with colleagues around the world.

How to apply:

Please fill in this form: bit.ly/34BWEMA by October 25, 2020.

About Us:

Code for Africa (CfA) is the continent’s largest network of indigenous African civic technology and investigative data journalism laboratories, with over 70 staff in 19 countries, who build digital democracy solutions that are intended to give citizens unfettered access to actionable information that empowers them to make informed decisions and that strengthen civic engagement for improved public governance and accountability.

This includes building infrastructure such as the continent’s largest open data portal, open.AFRICA, and largest open source civic software portal, commons.AFRICA, as well as the largest repository of investigative document-based evidence, source.AFRICA, as well as incubating initiatives as diverse as the africanDRONE network that gives citizens their own ‘eyes in the sky’, the PesaCheck fact-checking initiative in 12 African countries, and the sensors.AFRICA remote-sensing citizen science initiative to combat air/water pollution.

CfA also incubates the African Network of Centres for Investigative Reporting (ANCIR), as an association of the continent’s best investigative newsrooms, ranging from large traditional mainstream media to smaller specialist units. ANCIR member newsrooms investigate crooked politicians, organised crime and big business. The iLAB is ANCIR’s in-house digital forensic unit, with teams in east, south and west Africa. ANCIR uses its resources to strengthen newsrooms’ own internal capacity, by providing access to the world’s best whistleblower encryption and investigative semantic analysis technologies, as well as skills development, and seed grants for cross-border collaboration.

At CfA, we don’t just accept differences – we celebrate it, we support it, and we thrive on it for the benefit of our employees, our products and our community. CfA is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and is an affirmative action employer. If you have a disability or special need that requires accommodation, please let us know. 

To all recruitment agencies: CfA does not accept agency resumes. Please do not forward resumes to our employment application line, CfA employees or any other CfA contact. CfA is not responsible for any fees related to unsolicited resumes.