Positions in: Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, or anywhere else in Africa

Do you want to shape cutting-edge digital storytelling across the continent? Code for Africa (CfA) has an immediate vacancy for two full-time Anglophone Senior Editors who will oversee our StoryLab team, to mentor pioneering journalists on special projects in our partner newsrooms across the continent.

The candidate may be based at any of the StoryLab’s primary hubs in Kenya, Nigeria or South Africa. We’re also open to exceptional applicants from elsewhere in Africa.

Candidates must have demonstrable experience in mainstream newsdesk management, with proven success working on diverse editorial initiatives that consistently produce high-quality and impactful content on tight deadlines, with a special knack for nurturing and mentoring storytellers. 

Proficiency in additional international languages, such as French or Arabic, will be a plus.

The StoryLab is part of CfA’s Data Academy, which spearheads our training partnerships and data analysis and storytelling initiatives. It also includes CfA communities such as the WanaData women data science/storytelling network and the africanDRONE civic drone community, as well as the sensors.AFRICA sensor journalism initiative, with a network of more than 50 newsroom and university partners across Africa. The Data Academy is also custodian of other major CfA public infrastructure, such as the continent’s largest open data portal, openAFRICA, and Africa’s largest census data portal, HURUMap.

The successful candidate will manage a small transnational team of copy editors and other editorial experts, with additional support from CfA data analysts, digital designers, software engineers and other technologists.

Required minimum requirements include:

  • Demonstrable newsdesk editorial skills, honed during at least seven 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 writing and editing skills which will inform world-class editorial standards for Data Academy storytelling.
  • Robust critical thinking, and strong research and investigative skills.
  • Proven track-record for creative problem solving in fast-paced impact-driven environments, where solutions involve balancing human and technology considerations.
  • Demonstrable ability to self-manage, creating your own as well as wider team timelines and milestones with clear systems/processes.
  • An understanding of multimedia and digital storytelling techniques, including how best to use data visualisations, including charts, graphs, maps, and social media videos to produce compelling journalism.
  • Digital-first workplace skill-sets, including proficiency in collaborative work solutions such as Google Drive (Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, etc.), Slack (or equivalents such as Teams), and project management tools like Trello (or equivalents).

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

  • Proficiency in data journalism, visual (infographic/social media video) storytelling or ‘digital first’ news production.
  • Previous experience in a similar transnational newsroom leadership position.
  • A strong track-record for peer-to-peer mentoring of young journalists and newsroom teams.
  • Working knowledge of French, and/or Swahili, Arabic.

Language and Location Requirements:

  • Location: Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania or Uganda
  • Languages: English
  • Preferred but not required: French and Arabic

About the Role:

The successful candidates will build and manage a small, agile team of digital editors and copy editors in the StoryLab, who will help conceptualise and co-produce transnational journalism projects by working closely with CfA’s WanaData and newsroom Fellows (story grantees) or other project partners.

The team will receive technical and logistic support from CfA’s data, design, technology, drone, sensor and audience engagement teams, and will often work closely with our pan-African forensic investigator at the iLAB, as well as our network of fact-checkers and mis-/disinformation researchers in 12 African countries.

The StoryLab will supervise all CfA storytelling-based deliverables, including brainstorming editorial ideas and research strategies, briefing/debriefing field reports, editing and reviewing the resulting content and helping journalists develop creative briefs for accompanying multimedia content. The teams and projects will be implemented across multiple time-zones, with the StoryLab often coordinating efforts by multiple collaborating newsrooms. 

Key duties include setting editorial targets, production schedules and publication deadlines; monitoring the resulting editorial output to ensure it meets agreed standards and relevance; and supporting the editorial components of our knowledge products such as courseware or research. 

The Senior Editor’s experience means they have final sign-off on all storytelling production, publication, and syndication of editorial packages. 

Responsibilities Your daily responsibilities will include:

  • You will co-develop an editorial strategic roadmap for content development for CfA’s content products, supported by your team of deputy editors, with guidance as needed from CfA’s senior management.
  • You will shape and standardise CfA’s editorial initiatives, nurturing editorial staff, with support from CfA’s HR team.
  • You will set editorial targets and production schedules, and will help guide the daily content strategies for CfA’s initiatives and networks, to ensure the content meets partner, audience expectations and international standards.
  • You will set CfA’s initiatives’ 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 CfA’s initiatives’ content.
  • You will sign off on content before publication.

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 by 28 February 2021


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