Position in: South Africa

Are you passionate about media freedom, and interested in researching and analysing media ecosystems?

Code for Africa (CfA) has an immediate vacancy for a full-time Media Research Analyst in South Africa to join our CivicSignal team.

Applicants must have demonstrable experience in analytical research and open source intelligence into media cosystems or digital civic engagement, and should be comfortable with using data-driven social analytics, survey/polling methodology, landscape analysis and a combination of data mining and media monitoring tools to produce actionable insights and citable reports for a range of partners. These include international donors, development agencies, policymakers and the media itself. Multi-lingual applicants within the respective countries will have an advantage.

The ideal applicant is fluent in English, and has the ability to write engaging, hard-hitting editorial think pieces about CivicSignal’s research outcomes, and to present findings and solutions to public gatherings. We’re looking for analysts in the mould of media commentators like Peter Kafka or Jeff Jarvis, who can take reports and make them relevant and appealing to the larger media and NGO ecosystem.

The successful candidates will join CfA’s transnational CivicSignal research team, which drives analysis of the continent’s media ecosystem and emerging civic technology sector for Code for Africa. As part of a multinational and multilingual team, you will use digital collaboration tools and natural language processing (NLP) and machine intelligence toolkits to create research reports and datasets for a global audience and international institutional partners. 

Required: minimum requirements include

  • An understanding of media ecosystems and/or digital advocacy and/or digital civic engagement
  • A minimum of three years’ experience in the field, and/or evidence of a substantive research project
  • Proficiency in statistical analysis and market research, along with related qualitative and quantitative research methods.
  • Competence in survey/polling methodology and questionnaire design, with specific reference to sample weighting, etc, for Africa-specific circumstances.
  • Strong analytical and logical skills, with a demonstrable track record translating data into actionable insights.
  • Knowledge of network analysis
  • Excellent communication skills, including the ability to write for publication, present research insights and shape research proposals.
  • Meticulous eye for detail to ensure data integrity and precision.
  • The ability to collaborate with a diverse set of multidisciplinary project stakeholders.
  • Experience in working with remote, distributed teams with agile methodologies.

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

  • Competence in computational linguistics, Natural Language Processing, and specifically the  methodologies and tools offered by the MediaCloud.org platform.
  • Competence in other open source intelligence (OSINT) research techniques, including data scraping, data mining and other intelligence gathering techniques.
  • Previous experience of contributing to reports and research publications
  • Multiple languages, such as French, Arabic and other languages spoken in Africa.

Language and Location Requirements:

  • Location: South Africa
  • Languages: English 
  • Preferred but not required: Knowledge of any of the indigenous languages.

About the Role:

The successful candidates will join CfA’s CivicSignal Research team to conduct and publish research projects focussed on African media ecosystems. For examples of CfA’s previous research with partners, see the Global Disinformation Index Media Market Analyses for South Africa and Kenya, as well as Reuters Institute for Journalism’s Digital News Reports for South Africa and Nigeria.

Fundamentally, CivicSignal addresses issues and topics that impact democracies and civil society, seeking to provide the data and analysis necessary for government and citizens to make informed decisions. The projects range across a broad spectrum, including internal and external mis/disinformation, media sustainability, monitoring of hate speech and xenophobia, and general media ecosystem mapping.

As part of a multinational team within a growing organisation, you must be agile and able to thrive in a multicultural environment. You will need to work easily with people from different backgrounds who may speak different languages. 

You will join CivicSignal’s ML/AI-driven multinational research team, working on mapping media ecosystems within your respective country, writing monthly and quarterly reports on themes affecting media such as mis/disinformation, media sustainability, and media market analysis. The reports will be featured on civicsignal.africa and disinfo.africa as well as monthly newsletters. 

Responsibilities: Your daily responsibilities will include:

  • Designing and implementing pioneering digital research projects for both internal teams and external partners in academia, development agencies and policy think-tanks.
  • Using surveys/polling to drive ongoing media monitoring and media data analytics, as part of CfA’s MediaData toolkit, to produce competitor landscape analysis and to determine share-of-voice and other metrics for regular insight reports.
  • Digitising and integrating external qualitative research from strategic partners into CfA’s core collections, to enable contextual fresh insights.
  • Drafting analytical data-driven reports and research papers designed to help shape public discourse within our ecosystems, or to help guide intervention/development strategies at donor/support agencies.

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 10 February 2023

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.