Position in: West Africa

Do you want to help build, mentor and expand a cross-border newsroom network?

Code for Africa (CfA) has an immediate vacancy for a full-time Assistant Editor based in Francophone Africa to join our PesaCheck team.

Candidates must have demonstrable experience in the editorial process, including but not limited to copy editing, content management, meticulous attention to detail and proven success in producing high-quality and impactful content while working under tight deadlines. The candidates’ primary languages are French and English, with additional proficiency in Kiswahili, Arabic and/or Amharic being an advantage.

PesaCheck is the continent’s largest indigenous fact-checking initiative, by geographic coverage, with teams in 15 African countries. It researches and debunks misinformation published online and elsewhere in more traditional media, publishing over 2,000 fact-checks per year in partnership with major platforms ranging from Facebook and TikTok to traditional media. PesaCheck also tracks promises by public officials and shines a light on public finances to ensure the public is not misled. PesaCheck forms part of Code for Africa (CfA), which is Africa’s largest non-profit digital/data journalism initiative. 

The successful candidates will work as part of a multinational and multilingual team using digital collaboration tools to create content for a global audience and international media partners.

Required: minimum requirements include:

  • At least four years of journalistic or research experience in a newsroom or equivalent environment.
  • Candidates must have meticulous attention to detail and experience working in a fast-paced deadline-driven environment. This includes being a newsroom whiz who is able to prioritise multiple simultaneous tasks and collaborate effectively with colleagues under pressure.
  • Robust critical thinking and decision making skills.
  • Good general knowledge of current affairs. 
  • Demonstrate an understanding of digital tools for fact-checking.
  • Working proficiency in English and French.
  • Experience in copy editing or news content management skills. 
  • 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:

  • Experience managing newsrooms.
  • Experience working in pan-African newsrooms.
  • Previous experience in a fact-checking or editorial verification newsroom.
  • Excellent numeracy and analytical skills, and the ability to break down complex issues and explain them in a way that any audience can understand.
  • Training and capacity-building experience.
  • Working knowledge of local African languages.

Language and Location Requirements:

  • Location: Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Senegal, or anywhere in Francophone Africa.
  • Languages: Fluency in English and French.
  • Preferred but not required: Other local African languages.

About the Role:

The successful candidate will join PesaCheck’s transnational fact-checking team, which spans 15 African countries. The team is responsible for helping the public separate fact from fiction using a range of journalistic techniques and digital verification tools. 

As assistant editor, you will primarily work on projects within PesaCheck’s Africa Fact Checking Alliance (AFCA) network. The AFCA is a network of 349 newsrooms in 27 countries, who are working together to combat mis- and disinformation on the African continent. The network provides member organisations with access to regular training and mentorship programmes as well grants and funding opportunities 

You will be primarily responsible for the editorial outputs under the AFCA programmes, ensuring that content produced is factual, well-researched and well-written. You will be responsible for the editorial copy flow process and timelines for our AFCA network, ensuring that content is submitted to CfA’s internal team and that feedback is provided to the journalists timeously, proactively resolving any bottlenecks as they arise. While not primarily a copy-editing or writing role, you may from time to time be required to assist in the editing of content produced under the AFCA programmes.

You will oversee the mentorship workstream where network journalists work closely with in-house specialists at CfA. You will ensure that the mentorship sessions are attended by all parties and that the sessions are productive and useful.  You will also assist the lead trainer to deliver trainings, workshops and roundtables when needed.

You will take the lead on ensuring that member newsrooms meet editorial standards and comply with relevant editorial policies. This means you will also work closely with the other PesaCheck editors to set, maintain and update all process and protocol documentation. 

Responsibilities: Your daily responsibilities will include:

  • Responsible for overseeing the editorial outputs for all AFCA programmes, ensuring that they are of the highest quality
  • Responsible for approving claims to be fact-checked by partner newsrooms
  • Responsible for overseeing the production timelines, ensuring all deadlines are met
  • Lead on the mentorship process, ensuring that mentors are fully supporting their mentees to source and research claims 
  • Lead on ensuring that newsrooms comply with editorial standards and policies
  • Assist with the editing of editorial outputs when needed
  • Assist the broader PesaCheck and Academy teams on fact-checking and related training programmes, including online and in-person workshops and roundtables
  • Assist the PesaCheck managing editor with the selection of material to be published on the AFCA medium site.
  • Assist with identifying potential network members 

What We Offer:

  • A competitive salary, subject to experience, with opportunities for performance-based growth, both in terms of career path and public stature.
  • Medical insurance cover, underwritten by a remote-first provider to ensure cover wherever you are
  • 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 31 July 2023. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. 

About Us:

Code for Africa (CfA) is the continent’s largest network of indigenous African civic technology and investigative data journalism laboratories, with over 100 full-time in-country staff in 21 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 the 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 15 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 them, support them, and thrive on them 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.