Senior Staff Writer

Website thecounter The Counter

Fact and friction in American food

Link to full listing here.

The Counter is seeking a tenacious reporter with first-rate news instincts, unimpeachable judgment, and a flair for storytelling to join our award-winning nonprofit newsroom. You’ll dive deep into the world of American food and agriculture, one of the most exciting and resonant journalistic beats on the planet, with ambitious assignments from your editors as well as the latitude to let your interests guide you.

We are the home of a new kind of food journalism that goes beyond the gustatory to uncover the money, power, and politics behind our plates. In an economy driven by consumer demand, food journalism is accountability—and food literacy is leverage. We believe that an informed public, armed with unbiased context and analysis, can demand policy change and be empowered to make the choices that matter in their own lives.

Our coverage has received numerous awards and honors, including a James Beard Media Award, and has twice been selected to appear in The Best American Food Writing. We were named one of the four best “micro-newsrooms” in the country by the Online News Association in 2018.

You’ll have a keen eye for interesting angles, an obsession with the forces shaping what America eats, and the ability to pen a smart tweet. The ideal candidate will understand how to find big ideas and important stories in the rarefied world of food production, policy, and culture, and will enjoy working as part of a small, tightly knit team of top-notch writers and editors. (Disclaimer: This job doesn’t involve reviewing restaurants, Instagramming ice cream cones, or writing about superficial food fads—unless that’s part of a deeper story!)

We don’t have to tell you: A lot of “writing” jobs in digital media are more about aggregation and trend-chasing than actual writing. This one isn’t like that. It’s an opportunity to contribute original reporting and help build a groundbreaking publication with a unique role in food media, as well as develop your voice, personality, platform, and interests as a writer. We are not click-driven: We run stories with impact and clarity, not traffic, in mind, and we don’t rehash other outlet’s work.

The Counter offers opportunities for professional development in an informal, collaborative, and intellectually inspiring nonprofit newsroom culture. This is a full-time, salaried staff position with benefits. We are fully remote and welcome applicants from across the country. Non-traditional backgrounds are welcome, provided the applicant has experience grounded in journalism.

Want to apply? We want you to!

You will:

  • Scour the world of food and agriculture for fresh-breaking stories, compelling characters, newsmaking developments, and big ideas
  • Cover a wide range of food-related industries and themes
  • Pitch and write a mix of daily news stories and original longer features
  • Develop and nurture source relationships, keeping your ear to the ground for stories as they emerge
  • Collaborate with producers on visual and graphic opportunities born from your reporting
  • Work with The Counter’s audience engagement editor to identify and target untapped opportunities for potential readership, including new audiences and topic areas of interest
  • Be as comfortable writing a lively, engaging tweet thread as you are a traditional news story
  • Be willing to contribute social media copy for the stories you file, and see the value in expanding your profile and impact through social platforms
  • Pitch in some very occasional production work in WordPress, Mailchimp, Buffer, and/or Infogram—as needed when big news is breaking or we’re short on staff

Please bring with you:

  • 2 to 5 years reporting experience. A newsroom background is desirable but we work best with savvy writers who demonstrate a reporter’s heart—that is, humility, eternal curiosity, propensity for source development, well-honed listening skills, fearlessness, strong interview instincts, willingness to learn
  • Facility for filing taut, thoroughly reported copy on tight turnaround—bonus points if you can snap good photos while you’re at it
  • Familiarity with WordPress CMS—Gutenberg a plus. Don’t worry, it’s cake
  • Dynamism and flexibility: Must enjoy working in a small, closely-knit team where everyone wears a lot of hats
  • A sense of humor, appreciation for irony, and intellectual curiosity

Please send a brief cover letter, salary requirement, and CV to jobs@thecounter.org. Include “Applying for Senior Staff Writer Role” in the subject line. Apply by September 1, 2020 to ensure full consideration.

The Counter is committed to identifying and addressing forms of systemic inequality that pervade the American food system—as well as food media itself. Read a statement from our editor about our ongoing work to improve equity and representation within our organization.

To apply for this job email your details to joe.fassler@thecounter.org