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Code for Africa (CfA) uses technology and #OpenData to empower citizens. We give citizens actionable information for better-informed decision making and digital tools to amplify their voices, so that they can hold the authorities (both governmental and corporate) to account.
About the Role:
The Chief Copy Editor will manage PesaCheck’s copydesk and specialist translators. You will work closely with the editorial team, and occasionally collaborate with other team members in each of the countries where PesaCheck operates in order to verify claims from a variety of sources. The content produced will be published on pesacheck.org, and will also be syndicated with various media partners.
You will be working to hold public figures accountable and ensure that the media is accurate in its reporting and coverage of issues of public interest. This will require a familiarity with social media as a source of news, as well as a familiarity with news and media consumption patterns in your country. You will also need to have solid news judgement, and a deep knowledge of the media landscape in your country of specialisation and in Africa in general.
The copy desk will apply a five-step copy editing process to all content to ensure factual accuracy/coherence, legal compliance/fairness, context, grammar/syntax consistency and adherence to PesaCheck’s editorial style/standard guidelines. The Chief Copy Editor will be responsible for ensuring that copy flow management sticks to agreed deadlines and quality standards, that journalists respond promptly to requests for clarity or corrections on draft content, and that multimedia materials (such as infographics) are commissioned timeously. The Chief Copy Editor will also ensure that feedback to journalists and/or designers is framed as constructive guidance, to help ensure that teams progressively improve the standard of raw content produced by partner newsrooms. This will include custodianship of a PesaCheck style guide, and convening regular ‘brownbag’ skills webinars to improve and standardise editorial quality.
The copy desk will receive support from CfA’s in-house data/design teams, as well as technical support programmes.
- Recruit and manage a core team of highly skilled copy editors, that transforms raw journalism into award-winning multimedia storytelling.
- Manage a centralised news diary/schedule, in consultation with the Managing Editor, that governs copy flow with clear production milestones and that delivers content for publication on deadline.
- Implement a rigorous proofreading/quality control editing system, that ensures factual accuracy/coherence, legal compliance/fairness, context, grammar/syntax consistency and adherence to PesaCheck’s editorial style/standard guidelines.
- Design and curate PesaCheck’s editorial style/standard guidelines, including tipsheets or learning resources for journalists and other content producers to incrementally improve the quality of their raw reportage.
- Provide regular constructive feedback, guidance, and mentoring for both copy editors and journalists, to nurture and grow new talent.
- Excellent journalistic copy-editing and proofreading skills to ensure factual accuracy/coherence and grammar/syntax consistency.
- Experience in managing a copydesk and team in a mainstream multimedia environment, where content is packaged for publication in a wide variety of formats.
- Demonstrable understanding of technical editorial production systems and CMS tools, involving multi-stage copy-editing processes.
- A track record for copy flow management that sticks to editorial deadlines and quality standards.
- Experience in coordinating digital multimedia content (such as infographics or social media collateral) as an element of copy-edited reportage.
- Experience in creating or refining editorial guidelines, style guides and playbooks that set the tone, voice and standards for storytelling.
- Passion for mentoring young talent and growing new voices.
- Strong organisational and decision-making skills, with the ability to coordinate multiple tasks and projects simultaneously, while meeting deadlines and maintaining standards.
- At least 3 years experience in a managerial/leadership role on a fast-paced multilingual and transnational copy desk in mainstream digital media, such as international news agencies/wire services or digital first media platforms.
- Experience in working with cross-platform data-driven journalism or other multimedia storytelling.
- A keen eye for data visual storytelling techniques, including experience in integrating social video and interactive infographics into story packages.
- An understanding of social media storytelling techniques, and editing guidelines, with insights into the strengths/differences of different platforms, including ‘dark social’ channels.
- A track record for using copy-editing to actively and formally mentor/train award-winning digital storytellers.
- Experience in using digital collaboration tools, including Slack, Google Workplace, and Trello to manage editorial workflows, alongside more traditional editorial CMS platforms.
- Proven ability at working effectively in virtual or distributed newsrooms, coordinating multicultural and multilingual writers, editors, and other project teams across different time zones.