Staff Writer – Central Africa

Founded in 1999, Mongabay is an award-winning environmental science and conservation news organization, which publishes original news on a daily basis in an objective (does not advocate), accurate (relies on facts and scientific information) and timely manner to a global audience of conservation scientists, private-sector decision-makers, government policymakers, civil society organizations, journalists in other media outlets, and interested members of the public. Mongabay’s readership across its news sites average roughly eight million unique visitors each month, which positions the organization as one of the top sources of environmental news, analysis, information, and inspiration on the Internet. Mongabay.com is currently expanding its coverage of environmental and conservation news in Africa in both English and French. Please see Mongabay’s existing coverage of Africa and on-going reporting projects for examples of relevant topics.  

WHAT DOES THE STAFF WRITER – CENTRAL AFRICA DO?

The full-time staff writer position is expected to produce at least an average of eight news stories per month about conservation and environmental issues in Central Africa, published in English or French. The main reporting responsibilities include the conservation of Central Africa’s wildlife and their habitats, governance issues around natural resources industries and infrastructure development; scientific research relevant to forest conservation and land use; the role of Indigenous peoples and local communities in conservation practice and the socioenvironmental issues affecting them; and the impacts of climate change on both ecosystems and communities across the region.

This staff writer will develop and produce articles working closely with colleagues in the Mongabay’s Africa team to discuss story ideas and coverage plans. This position is expected to both generate story ideas aligned with Mongabay’s editorial priorities and deliver on assignments provided by staff editors. This person should have strong analytical skills and the ability to discern what stories are important and of interest to readers. Extensive knowledge and familiarity with environmental issues and/or forest conservation are strong positives.

KEY DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES

WRITING, REPORTING, EDITING, PUBLISHING (90% of time)

  • Work cooperatively with Mongabay editors to produce multiple news reports and/or features per week, consistently of high quality;
  • Effectively research and generate story ideas;
  • Conduct interviews, phone calls and/or meetings, and perform other research as needed, to gather background for the planning of stories and article series;
  • Cultivate sources, in the mold of a beat reporter;
  • Occasional travel for reporting assignments;
  • Research, fact-check, and review articles prior to publication;
  • Source and/or produce visual content including photos, videos, charts, and maps;
  • Occasional aggregation of news from third-party sources;
  • Write, edit and post stories via Mongabay’s content management system (WordPress);
  • Provide other support as needed to ensure content meets Mongabay’s high standards of professionalism, consistency, authenticity, and reliability.

STRATEGIC PLANNING & ADMINISTRATION (10% of time)

  • Report regularly to Mongabay’s Global Program Director on progress toward meeting reporting objectives;
  • Support editorial planning to reach established goals in the set timeline;
  • Collect data on impacts of stories including examples of republication for use in grant reports;
  • Must be able to work within tight deadlines and be responsive to Mongabay.com headquarters and to other Mongabay staffers via email, skype, phone and messaging platforms.

EXPERIENCE, QUALIFICATIONS & REQUIREMENTS 

  • Three or more years of experience working in journalism / editorial / writing required;
  • Exceptional fluency (writing and speaking) in English or French is required and working proficiency in both languages is ideal;
  • Knowledge and familiarity with conservation and environmental issues in Central Africa is essential;
  • Professional experience working in Africa in a journalism capacity is also preferred;
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills;
  • Demonstrated editorial ability to work with a variety of content including formatting of feature articles, graphics, photo captions, and HTML;
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office, WordPress (or similar), Google Drive, social media (Twitter / Facebook) and project management software;
  • Reliable access to high-speed Internet is required;
  • Must be willing to commit to a full-time role and available during regular business hours;
  • Must be based in Africa, preferably with citizenship, permanent residency, or a long-term visa.

PROFESSIONAL QUALITIES

This position will play a critical role in the scale-up of Mongabay’s environmental reporting efforts in Central Africa. Due to our organization’s culture and global work-at-home staff, the most successful staffs at Mongabay are adept at working independently and produce consistent high-quality journalistic work by taking initiative and thinking creatively about solutions to problems. In this context, this person:

  • Is extremely self-directed, motivated, and reliable;
  • Demonstrates talent in writing and editing;
  • Functions independently and produces high quality work with tight deadlines;
  • Understands ethical and editorial journalistic standards;
  • Makes timely decisions and demonstrates good judgment;
  • Integrates cross-cultural dynamics into their thinking;
  • Maintains a strong sense of professionalism and communication;
  • Adjusts approaches according to feedback;
  • Contributes to the Mongabay team by communicating and working cooperatively with staff, while following through on tasks and delivering results;
  • Fosters positive relationships with journalists and co-partnership media outlets and;
  • Demonstrates personal integrity and ability to maintain confidentiality.

COMPENSATION & LOCATION

The work of our organization changes as we continuously seek to have greater impact. All of our team members must be flexible and able to adapt to short and long-term shifts in their job duties. As a globally distributed organization, we are hiring for this position who is based in Central Africa. The ability to coordinate with colleagues working in a diversity of time zones is strongly preferred. Mongabay aims to offer competitive pay rates that will attract, retain, and motivate our full-time staff. Please submit a pay range when applying.

TO APPLY

Apply online here. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until filled. On the application, you will be asked to fill out basic contact information, pay rate expectations, reference information (2), and to upload the following two documents:

  1. Cover letter – please provide specific examples of your experience related to this position, as well as specific examples of your ability to work effectively from home and meet deadlines (1-2 pages)
  2. Resume – (1-2 pages)
  3. Two references

Applications must be submitted in English. Please note that you do not need to provide letters of recommendation and we will not reach out to references before getting your permission to do so.

Benefits, Holidays, and Paid Time Off 

It is important for all staff to step away from work to renew themselves. That is why Mongabay provides generous paid time off (PTO) for professional development, holidays, sick time, rest and relaxation, and vacation including a flexible work schedule. 

We observe 10 U.S Federal holidays and support staff who celebrate other personal and religious holidays.  

Equal Employment Opportunity

Mongabay is an equal employment opportunity (EEO)/affirmative action employer and provides EEO to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, genetics, or any other status prohibited by law.

 

* The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work assigned to this position. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications. Management reserves the right to change or modify such duties as required. All staff is responsible for following applicable Mongabay policies and procedures as defined by their manager and Employment Handbook.