STAFF WRITER – MADAGASCAR
Founded in 1999, Mongabay is a leading conservation news website. Today, the site draws more than three million visitors per month, making it among the most visited eco-focused destinations on the Internet. Mongabay.org, the non-profit arm of Mongabay, was formed in 2012 to facilitate the development of new education and journalism initiatives and leverage its existing network, traffic, and reputation. Mongabay.org aims to raise awareness about social and environmental issues relating to forests and other ecosystems.
Mongabay has been covering environmental issues in Madagascar for almost 20 years. In addition to publications on our global site, Mongabay.com, our Madagascar-reportage in English is compiled on a dedicated website, http://wildmadagascar.org/. Mongabay.com is expanding its coverage of environmental and conservation news in Madagascar and has created a new staff writer position dedicated to the country.
WHAT DOES THE STAFF WRITER DO?
The full-time staff writer position is expected to produce multiple stories per week about conservation and environmental issues in Madagascar published in English and possibly in French as well. The main reporting responsibility is to cover high conservation value ecosystems and environmental topics. This staff writer will develop and produce articles working closely with colleagues in the Mongabay editorial team to discuss story ideas and coverage plans. 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 is essential.
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;
- Translate/adapt articles into French and Malagasy;
- Occasional aggregation of news from third-party sources;
- Write, edit and post stories via Mongabay’s content management system (WordPress).
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 text.
This position will play a critical role in the scale-up of Mongabay’s environmental reporting efforts in Madagascar. Due to our company culture and global work-at-home staff, the most successful employees at Mongabay excel at working independently and producing consistent high-quality journalistic content by taking the initiative and thinking creatively about solutions to problems. In this context, a staff writer:
- demonstrates talent in writing/editing;
- functions independently and produces high-quality work with tight deadlines;
- makes timely decisions and demonstrates good judgment;
- maintains a strong sense of professionalism and reliability;
- 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;
- adjusts approaches according to feedback;
- demonstrates personal integrity and ability to maintain confidentiality.
EXPERIENCE, QUALIFICATIONS & REQUIREMENTS
- Three or more years of experience working in journalism / editorial / writing required;
- Exceptional fluency (writing and speaking) in English and French is required; Malagasy language fluency is ideal;
- Knowledge and familiarity with conservation and environmental issues in Madagascar is essential;
- Professional experience working in Madagascar 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 (40 hours per week) and available during regular business hours;
- Must be based in Madagascar or able to travel there quickly (for example from South Africa or Kenya) with a commitment to spend several months per year in the country.
Mongabay aims to offer competitive pay rates that will attract, retain, and motivate our full-time contractors. You are free to submit a pay range when applying.
Apply online here. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. On the application, you will be asked to fill out basic contact information, pay rate expectations, reference information (2), and to upload the following documents:
- 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)
- Resume – (1-2 pages)
- 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.