Staff Writer: Myanmar
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 averages roughly six 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.
Historically, Mongabay’s news coverage of environmental issues in Myanmar has been sporadic but impactful as the country is home to a significant part of Mongabay’s audience. Mongabay.com is preparing to expand coverage of environmental and conservation news relevant to Myanmar’s forests and is setting up an editorial position dedicated to the country.
The full-time staff writer position is expected to produce at least one story per week about conservation and environmental issues in Myanmar published in English. The main reporting responsibility is to cover Myanmar’s high conservation value ecosystems and wildlife, the actions of natural resource industries, environmental governance, and illegalities in the timber trade. 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 are strong positives.
KEY DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES
Writing, reporting, editing, and publishing (90% of time)
- Work cooperatively with Mongabay editors to produce news reports and/or features, 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).
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.
EXPERIENCE, QUALIFICATIONS & REQUIREMENTS
- Three or more years of experience working in journalism / editorial / writing required;
- Exceptional fluency (writing and speaking) in English is required; Burmese language fluency is ideal;
- Knowledge and familiarity with conservation and environmental issues in Myanmar is essential;
- Professional experience working in Myanmar 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 full-time role (40 hours per week) and available during regular business hours;
- Must be based in Myanmar or able to travel there quickly (for example, from neighboring countries in Asia) with a commitment to spend several months per year in the country.
This position will play a critical role in the scale-up of Mongabay’s environmental reporting efforts in Myanmar. 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;
- integrates cross-cultural dynamics into their thinking;
- 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.
COMPENSATION & LOCATION
This position will be hired on a 12-month contract to start and must be based in Myanmar or able to travel there quickly (for example, from neighboring countries in Asia) 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. The deadline for applications is Thursday, February 11th at 11:59pm Pacific Standard Time. 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:
- 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.
* The above statements are intended to provide a general framework for what this position requires. There may be other functions and qualifications that emerge in time, and the chosen candidate may be asked to perform other duties that are not listed here.