Outlier is hiring!

Outlier Media is hiring an experienced reporter whose love of journalism is tempered only by a frustration that news organizations don’t do a better job of filling information gaps and meeting the information needs of more people, particularly low-income news consumers. The application deadline for this position is January 10, 2018.

Outlier is beat reporting remixed

We use tried and true data journalism techniques to figure out where the largest information gaps exist for our news consumers. We then do more reporting to figure out what information we can provide to fill those gaps. We want our information to be valuable and for our news consumers to use it to create accountability. A customized bot delivers our information to thousands of people over SMS. About 40 percent of those people ask that a journalist follow up with them personally. These follow-up interactions are personal and personalized. If our reader has an information need we can fill we report out for them and to them. We follow leads and look for trends in our reader’s questions and work those up into more traditional accountability journalism stories for area news outlets. Detroiter’s number one information gap is in housing and Outlier has been working for the past year to fill that gap.

Outlier Media is a nonprofit media organization started in 2016 and fiscally sponsored by Investigative Reporters and Editors with a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

This job is . . .  

With the generous support of the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan, the Knight Foundation and the Ford Foundation we are going to expand our reporting to cover Detroit’s second biggest information gap. Detroiters want and need more information about water and electric/gas utilities. Initial reporting shows there is concern about shut-offs, deposits for service restoration, consumer choice and utility accountability. This reporting job can either be focused exclusively on utility work or be a combination of housing and utility work. Your choice.

You should apply for this job if you:

  • Are an experienced reporter
  • Believe in journalism as a service
  • Think information can and should be used primarily to create accountability
  • Believe low-income news consumers are under-valued by most news organizations
  • Are comfortable with data journalism-and willing to get really good if you aren’t already
  • Love Detroit
  • Are flexible enough to value a journalism via SMS but completely inflexible when it comes to fact-checking and journalistic ethics.
  • Are comfortable working on a small team of two.
  • Are honest about your strengths and weaknesses
  • Haven’t yet given in to cynicism 

Good things about this job:

Outlier is the only project like this in the country so if you like this idea it’s the only place for you. We offer benefits, flexibility and a supportive work environment.

Possible drawbacks:

This is a one-year contract. Outlier hopes to be able to offer longer-term employment but it’s not a sure thing. Salary is 52K for the year with benefits and some money for travel.

To apply:

Instead of sending a cover letter fill out this form (we are following the hiring advice of the great folks at Hearken). Then, send your resume to Sarah Alvarez at sarah@outliermedia.org

There will be two interview rounds, references aren’t needed until after the first round.