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Research Associate, The Intercept

First Look Media, NYC area preferred

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The Position:

The Research Associate works collaboratively to both inform and shape stories and multimedia content and to ensure the accuracy of published materials. This role is responsible for managing The Intercept’s fact-checking desk, which includes fact-checking stories as well as finding, assigning, and supervising freelance checkers and vetting their work before publication. The Research Associate is the lynchpin of The Intercept’s checking operation, maintaining standards for accuracy and fairness, conducting research as needed to chase down elusive facts, and serving as a liaison between checkers, reporters, and editors. The job also involves working closely with reporters and editors and juggling assignments to meet deadlines. Additionally, the Research Associate will play a key role in our newsroom fellowship program, aiding the Deputy Managing Editor in selecting and supervising fellows, as well as conducting fact-checking training for fellows and the broader staff. In collaboration with the Investigative Researcher, the Research Associate may also use knowledge databases, open-source investigative techniques, and other tools to strengthen our journalism.  

This position reports to the Deputy Managing Editor.

Responsibilities:

  • Work closely with writers, editors, researchers, and our legal team to ensure the accuracy of editorial content prior to publication.
  • Identify, develop, evaluate, and contact research sources to verify the accuracy and consistency of editorial material.
  • Update articles with new data or information, raise potential problems, and suggest alternative approaches.
  • Clean and standardize messy data sets.
  • Assemble and oversee a team of freelance fact checkers to meet The Intercept’s editorial needs.
  • Manage the fact-checking budget and ensure that freelancers are paid in a timely manner.
  • Assist the Deputy Managing Editor in selecting and supervising newsroom fellows.
  • Design and conduct training sessions for fellows and Intercept staff as needed.
  • Use your unique access to raw data and other research materials to find stories to investigate and become adept at communicating the significance of your findings to reporters and editors
  • Other appropriately related projects/duties as assigned

Background & Qualifications:

  • Prior fact-checking experience involving complex projects and investigations is required.
  • The ideal candidate will have a sharp eye for detail but also be capable of stepping back and evaluating the integrity of a story or project as a whole.
  • Skilled multitasker who knows how to prioritize assignments and balance multiple -- and sometimes competing – deadlines.
  • Strong organizational and administrative skills are required. Experience maintaining budgets is a plus.
  • Ability to work well both on teams and independently and receive constructive feedback.
  • Ability to work efficiently on deadline; adaptability to varying workflows and editorial demands.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Must be committed to building and maintaining a diverse and multi-faceted group of freelance fact checkers.
  • Must be interested and engaged in selecting, overseeing, and training newsroom fellows and sharing your knowledge with The Intercept’s staff.
  • Familiarity with databases, including but not limited to Lexis-Nexis, PACER, and TLO, and experience using Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets, are preferred.

This position is recognized as part of the Writers Guild of America, East, Inc., “Union.”

About The Intercept

The Intercept is an award-winning news organization dedicated to holding the powerful accountable through fearless, adversarial journalism. Its in-depth investigations and unflinching analysis focus on politics, war, surveillance, corruption, the environment, technology, criminal justice, the media, and more. The Intercept gives its journalists the editorial freedom and legal support they need to expose corruption and injustice wherever they find it.

About FIRST LOOK MEDIA

First Look Media is a new-model media company devoted to supporting independent voices, from fearless investigative journalism and documentary filmmaking to smart, provocative entertainment. Launched in 2013 by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar, First Look Media was created with the belief that independent perspectives are vital to both a vibrant culture and a thriving democracy.

First Look Media is currently in the market with its flagship properties, The Intercept, Field of Vision, and the recently launched Topic SVOD service, and plans to continue expanding its mission of supporting independent voices via a variety of new brands, formats and platforms as well as through foundational technology helping creators and audiences develop, distribute, discover and connect with meaningful stories.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer--people of color, people with disabilities, women, and LGBT candidates are strongly encouraged to apply; we are committed to a diverse workplace, and to supporting our staff with ongoing career development opportunities.

About First Look Media

A bold, independent spirit defines everything we do at First Look Media – from journalism that holds the powerful accountable, to arts & entertainment that shapes our culture. Launched by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar, First Look Media is built on the belief that freedom of expression and of the press, and fiercely independent perspectives, are vital to a healthy democracy and a vibrant culture. Through our award-winning entertainment studio, Topic, we develop, produce and finance content for all screens including feature films, television, digital series and podcasts. First Look’s entertainment business supports the work of our nonprofit side, which is home to The Intercept, dedicated to fearless, adversarial journalism; Field of Vision, the filmmaker-driven documentary unit; and The Press Freedom Defense Fund, supporting journalists, filmmakers and others challenging actions that restrict press freedoms and impede access to information of public concern. First Look co-financed Spotlight, the 2016 Academy Award®-winning Best Picture and has continued to build an impressive slate of feature films under the Topic studio including: On the Other Side, with Carey Mulligan attached, which tells the story of Kate Webb, the female war correspondent who was held in captivity during the Vietnam War; Academy Award® nominated cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto’s (Silence) directorial debut of Bastard with Martin Scorsese and Emma Tillinger Koskoff of Sikelia Productions, alongside producer Jordan Horowitz (La La Land); My Abandonment directed by Academy Award®® nominee Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone, Down to the Bone) and starring Ben Foster (Hell or High Water, The Messenger). In addition to feature films, our documentary film roster includes: No Man’s Land, produced in association with Morgan Spurlock’s Warrior Poets, about the Patriot Movement; Nobody Speak: Hulk Hogan, Gawker & Trails of Free Press, directed by Brian Knappenberger, which premiered on Netflix; and the newly released Risk, from Academy Award® winner Laura Poitras (Citizenfour) about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, which will premiere on Showtime this month. Our list of influential podcasts covering politics, current affairs and popular culture include the number one charting (iTunes) Missing Richard Simmons, Intercepted with Jeremy Scahill and Politically Re-Active with W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu. We also publish The Nib, a site for the most provocative satirical and political comics.

First Look Media

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