American Oversight is looking for a talented, versatile Staff Writer to join our team and help us shine a light on government misconduct and threats to democracy. We’re a nonpartisan, nonprofit watchdog that uses targeted public records requests and litigation to uncover evidence of corruption, abuse of power, or conflicts of interest.
From the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol to the multiplying threats to voting rights, American Oversight is working to expose the partisan and anti-democratic motivations behind many of the efforts to suppress the vote and sow doubt about election integrity. We’re continuing to seek accountability for the abuses of the Trump administration, including its authoritarian response to 2020 racial justice protests and its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Staff Writer will help American Oversight tell those and other important stories. Part digital journalism, part anti-corruption advocacy, and part organizational communications, the Staff Writer will draw upon the records we uncover, as well as the expertise of our team, to help readers understand critical accountability issues facing our country.
Specific tasks will shift day by day with our work and the news cycle, but in a typical week, you will:
- Write news posts for American Oversight’s website, including analyses of government documents we’ve uncovered, reports about our findings, updates on ongoing inquiries, and announcements of new lawsuits or investigations;
- Write longer-form pieces synthesizing information obtained through public records requests, open source research, and news reports to tell important stories about government misconduct or corruption;
- Work with the investigations team to create online research guides highlighting key information we’ve uncovered and making it accessible for journalists and other researchers;
- Maintain the main landing pages for American Oversight’s priority investigations, keeping them current and relevant to readers;
- Review primary-source documents as well as notes compiled by the research and legal teams to pull out key points to feature in written content;
- Draft email updates to American Oversight’s newsletter subscribers;
- Work with the web team to develop new ideas for written content or publishing strategies that make American Oversight’s work more accessible to the public;
- Monitor the news to identify opportunities for our current or previous work to inform the public on key issues;
- Participate in regular planning meetings (typically scheduled during East Coast business hours) to help identify new opportunities to inform the public on key issues;
- Engage in rapid response to current events, developments, and document releases in AO's FOIAs and litigation;
- Assist the development team in writing fundraising emails or reports;
- Occasionally (but definitely not most of the time) engage after business hours or on weekends to promote new developments in American Oversight's investigations or to respond to breaking news that relates to our work.
- Excellent writing skills with a focus on accuracy and detail
- The ability to rapidly synthesize complex legal and policy documents into clear, compelling prose and produce clean and grammatically correct copy;
- At least 2 years previous experience in journalism, policy, or related work writing for a general audience about government, politics, public policy, or similar issues;
- Strong news judgment and the ability to quickly assess information for relevance and newsworthiness;
- Integrity and commitment to high journalistic standards of quality and accuracy. It's great to be first, and we like to get attention, but it is always far more important to be correct, honest, and trustworthy;
- Experience fact-checking, or writing for a publication with a fact-checking process;
- Adept at drawing upon multiple sources of information to connect the dots and help readers understand key points, trends, and patterns that may not be immediately obvious;
- The ability to keep track of American Oversight’s several and varying areas of investigation.
- Can handle high-pressure, quick-deadline projects on high-profile, breaking news topics;
- Fluency in federal policy, current politics, and the way they are discussed in mainstream media, as well as the ability to quickly learn new topics as they arise;
- Team player, comfortable working in a fast-paced, collaborative environment;
- A wide-ranging news diet and an ability to spot important stories;
- Solid organizational skills with the ability to complete projects and handle multiple tasks simultaneously.
American Oversight is proudly an equal opportunity employer and is committed to building a diverse team. Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply for jobs unless they believe they have every one of the qualifications listed. We are dedicated to finding the best candidate for the job. Our hiring process is centered on assessing candidates with diverse lived experiences. We would encourage you to apply, even if you don’t believe you meet every one of our qualifications described. If you are unsure of whether you meet the qualifications of this position, or how this would be determined, please contact us to discuss your application.
- The salary range for this position is $55,000-$60,000 commensurate with experience. Generous and comprehensive benefits package.
- American Oversight is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.
- American Oversight is a remote-first organization, and our employees can work from anywhere in the country. Our office in downtown Washington, DC, is an optional workspace when pandemic-related restrictions allow.
We are biased, but we think American Oversight is a great place to work! Take a look at the testimonials from members of our wonderful team.
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