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Job: Senior Investigative Journalist

We are looking for an experienced investigative journalist to run an exciting new project investigating how commercial pressures are affecting press freedom across Europe.

Salary: £38-40k FTE (Hours/days per week negotiable, but this will be your main job)

Location: Flexible, within Europe

Application deadline: 23rd January 2017, with interviews to be held the week commencing 30th January

Start date: Immediate

Duration: 7 months (Phase 1), with a further two years (Phases 2, 3 and 4), subject to securing additional funding

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openDemocracy is a global media platform that challenges power and inspires change through tenacious reporting, thoughtful analysis and democratic debate.

We are looking for an experienced investigative journalist to run an exciting new project investigating how commercial pressures are affecting press freedom across Europe.


In February 2015 openDemocracy published Peter Oborne’s explosive resignation letter from the UK’s Daily Telegraph, alleging the paper had suppressed negative stories about HSBC, a major advertiser. Oborne, who was chief political commentator at the Telegraph and one of the UK’s best known journalists, also revealed that this type of editorial ‘protection’ extended to a number of the Telegraph’s other major advertising clients, including supermarket giant Tesco. The exposé made headlines across the world, and prompted a flood of similar (confidential) allegations to openDemocracy from journalists about commercial interference at other media outlets, in countries across Europe.

We know the problems of vested interests influencing reporting – deciding what gets reported and how – are felt across the media. This power dynamic has affected investigations into the behaviour of banks, big pharma, agribusiness giants, and many more corporate and political actors. But understandably, very few journalists are willing to risk their jobs to expose this.

At openDemocracy we are going to address this problem head-on through a pioneering new project called openMedia, which will confront some of Europe’s most powerful and entrenched interests. Working with key partners including the European Federation of Journalists; Index on Censorship; Reporters Without Borders; and Dr Martin Moore and Dr Gordon Ramsay at the Centre for the Study of Media, Communication and Power, King’s College London, this project will investigate commercial bias and censorship in media; expose abuses of power that go under-reported; develop digital tools to help readers make informed choices about their news sources; and promote greater media industry transparency, integrity and press freedom.

Person specification:

We are looking for a highly experience investigative journalist to lead the openMedia project. Managing a pool of freelancers and reporting to the Editor in Chief, the successful candidate will be an experienced reporter who is also an excellent project manager. You will have managed large teams of journalists (ideally multi-country) working on sensitive investigations, and ideally you’ll have experience in investigating media organisations.

You will have rich experience in digital media, be comfortable working with different content formats, will know how to frame content powerfully and will have experience in generating debate through social media and other networks.

You will be both an imaginative and detail-focused journalist, rigorous in your approach to facts, sources and legal risk. However you also want to change the world; campaigning journalism excites you, you may also have experience as an activist or campaigner. A key part of this project is advocacy aimed at changing media, corporate and/or regulatory behaviour, so you will need to be comfortable and creative in planning how to maximise impact post-publication.

openDemocracy welcomes diversity. In particular we encourage people from groups who tend to be underrepresented in the media sector to apply.

To apply please click here


Key responsibilities for Phase 1:

  • Sourcing and investigating leads

  • Liaising with project partners to source and investigate leads from their networks

  • Managing an assistant editor and developing a pool of freelancers to support the project

  • Working with the openMedia project partners and project board to finalise and promote a pan-European survey of journalists

  • Overall project management, including ensuring project deadlines and objectives are met

About the author

openDemocracy is a digital commons - a pluralist, high quality online space free and open to all - covering world affairs, ideas and culture. More...

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