Job: Head of Advocacy and Impact

openDemocracy is a global media outlet. We produce high-quality journalism, and we build journalism skills and capacity among groups under-represented in the media. Our mission is to challenge…

openDemocracy is a global media outlet. We produce high-quality journalism, and we build journalism skills and capacity among groups under-represented in the media. Our mission is to challenge power and inspire change.

  • Employer: openDemocracy
  • Location: Global (remote working or based in London office)
  • Salary: UK based – £45,000 – £55,000 (Global benchmarked to local rates). Competitive benefits.

We are seeking an ambitious and enterprising impact editor to lead a step-change in the impact our journalism has on the world.

You will have an impressive track record in making positive change happen through your work – be it in journalism, broadcast media, policy, advocacy, campaigns, activism or other relevant areas.

You’ll have a bold vision for how our major stories and investigations can have deeper impacts which serve our mission.

And you’ll be excited to work closely with journalist colleagues, building their skills and knowledge about how to communicate effectively – and think strategically – about the change their work can bring about.

You’ll be joining our team during an exciting period of growth: building on a strong recent record where our journalism has triggered law change, parliamentary probes, criminal investigations, and much more.

Our stories frequently get picked up across the global media, including The New York Times, Washington Post, New Yorker, Guardian, Daily Mail, CNN, BBC, Deutsche Welle, Al- Jazeera, el Pais, Mail & Guardian and many others. Our site currently attracts more than 13 million visits per year, and we host a diverse range of independent projects – including those publishing in Russian, Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese as well as English.

We are a mission-focused organisation, which means we already think about the impact our journalism can have, and ‘bake it in’ to some of our work. But we know we’re only scratching the surface. Excellent impact planning and execution requires intensive time, skill and collective focus; and we are committed to investing in this. We are very clear about the difference between advocacy and journalism – and you will be committed, as we are, to maintaining the independence and integrity of our journalism while deepening its impact.

One of our key priorities is to help build a more inclusive international media ecosystem. We strongly encourage applications from all groups that are under-represented in the media.

Purpose of the role

  • Lead a step-change in the overall impact of openDemocracy’s major investigations and stories, in line with our strategic goals
  • Grow openDemocracy’s brand and reach, both among natural allies and outside progressive ‘filter bubbles’

Key responsibilities

  • Build, develop and execute openDemocracy’s overall impact strategy, reporting to the editor-in-chief
  • Lead internal learning, training and development on impact planning, strategy and execution
  • Work closely and collaboratively with team leaders to maximise opportunities to grow the impact of their work
  • ‘Embed’ with openDemocracy teams on 2-3 major stories or investigations per year, from an early research and planning stage through to media strategy, post- publication outreach, advocacy and ongoing engagement with stakeholders
  • Build a strong network to serve our goals, identifying and nurturing targets and allies such as lawmakers, campaigners, lawyers, activists, other journalists and media
  • Lift the overall quality of our media engagement, from working with team leaders to develop appropriate media strategies, to directly pitching stories and doing press outreach, prepping team members for broadcast interviews, placing comment/op-ed pieces, drafting or editing press releases, creating and updating useful/effective press lists, and training colleagues in all these areas
  • Identify opportunities for, contribute to and/or lead major oD brand initiatives (eg. awards, campaigns, strategic litigation or other advocacy)
  • Build increased knowledge, skills and confidence among the oD team on how they can increase the impact and reach of their work, both through regular training and through hands on work and collaboration

Person specification

Essential values and skills

  • A strong commitment to openDemocracy’s mission to challenge power and inspire change
  • A clear understanding of how to support diverse women, LGBTIQ people, people of colour and other groups under-represented in the media
  • Ability to work independently and within a team, to plan and manage a complex workload, problem-solve and respond swiftly and on deadline to new/unplanned demands
  • Ability to communicate effectively and persuasively with diverse people, organisations and professionals
  • A clear understanding and vision of the strategies that can deliver impact from public- interest journalism

Essential experience

  • At least 7 years’ professional experience in either media, campaigns, policy, communications or other fields relevant to openDemocracy’s work
  • A strong track record of persuasive campaigning, organising or advocacy in your chosen field(s), and of producing work which has led to demonstrable change
  • Experience in and willingness to lead a mixture of hands-on and strategic work: from writing press releases to securing major partnerships, working with policymakers, mobilising readers or members
  • Experience in leading internal culture change on impact and/or strategy
  • Experience of organising diverse groups of people to campaign and/or publicly communicate on issues which affect them


  • Professional fluency in more than one language
  • Professional experience in journalism
  • A track record in leveraging journalism or media to have impact/lead to change
  • Communications, campaigns, advocacy, strategic litigation or other civil society experience relevant to openDemocracy’s mission

openDemocracy is working alongside Prospectus on the recruitment of this position. To apply please click here. Applications close: 17 January, 2021.

This post was originally published on Radio Free.

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