Do you want to help craft journalism that changes lives? Code for Africa (CfA) has an immediate vacancy for a Chief Copy Editor, with extensive newsroom experience and excellent mentoring skills to join our PesaCheck team.
PesaCheck is the continent’s largest indigenous fact-checking initiative, by geographic coverage, with teams in 12 African countries. It researches and debunks misinformation published both online and elsewhere in more traditional media, publishing over 2,000 fact-checks per year, in partnership with major platforms ranging from Facebook and TikTok to traditional media.
PesaCheck also tracks promises by public officials and shines a light on public finances to ensure the public is not misled. PesaCheck forms part of Code for Africa, Africa’s largest non-profit digital/data journalism initiative.
As Chief Copy Editor, you will build and supervise PesaCheck’s multilingual copy desk, managing a transnational team that sub-edits and polishes all fact-checks prior to publication. Your duties will include recruiting and nurturing a pan-African team of copy editors and developing a robust editorial style guide.
You will also be responsible for the day-to-day copy flow that detects defects in content and ensures factual accuracy/coherence and grammar/syntax consistency while meeting deadlines and quality standards.
Candidates must have demonstrable experience managing a mainstream copy desk, with proven success working on editorial initiatives that consistently produce high-quality and impactful content on tight deadlines.
The Chief Copy Editor’s primary international language will be English, with additional proficiency in Amharic, Arabic, French, and/or Kiswahili being an advantage.
The successful candidate will work under the supervision of PesaCheck’s Managing Editor, work closely with a team of copy editors and translators, and will liaise closely with the News Editor.
Code for Africa (CfA) is the continent’s largest network of indigenous African civic technology and investigative data journalism laboratories, with over 90 staff in 21 countries, who build digital democracy solutions that are intended to give citizens unfettered access to actionable information that empowers them to make informed decisions and that strengthen civic engagement for improved public governance and accountability.
This includes building infrastructure such as the continent’s largest open data portal, open.AFRICA, and largest open source civic software portal, commons.AFRICA, as well as the largest repository of investigative document-based evidence, source.AFRICA, as well as incubating initiatives as diverse as the africanDRONE network that gives citizens their own ‘eyes in the sky’, the PesaCheck fact-checking initiative in 12 African countries, and the sensors.AFRICA remote-sensing citizen science initiative to combat air/water pollution.
CfA also incubates the African Network of Centres for Investigative Reporting (ANCIR), as an association of the continent’s best investigative newsrooms, ranging from large traditional mainstream media to smaller specialist units. ANCIR member newsrooms investigate crooked politicians, organised crime and big business. The iLAB is ANCIR’s in-house digital forensic unit, with teams in east, south and west Africa. ANCIR uses its resources to strengthen newsrooms’ own internal capacity, by providing access to the world’s best whistleblower encryption and investigative semantic analysis technologies, as well as skills development, and seed grants for cross-border collaboration.
Language and Location Requirements
The Chief Copy Editor will manage PesaCheck’s copy desk and specialist translators. You will work closely with the editorial team and occasionally collaborate with other team members in each of the countries where PesaCheck operates in order to verify claims from a variety of sources.
The content produced will be published on pesacheck.org, and will also be syndicated with various media partners.
You will be working to hold public figures accountable and ensure that the media is accurate in its reporting and coverage of issues of public interest.
This will require a familiarity with social media as a source of news, as well as a familiarity with news and media consumption patterns in your country. You will also need to have solid news judgment and deep knowledge of the media landscape in your country of specialization and in Africa in general.
The copy desk will apply a five-step copy editing process to all content to ensure factual accuracy/coherence, legal compliance/fairness, context, grammar/syntax consistency, and adherence to PesaCheck’s editorial style/standard guidelines.
The Chief Copy Editor will be responsible for ensuring that copy flow management sticks to agreed deadlines and quality standards, that journalists respond promptly to requests for clarity or corrections on draft content, and that multimedia material (such as infographics) are commissioned timeously.
The Chief Copy Editor will also ensure that feedback to journalists and/or designers is framed as constructive guidance, to help ensure that teams progressively improve the standard of raw content produced by partner newsrooms. This will include custodianship of a PesaCheck style guide, and convening regular ‘brown bag’ skills webinars to improve and standardize editorial quality.
The copy desk will receive support from CfA’s in-house data/design teams, as well as technical support programs.
Responsibilities: Your daily responsibilities will include
What Code for Africa will Offer:
How to apply:
Please fill in this form by no later than 30 August 2022