Assistant Editor/Staff Writer

The Food & Environment Reporting Network is looking for someone with a proven ability to produce high-quality journalism with limited supervision, enough digital chops to manage content updates to our site, an easygoing demeanor and the flexibility to get things done in a startup environment. The successful candidate will be part of the first and only independent, nonprofit news organization that produces award-winning investigative and explanatory reporting on food, agriculture, and environmental health through partnerships with regional and national media outlets, from Harper’s and The New Republic to Scientific American and NPR.

FERN is a small, entirely virtual operation. Everyone wears multiple hats and is comfortable working in a solitary, self-directed way. That said, our virtual reality makes the need for clear and effective communication, and generous collaboration, even more important. We rely on multiple online communication and collaborative tools.

The job is 60 percent reporting and writing stories, either shorts or news analyses for Ag Insider, our daily ag-and-food-policy newsletter, or longer pieces for our publishing partners; the remaining 40 percent is a mix of editing, website, social media and admin tasks: helping edit Ag Insider; overseeing content updates/maintenance for our website, thefern.org; contributing to FERN’s social-media presence.

Required Skills:

  • Demonstrated ability to report and write news and in-depth articles
  • Demonstrated ability to summarize, write short blog-style posts
  • Familiarity with content-management systems
  • Experience composing social media posts
  • Minimum of 2 years experience in news organization, freelancing or equivalent

Preferred skills:

  • Demonstrated interest in covering food, agriculture and/or environmental issues
  • Journalistic editing experience
  • Familiarity with WordPress
  • Familiarity with MailChimp or other newsletter software
  • Familiarity with basic HTML tags/syntax strongly preferred
  • Fluency in HTML
  • Familiarity with Photoshop, InDesign or other image processing and/or layout tools
  • Experience managing/contributing to a news organization’s social media account (Twitter, Facebook and/or Instagram)

Geographic preference: Our editorial staff is centered in D.C. While we intend to maintain a virtual office, our goal is to concentrate even more heavily in the Washington region. So candidates from DC, or those willing to relocate, are strongly preferred.

FERN believes a diverse, open and inclusive environment is essential and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, and/or any other characteristic protected by law.

To apply, send a cover letter and current CV to brent@thefern.org.