Marquee Team Associate Editor

Ballotpedia is a team of fast learners who are eager to work hard to make the world a better place. We believe the world would be a better place if every voter cast an informed vote in every election in which he or she is eligible to vote. We work to present the available information about elections, candidates, judges, ballot measures, and more in a way that enables our readers to vote with confidence and to act as engaged citizens outside of the polling booth.

Ballotpedia readers, like Ballotpedia staff, are special people. And in 2016, we got curious enough about what made our readers special to commission an in-depth study to answer that question. Here’s an excerpt from the conclusion:

Readers are characterized by their decision to run toward knowledge, instead of retreating. This sense of “onward” characterizes the Ballotpedia readers—they recognized a problem with the media they had been consuming and sought out a different way.

Readers have found and continue to find our articles in droves. It turns out there is an unclaimed audience out there—people who want straightforward facts about political issues, and are willing to read at length instead of just scanning the headlines. 

We’re discovering “If you build it, they will come” applies to our work engaging and informing voters: our readers come to our neutral oasis in growing numbers; by 2016, fully 20 percent of American voters read one or more of Ballotpedia’s 250,000+ encyclopedic articles in the six weeks leading up to election day. Mostly, they came from Google. Google has always loved our detailed, well-sourced articles, because their algorithm is excellent at figuring out what their searchers are after. 

That search engine dominance got us past one BILLION lifetime pageviews in September 2018, and helped make us the 92nd most-visited website in the U.S. during the month surrounding the November 2018 midterms.

We scarcely had an email list before 2016. We now have over 250,000 subscribers on more than a dozen separate lists. We are working in numerous ways to help put our neutral information in front of people at the times when they most need it. We firmly believe that our readers, and the mindset we help them cultivate, are essential, as too many others in our industry are fighting to get us all addicted to sensational clickbait headlines and the irrational decisions they foster.

And, with all that, we’re just getting started, knowing that the opportunities and growth ahead are limitless. If this is a mission you’d be willing to work hard to achieve, and if this is a team you’d be willing to work hard with, join us.

The Position
Ballotpedia is seeking a full-time Associate Editor to join our Marquee Team. The Marquee Team is responsible for becoming experts in the stories, conflicts, and elections that matter most to voters, constituents, and the public at large. We are responsible for neutrally presenting the most important facts and news updates about these stories. We focus on the stories that matter most to broad swaths of our readers, and on those that stand to have the greatest effect on the balance of power and political outcomes in the country. We cover stories at all levels of government, from the presidential election down to school boards where the balance of power is at stake. 

The Associate Editor will work closely with the Managing Editor to help run the team’s day-to-day operations. The Associate Editor will meticulously edit article and newsletter content for accuracy, neutrality, and relevance. They will help organize coverage of hundreds of elections throughout the year across a team of at least seven staff writers. Finally, they will identify and resolve structural impediments so that Staff Writers can efficiently write about important political stories for millions of readers.

A successful Associate Editor will be passionate and knowledgeable about politics. They will have an obsessive attention to detail, whether they're reviewing an article introduction or making sure the team is on track to meet its coverage goals. They enjoy organizing their own lives and the world around them. They maintain orderly habits and perceive external disorder as an opportunity to innovate and improve.

They can look at our content from different points of view. They understand how customers with different political beliefs, needs, or priorities would perceive our content, and can edit content accordingly.

They must have a passion for accuracy, completeness, innovation, neutrality, and for creating a delightful experience for Ballotpedia’s readers. They should be able to demonstrate excellent writing, organizational skills, proofreading ability, and familiarity with the use of style guides. Ballotpedia has its own style guide that is based on the AP Stylebook.

Responsibilities
As a Marquee Team Associate Editor, you will:

  • Review articles and newsletters for neutrality, accuracy, style-guide compliance, and opportunities to apply Ballotpedia’s core value of constant improvement.
  • Help coordinate, plan, and execute Ballotpedia’s 2020 primary and general election coverage plans. 
  • Organize writer activity and edit content in real-time on election nights.
  • Develop new (and improve existing) documentation for ensuring quality and consistency across Ballotpedia articles.
  • Using and generating complex procedure checklist documentation to perform key tasks.
  • Understanding which content requires standardization and which requires originality.
  • Assist the Managing Editor building team sprint projects (we use the Scrum management system) in Asana.
  • Monitor ongoing news stories to identify stories for enhanced coverage on Ballotpedia.
  • Supervise the correction of on-site errors.

Skills and Qualifications
A Marquee Team Associate Editor must possess:

  • A demonstrated passion for Ballotpedia’s mission
  • Knowledge of the United States political system and elections 
  • Experience in writing and/or editing (with experience as a professional writer and/or editor preferred) 
  • Experience planning multi-week projects and supervising work for completion
  • Superb organizational skills and a focus on detail
  • Strong project management skills and the ability to multitask, set priorities, and follow-through
  • A drive for innovation and flexibility and an ability to identify and solve problems proactively
  • Experience working in databases and spreadsheets
  • A desire to work collaboratively with Ballotpedia staff from multiple departments
  • A willingness to work periodic evening and weekends.
  • Self-awareness and a drive toward constant improvement
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills

Environment
The Marquee Team Associate Editor will work remotely from his or her home location. All Ballotpedia staff work remotely. To join Ballotpedia, you must have a computer with Internet access. Ballotpedia uses the Google Suite (Gmail, Google Calendar, Drive and more), Slack, and Asana to accomplish our goals. Some familiarity with the Google Suite, Slack, and Asana are helpful.

Ballotpedia has a flexible work environment in which every employee is 100% accountable to the results and 100% autonomous over their time. Each employee will be oriented to the principles of Ballotpedia’s flexible environment during new employee training.

Compensation
The pay range for the Marquee Team Associate Editor is commensurate with experience; compensation reviews occur each December after the completion of an initial review period.

In addition to salary, Ballotpedia offers bonuses based on performance and a $6,500 annual benefits stipend, which may be used to pay for a full benefits package, including health, vision, and dental insurance; retirement accounts; and more. If benefits are not elected, the $6,500 stipend is taxed as regular income and added to salary.

To Apply
To apply, visit the Ballotpedia job opportunities page and fill out the form.

Please attach:
  • résumé
  • cover letter detailing your interest in Ballotpedia’s mission, this position and your salary expectations

Please ensure that either your résumé or your cover letter include your current address.

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