Job Title: Chief Copy Editor – Code for Africa Jobs 2022

Organization: Code for Africa (CfA)

Location: Uganda



Code for Africa (CfA) Profile:

Code for Africa (CfA) is the continent’s largest network of indigenous African civic technology and investigative data journalism laboratories, with over 70 staff in 19 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.

PesaCheck is the continent’s largest indigenous fact-checking initiative, with teams in 12 African countries, and is incubated by Code for Africa (CfA). It researches and debunks misinformation published both online and elsewhere in more traditional media. It also tracks promises by public officials and shines a light on public finances to ensure the public is not misled.



Job Summary:

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 copyflow 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.



Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Recruit and manage a core team of highly skilled copy editors, that transforms raw journalism into award-winning multimedia storytelling.
  • Manage a centralised news diary/schedule, in consultation with the Managing Editor, that governs copy flow with clear production milestones and that delivers content for publication on deadline.
  • Implement a rigorous proofreading/quality control editing system, that ensures factual accuracy/coherence, legal compliance/fairness, context, grammar/syntax consistency and adherence to PesaCheck’s editorial style/standard guidelines.
  • Design and curate PesaCheck’s editorial style/standard guidelines, including tipsheets or learning resources for journalists and other content producers to incrementally improve the quality of their raw reportage.
  • Provide regular constructive feedback, guidance, and mentoring for both copy editors and journalists, to nurture and grow new talent.

What We Offer:

  • A competitive salary, subject to experience, with opportunities for performance-based growth, both in terms of career path and public stature.
  • A dynamic workplace, with a transnational team, occasional international travel, and generous vacation benefits.
  • Ongoing opportunities to learn new cutting-edge skills and techniques/technologies to future-proof yourself in a rapidly evolving industry.
  • A chance to shine on a global stage, writing for international audiences and interacting with colleagues around the world.



Minimum Qualifications:

Required: minimum requirements include

  • Excellent journalistic copy-editing and proofreading skills to ensure factual accuracy/coherence and grammar/syntax consistency.
  • Experience in managing a copydesk and team in a mainstream multimedia environment, where content is packaged for publication in a wide variety of formats.
  • Demonstrable understanding of technical editorial production systems and CMS tools, involving multi-stage copy-editing processes.
  • A track record for copy flow management that sticks to editorial deadlines and quality standards.
  • Experience in coordinating digital multimedia content (such as infographics or social media collateral) as an element of copy-edited reportage.
  • Experience in creating or refining editorial guidelines, style guides and playbooks that set the tone, voice and standards for storytelling.
  • Passion for mentoring young talent and growing new voices.
  • Strong organisational and decision-making skills, with the ability to coordinate multiple tasks and projects simultaneously, while meeting deadlines and maintaining standards.

Preferred: characteristics that will give you an additional competitive advantage

  • At least 3 years experience in a managerial/leadership role on a fast-paced multilingual and transnational copy desk in mainstream digital media, such as international news agencies/wire services or digital first media platforms.
  • Experience in working with cross-platform data-driven journalism or other multimedia storytelling.
  • A keen eye for data visual storytelling techniques, including experience in integrating social video and interactive infographics into story packages.
  • An understanding of social media storytelling techniques, and editing guidelines, with insights into the strengths/differences of different platforms, including ‘dark social’ channels.
  • A track record for using copy-editing to actively and formally mentor/train award-winning digital storytellers.
  • Experience in using digital collaboration tools, including Slack, Google Workplace, and Trello to manage editorial workflows, alongside more traditional editorial CMS platforms.
  • Proven ability at working effectively in virtual or distributed newsrooms, coordinating multicultural and multilingual writers, editors, and other project teams across different time zones.

Language and Location Requirements

  • Location: East Africa or anywhere else in Africa
  • Languages: English
  • Preferred, but not required: French or KiSwahili , plus major African languages such as Amharic, Afaan Oromo, Dioula or Fula



How To Apply for Code for Africa Jobs 2022

All suitably qualified and interested candidates should submit their applications through the link below:

Click here to apply

Deadline: 30th August 2022



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