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Now Hiring: We’re Looking for a Newsroom Fellow

(UPDATE: Applications closed on July 7th.)

The Opportunity

Here at The Xylom, we grow science with words.

That’s why we are excited to announce the first year of a new fellowship program aimed at giving aspiring science journalists and editors of color or from other marginalized communities a paid opportunity to learn new skills and speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.

Science journalism, both in Atlanta and nationwide, has a dire need for journalists and editors with a more diverse range of backgrounds and experiences. And at The Xylom, we’re really good at that: in 2022, 75% of our contributors were women/ non-binary, 41% were people of color, 50% were born after 1996, and they wrote in six languages. This fellowship, funded in part by the Google News Equity Fund, is designed to prepare and support the next generation of Southerners to join our newsroom and perhaps later, others around the region.

Just like how science is filled with multitudes and intersections, as a part-time staff member for the duration of the fellowship, you’ll straddle between the worlds of journalism and editing: You’ll work with our editor to publish several more in-depth stories on an area of interest. You’ll also learn new journalism skills and techniques, including interviewing, reporting, researching, data analysis, and filing successful Freedom of Information Act requests. Furthermore, you’ll help our freelance contributors tell the best science stories by working closely with them through the entire editing and fact-checking process.

We are looking for someone with the curiosity and interest to be an entry-level staff member, but formal experience in newsrooms or a journalism degree is not required. The ideal candidate will be a current student or recent graduate with an interest in local news and science reporting. Preference will be given to candidates with ties to Atlanta or the American Southeast, but we will consider remote applicants. This fellowship has a flexible start date between mid-August and early September 2023.

(July 3rd UPDATE: After clarifying with our fiscal sponsor Open Collective Foundation, you must be located in the U.S. and be allowed to legally work in the U.S. We are not currently able to employ people in U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico.)

Essential Duties:

  • Write, edit, and/or fact-check between 2-3 stories a month, with a mix of enterprise, explanatory, and investigative pieces.

  • Produce clean and concise content that displays outstanding spelling and grammar skills and a solid grasp of AP Style

  • Develop and manage a diverse portfolio of source and contributor relationships

  • Use data to tell stories

  • File public records requests with local, state, or federal agencies

The Ideal Candidate is:

  • Patient: With a good sense of humor

  • Flexible: Nimble and able to pivot when priorities shift. Brings a can-do attitude to work.

  • Of the South: A working knowledge of (or eagerness to immerse yourself in) the character, people, relationships, and ways of the American + Global South

  • Curious: An eagerness to learn about the topics and The Xylom's coverage areas; you stay current on regional news topics related to our coverage areas.

  • Organized: All staff are expected to prioritize and balance multiple projects simultaneously.

  • Experienced: Has produced enterprise, long-form or investigative reporting. Can explain data and statistics clearly. Is familiar with spreadsheet software and mapping tools. Understands fact-checking protocols.

  • Multilingual: A fluency in languages in addition to English to bridge knowledge gaps and engage with our trusted stable of English-as-a-Second-Language contributors.

These are not requirements!

About Us

Founded in 2018 as a humble science storytelling site, The Xylom is now a Gen-Z-led nonprofit exploring the communities influencing and shaped by science. The word “Xylom” derives from the Greek word ξύλον, the plant part transporting water from roots to stems and leaves. We see ourselves as the conduit between the communities that do science, and the communities that thrive with accurate, in-depth, science coverage.

As we like to say here in Atlanta, we have a global vision, but we keep our eyes on the South: We are the only newsroom in North America providing regular multilingual science coverage of the Third Pole while sending out a twice-monthly newsletter curating the best science stories in the American South and beyond. We publish everything from original personal essays to long-form science features and resources for early-career science professionals; we are misfits producing misfit stories for a world full of misfits.

Our writers have gone on to win awards such as the National Academies Eric and Wendy Schmidt Awards for Excellence in Science Communications, the New York Times Fellowship, and the National Association of Science Writers Diversity Reporting Grant. We’ve partnered with national and local outlets such as Fix, Grist’s Climate Solutions Lab and the Sierra Nevada Ally; you can also see our work on Yale Climate Connections, WhoWhatWhy, and Kantipur Daily, Nepal’s largest newspaper. Our impact includes fact-checking that led to the City of Atlanta deleting a press release regarding their environmental stewardship of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center (“Cop City”.)

Do you love the sound of this job, but you don’t quite check all of these boxes? Do you have skills we haven’t thought of yet? Don’t hesitate to apply and tell us about yourself. We also encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply, including people of color, non-native English speakers, veterans, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities.

Benefits

  • This one-year, part-time position (8-10 hours/week) has a salary range starting at $8,000. However, your salary will be scaled up based on the number of donations we get before the fellowship starts (Get a friend to support our fundraising campaign, one-third of our budget goes to you!)

  • Unlimited paid time off for vacation or sick time, and floating holidays

  • $50 monthly tech stipend

  • 401K savings account

To apply or to ask questions, email editor@thexylom.com. Please send us a cover letter that explains why you’re a good fit for The Xylom’s team, a current resume, and at least three writing samples (any type of writing that shows your skills can apply here — for example, a thesis paper or research assignment.) If the samples are in languages other than English, in a separate document, please explain the significance and impact of your work.

The application deadline is July 7th, at 11:59 p.m. EDT; virtual interviews will be held in mid-July and finalists will meet with the entire advisory board in early August.

 



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