Journalism Jobs & Internships

Senior Investigator

Through monitoring changes to federal websites, it’s possible to understand how public access to public Web resources is changing and, in turn, register shifts in the government’s stated policies and priorities. Documenting and reporting on these changes allows the public to hold our government accountable for how it presents information, as well as enabling analyses of how changes affect the public and important government functions, like notice-and-comment rulemaking.

GovWebWatch (G2W) will launch in January 2018 to begin this work. Building on our past efforts at the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative (EDGI), we’re now expanding beyond documenting changes to environment, climate, and energy federal websites. Our work will be separate from, but complementary to, EDGI’s work, focusing on topics such as health and healthcare, civil rights, immigration, criminal justice, and others. We will work in partnership with the Sunlight Foundation, a digital transparency non-profit, which will serve as the main publisher for our reports and analyses.

We are looking to bring on a new team member to help lead our effort:

Start date: January 2018

Location: the organization is based in Washington D.C. Hires can either work with our D.C. team in our office space, or work remotely

Compensation and duration: We are offering competitive pay for either a six month fixed-term contractor position or a full-time employee position with full benefits

Core roles and responsibilities:

  1. Researching and scoping agency websites for monitoring

  2. Using our software to monitor key websites on a regular basis

  3. Writing and vetting reports based on investigations of important identified changes

  4. Working with journalists and civil society groups to disseminate findings

  5. Maintaining a website change tracker

  6. Writing blog posts that provide context for particularly significant changes

There will also be opportunities for further analysis and investigation, which might include:

  1. Working to understand the decision-making process leading up to changes at agencies, including investigating emails, memos, or other communications

  2. Analyzing how agency website practices may be in violation of Web records guidelines, regulations, or laws, like those issued by the National Archives (NARA) or the Office of Management and Budget

  3. Drafting recommendations on best practices for how agencies should provide notice for website changes, as well as how to log and archive them

  4. Analyzing how changes to Web resources impact the public’s capacity to benefit from or understand governance and engage in democratic processes, like notice-and-comment rulemaking

Experience, skills, and qualifications:

  • Strong experience in research or investigative work

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience, Master’s degree prefered

  • Good written and verbal communication skills

  • Experience leading small teams, organizations, and/or projects

  • Comfort learning and using new software

  • Detail-oriented with demonstrated experience of planning and leading meetings

  • Ability and willingness to work independently

  • Proven ability to work as a member of a team, and to successfully manage multiple projects and changing priorities

  • Proactivity in organizing, documenting, and communicating effectively with stakeholders

  • Ability to take initiative to explore monitoring leads and additional topics for focus

Other requirements:

  • U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status

Interested in applying?

Send the following to Toly Rinberg (govwebwatch@gmail.com):

  1. Resume

  2. Cover letter that includes at least a paragraph addressing the prompt: Discuss a situation in which you used a new means of investigation that you hadn’t in the past to write a story or conduct an analysis (for example, use of a Freedom of Information Act request, new data analysis method, new programming tool that you developed, etc.)

  3. Writing sample(s) (include at least one sample for which you are the single author, but feel free to include additional samples for which you are one of multiple authors)

  4. List of 2 references with contact information

DETAILS

SCHEDULE: Full-Time
DURATION: Permanent
WORK SETTING: Remote

CONTACT INFO

Toly Rinberg
govwebwatch@gmail.com

REQUIREMENTS & QUALIFICATIONS

Experience, skills, and qualifications:
  • Strong experience in research or investigative work
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience, Master’s degree prefered
  • Good written and verbal communication skills
  • Experience leading small teams, organizations, and/or projects
  • Comfort learning and using new software
  • Detail-oriented with demonstrated experience of planning and leading meetings
  • Ability and willingness to work independently
  • Proven ability to work as a member of a team, and to successfully manage multiple projects and changing priorities
  • Proactivity in organizing, documenting, and communicating effectively with stakeholders
  • Ability to take initiative to explore monitoring leads and additional topics for focus
Other requirements:  
  • U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status
   

HOW TO APPLY

Deadline:

Interested in applying?

Send the following to Toly Rinberg (govwebwatch@gmail.com):

  1. Resume
  2. Cover letter addressing the prompt: Discuss a situation in which you used a new means of investigation that you hadn’t in the past to write a story or conduct an analysis (for example, use of a Freedom of Information Act request, new data analysis method, new programming tool that you developed, etc.)
  3. Writing sample(s) (include at least one sample for which you are the single author, but feel free to include additional samples for which you are one of multiple authors)
  4. List of 2 references with contact information