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Editorial Department, New Naratif

Position: Editorial Manager (EM)
Working Hours: Full-time, 40hrs per week
Salary Offered: Starting US $1,500/- up to max US $1,600/- (negotiable depending on experience, knowledge and skills of the candidate)
Location: Online/Digital within any one of the eleven Southeast Asian countries
Reporting to: Managing Director (MD) – direct line supervisor, in the absence of MD, the position reports to Operations Manager as de-facto head of the organisation.
Forms part of: Management Team
Peers: Operations Manager, Design Manager, Community Manager, Research Manager and Civic Participation Manager
Supervises: Editorial Department team of 1 to 12 persons
Qualifications: As a Southeast Asian candidate (preferred), the EM must have native-level English ability (spoken and written) and, preferably, fluency in one or more Southeast Asian languages. The EM must have a mandatory minimum 5 years of digital newsroom management. Remote management experience will be an advantage. The EM must have experience in editing and be equally skilled in editing a 1,500-word news analysis or explainer piece, and a 3,000+ word narrative feature, investigation, or research article. Experience producing audio, photo, video and/or other visuals is highly desired and preferred. While the Editorial Manager will not need to commission or first edit podcasts or comics, they will need to apply their judgement to sign off on all editorial outputs to ensure quality and consistency across the board, and the integration of all editorial outputs with the organisation-wide goals. Must have experience in fact-checking, proofreading, and editing articles as a final editor before publication.
Travel Required: Domestically and Internationally as and when necessary and approved by MD
Type of Contract: Annual contracts issued from April 1st to March 31, (renewable annually, based on performance and funding available)

New Naratif is a movement for democracy in Southeast Asia. We publish information, build communities, and empower people to create positive change. Learn more about us at newnaratif.com/hello.

While we publish news, New Naratif operates more like a hybrid of a creative storytelling studio, community organiser and mobiliser, and a think tank, rather than a pure media operation. 

As Editorial Manager, you’ll oversee a team of editors. You’ll need to make sure our content production is humming along smoothly, that deadlines are met, that contributors file their content on time, that your line supervisees hand in their work on time, and that departmental outputs are produced on schedule.

In addition, much of New Naratif’s outputs are structured around themes: every six months (eventually every quarter), we pick a new issue, theme, topic, or event and focus our efforts on educating and empowering people to create change around that issue or event. 

Examples include Southeast Asian regional issues such as women’s rights, gender and LGBTQIA+ rights, labour migration and labour rights, forced migration, inclusion and civic participation, youths and political rights, transparency and accountability of electoral procedures, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association, land grabbing and land rights, all of which New Naratif has published on in the recent past.   

Our team gets together and figures out what to focus on, what information people need to know to create change, who the people on the ground are that we can engage, and what events/classes help bring our community together to build capacity for change. The whole process takes six months.

This position would suit someone with experience in managing content creation across different digital platforms and formats. For example,  someone with professional experience in digital media, running a press agency, mass communication with a non-profit organisation, content creation in a mass communication agency or a magazine on social issues, NGO communications or other media-driven advocacy activities.

What you’ll be doing

  • As the Editorial Manager (EM), you’d be in charge of the information products that support campaigns identified by New Naratif. 
  • Your experience will thus be varied: one day you may be editing a longform news article; the next, brainstorming a video or podcast series; the third day, working on a plan for how your content will be used in our democracy classrooms.
  • You’ll create a package of information that is accessible, educates people, and builds capacity for change across Southeast Asia, in multiple languages. 
  • This may include commissioning content as varied as original news reporting; Explainers based on already-published research; an original or adapted comic series; or a series of podcast interviews. 
  • You are responsible for figuring out what mix of editorial formats and languages benefits our members and audience the most. 
  • You’ll collaborate closely with the managers of Community, Design, Research, and Civic Participation teams, and encourage your team members to also have close coordination and internal collaborations for all outputs. 
  • You will collaborate with the Operations department and its team members to ensure smooth functioning of your department and cross-departmental coordination is maintained as and when necessary, including tracking all budget spendings, and reporting requirements.  
  • You will also participate in the development of New Naratif’s organisational strategy and will be the lead in developing your departmental strategy.
  • You’ll ensure that the information outputs incorporate input from the activists and communities closest to the issue and are usable in our events and classes.
  • You’ll also be in charge of all other ad hoc editorial outputs, including pitches from freelancers, and other outputs that may arise from time to time.
  • New Naratif is fundamentally a movement for democracy, and our content is geared towards helping build capacity for democracy amongst our members and audience. How we operate, and what we choose to publish, is in service of that goal.

What you won’t be doing

  • You will not be running a conventional newsroom. 
  • You will not be publishing daily or breaking news – New Naratif doesn’t do daily or breaking news. 
  • You will not be doing any reporting yourself. We’re looking for an editor and a manager who is experienced in keeping our publishing schedule flowing smoothly with a consistent quality.

What we’re looking for

Strong candidates will have the following capabilities:

  1. Strategic thinking. New Naratif is a movement for democratic change, and we seek to achieve this by publishing information in a wide variety of accessible formats and languages. Our information packages explain and explore important forces which shape our lives, which help increase or change our understanding of the world around us, or which help us understand why we think and act the way we do. These stories aim to transcend narrow boundaries of race, religion, or state, to reflect Southeast Asia as it is lived and experienced by its people. 
  • The EM is the overall in-charge of all this editorial output. 
  • The EM needs to make all these outputs work together, working with line supervisees, and other team members to co-create and oversee the execution of a clear, coherent editorial strategy that harmonises its work with that of Community, Design, Research, and Civic Participation departments, working within a limited budget.

What is your editorial/strategic vision for New Naratif’s information packages? How would you make NN’s editorial outputs work cohesively as part of our thematic focus, and ensure that New Naratif produces high quality information on a consistent and predictable basis?

  1. Leadership. New Naratif has no office. We all work remotely. We’re all passionate and aspire to a high level of moral values. We’re here to model best practices as a transparent, ethical, progressive organisation. We’ll demand all this from you and hold you accountable. 
  • As one of the leaders within the organisation, you need to inspire, motivate, and keep everyone on the same page. 
  • You’ll need to manage, counsel, and offer empathy, compassion and respect. 
  • You’ll be a public ambassador for who we are and what we stand for. You’ll need to do all this over video calls and messaging apps.

How do you lead?

  1. Innovative. Every theme/topic is a new challenge. Our goal is to inform and empower our community. What works for one issue, or one group may not work for another. 
  • We want to adapt to new challenges and seize new opportunities. 
  • At the same time, we’re also constantly trying to stay in front of authoritarian governments who are seeking to shut us down. 
  • We have evolved rapidly since our founding in September 2017 and will continue to evolve in ways that we cannot anticipate now.

Tell us some out of the box ideas, activities, and innovative ways in which you would inform, educate, and empower Southeast Asians using your editorial products?

  1. Empathy for the marginalised and voiceless of Southeast Asia. New Naratif is first and foremost a platform for the people of Southeast Asia to imagine and then create a better Southeast Asia. 
  • You need to love and understand this region and its history, in all its complexity and diversity. 
  • You need to be willing to learn, explore, and grow alongside this region. It means you need to look beyond the borders and boundaries which are currently imposed on us. 
  • We want your experience of living in a Southeast Asian country, your connectivity to the communities, knowing everyday local experiences, concerns and challenges which reflect in your work and outputs you supervise. 

What does Southeast Asia mean to you?

Application Process

If you’re ready to take on the challenge of building capacity for positive change in Southeast Asia, please send an email to jobs AT newnaratif.com with your CV, cover letter answering the questions above, and a portfolio or examples of your work. Please provide the names and contact information for two character referees.

Shortlisted candidates will have 2-3 interviews, as well as a technical test for your editing skills. We anticipate the process will last around a month. Following your appointment, you would undergo a three-month trial period.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Therefore, we encourage you to submit an application as soon as possible as the process may close once we feel a sufficient number of applications are received or a suitable candidate has been found.

More Information

The role is a Management level position, meaning that you will be part of a team responsible for the strategy and direction of New Naratif as a whole. 

  • You have to be responsible, communicate and collaborate well online and be willing to work from home or your own choice of location as long as you are digitally connected with your team and provide the necessary remote supervision and ensure the work schedule is smooth and uninterrupted. 
  • We collaborate chiefly using WordPress, Google Workspace, Wire, and Trello. 

Benefits include:

  • 28 days of personal leave per year
  • 12 days of public holiday leave per year (which can be taken on any public or religious holiday of your choice), and 
  • 1 session of company-paid mental health therapy per month. 

New Naratif contracts are governed by UK law, on a consultancy basis, and typically are for one year at a time, renewable at the end of every financial year (31 March). 

New Naratif is a not-for-profit, private company, limited by guarantee, registered in the United Kingdom and Malaysia, and headquartered in Kuala Lumpur. 

We are committed to creating an inclusive workplace for all employees regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, or disability. 

We have a strong preference for Southeast Asians who have personal experience of and understand being marginalised and oppressed.

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