Advocacy Manager

New Naratif is a movement for democracy, freedom of information, and freedom of expression in Southeast Asia. We publish information, empower people to create change, and advocate for progressive values in Southeast Asia. Learn more about us here.

Southeast Asia is a region where independent media is constantly under attack from authoritarianism. In response, New Naratif is creating a Southeast Asian Media Freedom Network to promote media freedom and, more broadly, freedom of expression. We are looking for an Advocacy Manager to take charge of creating and managing this network and lead our resistance against attacks on freedom of expression.

About the Job

The Advocacy Manager is a senior position within the organisation. As Advocacy Manager, you will promote media freedom (and freedom of expression in general) in Southeast Asia through research, advocacy, activism, and organisation. Your responsibilities include:

  • Working with the Research Editor and Freelancer Community Organiser, conduct research and publish reports (~10,000 words each, a minimum of five in the first year, eventually on every country in Southeast Asia) on media freedom in Southeast Asia, in a variety of accessible formats; and update and maintain those reports in subsequent years. 
  • Using the information from your research, create and manage a regional network of media organisations, the Southeast Asian Media Freedom Network (SEA-MFN), to promote media freedom specifically and freedom of expression generally in Southeast Asia, and build solidarity among media organisations which value media freedom in Southeast Asia. This includes:
    1. Compiling and maintaining a list of legal, financial, and other resources to defend media freedom in Southeast Asia, and make it accessible through SEA-MFN;
    2. Developing SEA-MFN into a solidarity and support network for mutual aid and advocacy, organising joint action in response to attacks on media freedom, and assisting organisations in need.
    3. Coordinating with our Media Freelancers’ Network Manager to jointly promote media freedom for both media organisations and freelancers;
    4. Monitoring SEA for breaches of media freedom, and raise awareness locally, regionally, and globally.
  • Working with the New Naratif team, lead New Naratif’s response to attacks on freedom of expression.
  • Proposing and executing strategies for advancing media freedom in Southeast Asia.


Strong candidates will have the following capabilities:

  1. Organising, Activism, and Advocacy Skills. You’re going to be in charge of building a sustained campaign for freedom of expression in Southeast Asia across eleven countries, with very different languages and national and local circumstances. You’re going to be tested very much in your ability to marshall resources, build a coalition and forge consensus in a region where governments are suspicious of transnational non-governmental collaboration. 

What does your organisational experience include?

  1. Strategic Thinking and Adaptability. New Naratif works in a constantly shifting landscape. Few could have predicted the changes that have wracked Malaysia or Myanmar in the past two years. We have to adapt to new challenges and seize new opportunities. We’re constantly trying to stay in front of authoritarian governments who are seeking to shut us down. How do we fight a long marathon campaign with limited resources and with the weight of the political establishment against us? As Advocacy Manager, you will formulate and propose strategies for achieving freedom of expression in our region.

What is your strategic vision for the Southeast Asia Media Freedom Network?

  1. Leadership and Teamwork. New Naratif has no office. We all work remotely. We’re all passionate, and deeply principled. We 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 our leaders, you need to inspire, motivate, and keep everyone on the same page. You’ll be a public ambassador for who we are and what we stand for. You’ll need to offer clear moral leadership in a region where governments will demonise you. You’ll need to do all this over video calls and messaging apps.

How do you lead?

  1. Research and Writing Skills. We need to understand before we can build. You’ll need humility and an open mind as you speak with media practitioners across the region. You’ll be compiling important information into digestible reports. You need to be willing to put in the time conducting research. You’ll be working closely with the Editorial team to produce a minimum of five reports (in the first year), and converting them into a variety of accessible formats (including comics, videos, podcasts, seminars/lectures, etc.).

What does your research and writing experience include?

  1. Rooted in 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 you to live in a Southeast Asian country, and be connected to that nation’s communities and everyday experiences. 

What does Southeast Asia mean to you?

Due to our remote, online working environment, you have to be responsible, communicate and collaborate well online, and be willing to work from home or your own office. New Naratif uses Trello, Wire, and Google Suite (especially Docs, Sheets, and Meet) to collaborate. You should have native-level English, both written and spoken, and be bilingual in a Southeast Asian language to conduct interviews in that language. Experience with ethnographic research, report writing, and campaign management (for example, experience working for an NGO or equivalent) would be preferred.

If you’re ready for a new professional challenge, and the chance to build a new campaign for media freedom in Southeast Asia, please send an email to PJ Thum, our Managing Director, at pingtjin.thum AT, with your CV and a cover letter answering the five questions above. Please include the names and contact information for two character referees.

This role is in the Research and Advocacy Department and reports directly to the Managing Director. It is full-time (40 hours/week) and is initially for one year. The position will be reviewed at the end of the year and may be renewed depending on performance and on the availability of funding to support this position.

We regret, due to an ongoing conflict with the government of Singapore, we are unable to hire anyone who resides in Singapore.