Jobs with the Mississippi Free Press

Check back later to see if we have positions open!

Operations Assistant

Winter/Spring 2023

The Mississippi Free Press, an award-winning nonprofit digital newsroom with national impact, run by the nonprofit Mississippi Journalism and Education Group, is seeking a part-time operations assistant to join our diverse, cohesive and mutually supportive team. The women-founded Mississippi Free Press, named the Institute for Nonprofit News’ Startup of the Year in 2021, launched at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 and immediately attracted widespread attention nationally and, at times, even internationally for our mission-driven coverage of vital issues and stories. 

The operations assistant will work in the MJEG/MFP office space in downtown Jackson under the supervision of the Executive Assistant Shaye Smith and will perform a variety of administrative support tasks for her, CEO Donna Ladd and Publisher Kimberly Griffin to help ensure the efficient operation of the organization. Responsibilities will include making, responding to and routing calls, emails and other correspondence to the appropriate recipients; managing staff calendar; collecting and filing documents; managing invoices and other paperwork. The assistant will also help organize events for staff, boards and the community, and will also create and maintain organization systems for the office.

In this position, the operations assistant will become part of a collaborative, inclusive and supportive team who will help you grow your skills and career. All staff members are invited to brainstorm ideas about how to strengthen our organization, our media coverage and our reach throughout diverse counties across Mississippi. We prefer candidates with Mississippi roots.

Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
  • Very organized and excellent time-management skills
  • Good communication and collaboration skills
  • General computer and software skills
  • Good math skills
Desired Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
  • Business writing and editing skills
  • Familiarity with QuickBooks, Basic Accounting
  • Familiarity with Google Workspace/Spreadsheets, Basecamp

Pay rate: $16 an hour to start. Job starts at 10 to 12 hours a week minimum with growth potential. Immediate hire.

Send cover letter and resume to Executive Assistant Shaye Smith at [email protected]

The Mississippi Journalism and Education Group does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information or veteran status in any area of its operations.

General Assignment News Reporter

Winter/Spring 2023

The Mississippi Free Press, a thriving, award-winning nonprofit digital newsroom with national impact run by the nonprofit Mississippi Journalism and Education Group, is seeking a full-time general assignment news reporter to join our diverse team of reporters and freelance contributors as we continue to grow our mission to cover Mississippi in a deeply contextual, inclusive and solutions-based fashion that challenges the old ways of the state’s traditional media environment. The women-founded Mississippi Free Press, named the Institute for Nonprofit News’ Startup of the Year in 2021, launched at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 and immediately attracted widespread attention nationally and, at times, even internationally for our mission-driven coverage of vital issues and stories.

The general assignment news reporter will work with the news editor to pitch, identify and pursue story assignments. The reporter can work from your Mississippi home when not reporting on-location on a hybrid basis (attending occasional meetings and trainings in the Jackson office) at a minimum up to full-time. You will be responsible for producing multiple stories a week, with a mix of short, quick-turnaround breaking news stories as well as medium-length and longer, more in-depth stories. 

The reporter must be able to manage a combination of quick turn-around breaking news stories and longer-term investigative and solutions projects. The reporter will collaborate with the creative director on selecting photography, art and multimedia for stories and with the digital editor on posting stories and promoting them across various social media networks, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. In some cases, the reporter will also be expected to shoot and provide photos when covering events on the ground. The reporter will join the team for weekly digital editorial scrums over Zoom to plan assignments for the week and to brainstorm ideas.

The general assignment reporter will identify, conduct interviews for, research, and contextualize news stories on a variety of topics. Examples of topics the reporter may be assigned to cover across Mississippi include: public policy, elections, democracy and government; infrastructure and the environment; health care and access; equitable economic development; immigration and the lives of immigrants; systemic racism, indigenous issues and historic injustices; sex, gender and LGBTQ+ issues; crime, criminal justice and policing; and other topics of interest for Mississippians. We strongly urge those who are members of traditionally marginalized communities or who have related life experiences to apply for this position to help lead our coverage across Mississippi in the most inclusive way possible.

The general assignment news reporter should have good reporting skills, know how to write in AP Style and have at least one-to-three years’ experience reporting and writing news stories for substance, readability, accuracy, fairness, sensitivity, storytelling and context. While traditional “inverted pyramid” style formats can be important for breaking news stories, the Mississippi Free Press seeks reporters who can (or want to learn to) write compelling narratives that tell readers not only the most essential facts of a story, but which communicate why they should care about a story on a human level.

Applicants should be inquisitive and skilled at asking probing questions that go beyond information public officials provide in press releases or through carefully worded statements. The ideal candidate will be passionate about pursuing truth for the public good, reporting on issues that affect marginalized communities and holding the powerful to account. We are eager to hire journalists who care about and have institutional knowledge about Mississippi or who are willing to learn. The reporter cannot live outside Mississippi.

The reporter will be under the direct supervision of Mississippi Free Press Senior Reporter Ashton Pittman and the job will include learning opportunities to grow journalistic skills and we encourage our reporters to hone their craft with classes, webinars, mentorships and peer-training opportunities. We ask all MFP team members to embrace and seek learning experiences daily from each other and from people across Mississippi. Reporters at the Mississippi Free Press who do excellent work will, at times, encounter opportunities to share and discuss their work with other state and national news outlets, including occasional television and radio interviews.

Strong, Cohesive Team of Professionals

This general assignment news reporter will join a strong, cohesive, and mutually supportive and respectful team of journalism professionals who, in most cases, have worked together for years. Most joined the Mississippi Free Press, which has had no staff turnover “only growth” since our March 2020 launch, after working together at the Jackson Free Press for years to create award-winning and impactful journalism. Co-founders Kimberly Griffin (publisher) and Donna Ladd (editor-in-chief) have worked closely together for 15 years, first at the Jackson Free Press and now at the MFP.

General assignment news reporter finalists will have the opportunity for one-on-one conversations with team members during the interview process about our culture, systems and any other questions. We also invite candidates to visit our Board of Directors/Advisory Board page to read about the people who support our work, our team and our mission on a daily basis.

If this sounds like a job that fits your skills and experience, please reach out. Since our March 2020 launch, the MFP team’s work culture has focused on excellence; journalism that can move needles for all Mississippians while attracting national attention and exposure; and a collaborative, mutually supportive team of professionals who believe in our mission deeply. We have an equitable, respectful, and deeply inclusive work culture that the news reporter can enjoy, help grow and maintain daily, as well as help improve. 

We have fun while working hard for our state every day in ways that support each other’s life-work balance. The successful candidate for our newsroom will join a current and growing full-time editorial and revenue team as well as an incoming Report for America education reporter, in addition to part-time team members, and freelance writers, artists and photographers. )

Primary responsibilities include:
  • Daily reporting work with two to four written published stories per week, including short news, quick-turn-around breaking news, in-depth stories and investigative projects
  • Working with editors to pitch and identify stories to pursue and make requested changes or additions to stories
  • Planning and executing daily reporting work, including researching, conducting interviews, making public records requests and writing
  • Managing work on short-term, medium-term and long-term reporting projects
  • Holding powerful people and institutions accountable with contextual, fair, fact-based reporting
  • Identifying problems and interviewing experts and community leaders about potential solutions
Knowledge/experience required:
  • At least 1-3 years experience reporting and writing news copy
  • An understanding of basic journalistic ethics and standards
  • Familiarity with using social-media platforms to share stories and content to reach and grow our audience
Knowledge/Experience (or willingness to learn) desired:
  • Familiarity using Google Drive and Google Docs to write stories and collaborate with editors
  • Narrative writing techniques
  • Knowledge of AP Style
  • Using WordPress to post and update stories
  • Willingness to speak or appear in public, virtually or on various media formats (TV, radio, podcasts, et al.) to discuss and promote reported work in order to reach a wider audience
  • Use of communications and project-management systems like Basecamp, GroupMe, Highrise, Google Drive, Zoom and more to make work more efficient for the full team and to support healthy work-life balance for all
  • Basic photography skills for shooting photos at events, whether with a smartphone, a DSLR, mirrorless or other style of camera, along with the ability to shoot video
  • Fluency (or competency) in languages spoken by various Mississippi communities, such as Spanish
  • Experience working with diverse communities to bring their stories to light
Salary and Benefits:
  • The salary range for the general assignment news reporter begins at $40,000 and will be based on prior experience and skillset. The position also has tremendous growth potential for promotion from within either on the reporter or editor track, which is very common for long-time MFP/JFP team members.
  • MFP currently pays 50% of the employee’s medical, vision and dental benefits through our group plan; family members can be covered through employee contributions.
  • The reporter may work from a home-office base if desired, but inside Mississippi, using our virtual team systems, but will be expected to regular on-the-ground reporting in locations across Mississippi, which requires a reliable vehicle and current driver’s license and insurance. The MFP’s office is in downtown Jackson and is open on a hybrid basis for those wishing to work onsite. We will host meetings, brainstorm sessions and other activities in the office and virtually. We do plan to have occasional all-hands retreats and other gatherings planned in advance that we’d like everyone to attend.
  • This position will receive a total of 24 days of PTO and nine holidays for 33 total paid days off a year. We are closed on seven non-religious holidays and provide two floater days for staff members to use for either religious or non-religious days off due to their personal preference and needs.
Application process:

To apply for this immediate hire, please send a resume and a cover letter describing your experience and what excites you about the possibility of editing and working at the Mississippi Free Press. If you have many of the requested skills and experiences, but not all of them, feel free to apply. Send resume and cover letter to Senior Reporter Ashton Pittman at [email protected]. Please also provide links or attachments to examples of any prior work.

You can also email questions before you apply to Editor-in-Chief Donna Ladd at [email protected] as well as Publisher Kimberly Griffin at [email protected]. Please put “MFP general assignment news reporter” in the subject line.

Read stories about the MFP’s coverage approach, team members, mission and shared ethos:

 

The Mississippi Journalism and Education Group does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information or veteran status in any area of its operations.

News Editor Position filled; watch for announcement in January 2022


News Editor

March 2022

The Mississippi Free Press, a thriving and rapidly growing nonprofit digital newsroom run by the Mississippi Journalism and Education Group, is seeking a full-time news editor to work with a diverse team of reporters and freelance contributors across Mississippi committed to covering Mississippi in a deeper, more contextual and inclusive fashion than traditional media here. Named the Institute for Nonprofit News’ Startup of the Year in 2021 for our innovative and inclusive journalism, the women-founded Mississippi Free Press engages deeply with an extremely diverse and deep source base throughout the 82 counties of Mississippi through interviews, conversations and solution circles to identify systemic challenges that need both cause- and solution-driven reporting. Upon our March 2020 launch with a core team with deep shared journalism experience, and who had worked together to create groundbreaking journalism for years, the MFP had immediate impact, attracting deep and wide media coverage and followup to our work and winning a plethora of awards after just one year—success we attribute to our mission-driven teamwork and shared values more than any other factor.

The news editor will help assign, edit, track, and oversee daily breaking news and in-depth news features for our noon MFP Daily newsletter (M-F) and to go live at other times as needed. The news editor will have assistance from and help direct two deputy editors (one in charge of features/news assistance and the other MFP Voices columns and working with the editor-in-chief on systemic reporting projects), the creative director (photography and art) and the digital editor (posting, social) with input as needed from the editor-in-chief to maintain a vigorous and informative daily publication schedule. The team will collaborate and brainstorm in weekly scrums and other meetups with the news editor and deputy editors for coverage plans and to ensure a reader-friendly mix of breaking and short news, longer-form deep dives, investigative pieces, features and more.

The news editor will help generate story ideas about policy, elections and government; COVID-19 and health care; higher and K-12 education; race and racism; violence prevention, policing, prisons and public safety; infrastructure and environment; equitable economic development; immigration and lives of immigrants; gender and LGBTQ+ concerns; and others of public interest in Mississippi. We strongly urge those who are members of traditionally marginalized communities or who have related life experiences to apply for this position to help lead our coverage across Mississippi in the most inclusive way possible.

News Editor Central to Rapid Growth

The ideal news editor for the MFP will have good reporting skills and at least three years’ experience editing news pieces for substance, readability, accuracy, fairness, sensitivity, storytelling, historic and other needed context, as well as know AP style and have a sharp copy-editing eye. It helps if you despise the passive voice, shy away from standard inverted pyramids and know (or want to learn) how to work with reporters to transform bland just-the-facts ledes into compelling narrative.

The right MFP news editor will have leadership skills and experience guiding reporters, deputy editors, and freelancers through the reporting and writing process and systems as needed. It is important to be fast and thorough at editing and have good judgment. We are eager to hire a news editor with either journalism experience inside Mississippi and/or deep institutional knowledge about Mississippi. If you grew up here, even better. (Most of us did.) You will also write compelling headlines, subheads, and ensure that the social team creates and publishes accurate, compelling social-media messages.

This job will be central to Mississippi Free Press’ rapid growth into our role as a leading news source in Mississippi. But not every job candidate arrives with every skill and professional experience nailed down. Our organization values creativity and experimentation (without fear of failure) and continuous learning. Across the organization, we encourage our journalists to develop their skills through classes, workshops, webinars, mentorship, peer-training opportunities, and more. We ask all MFP team members to embrace and seek learning experiences daily from each other and the people across Mississippi.

Strong, Cohesive Team of Professionals

This news editor will join a strong, cohesive, and mutually supportive and respectful team of journalism professionals who, in most cases, have worked together for years. Most joined the Mississippi Free Press, which has had no staff turnover—only growth—since our March 2020 launch, after working together at the Jackson Free Press for years to create award-winning and impactful journalism. Co-founders Kimberly Griffin (publisher) and Donna Ladd (editor-in-chief) have worked closely together for 15 years, first at the Jackson Free Press and now at the MFP.  Both founders have also worked with all but one of the 11 full-time MFP team members at least three years, many closer to or more than a decade. News-editor finalists will have the opportunity for one-on-one and group conversations with the team during the interview process about our culture, systems and any other questions. We also invite candidates to visit our Board of Directors/Advisory Board page to read about the people who support our work, our team and our mission to on a daily basis.

If this sounds like a job that fits your skills and experience, please reach out. Since our March 2020 launch, the MFP team’s work culture has focused on excellence; journalism that can move needles for all Mississippians; and a collaborative, mutually supportive team of professionals who believe in our mission deeply. We have an equitable, respectful, and deeply inclusive work culture that the news editor can enjoy, help grow and maintain daily, as well as help improve. We have fun while working hard for our state every day in ways that support each other’s life-work balance. The successful candidate for our newsroom will join a current and growing full-time editorial and revenue team of 12, in addition to part-time team members, and freelance writers, artists and photographers. 

Primary responsibilities include:
  • Edit daily and weekly news coverage, including short news, news features, profiles, newsletters, features, social media packages, and more. 
  • Perform and, as needed, assign fact-checks.
  • Execute substantive edits that account for inclusive sourcing, balance, news value, insight, equity and compelling ledes.
  • Communicate with sources and other members of the public as needed over story ideas, concerns about coverage and practices, and to develop trust and sourcing.
  • Help grow and maintain an inclusive source base in Highrise (simple CRM) for edit team members.
  • Line edit for readability, engagement, accuracy, legal concerns, adherence to style sheet.
  • Create effective, accurate, and search-friendly headlines and packaging.
  • Help direct, write, adapt, and post news coverage as needed for other platforms (including social media, newsletters, and more).
  • Collaborate with the editor-in-chief on news assignments and coverage plans.
  • Work supportively with editors, reporters  and freelance journalists.
  • Work with editor-in-chief on in-house training sessions and outside development opportunities for editorial staff members.   
Knowledge/experience required:
  • At least three years’ experience leading and managing team members and content in a news environment.
  • Proven track record editing stories and helping staff to grow and develop as journalists.
  • Institutional knowledge in Mississippi and any of its counties.
  • Superior editorial judgment and the ability to identify great stories and quickly react to breaking news.
  • Deep familiarity with the reporting process and journalistic ethics and standards.
  • Proven ability to write concise and web-friendly headlines.
  • Experience with editing multimedia or social media content.
  • Familiarity with social media and other engagement platforms to find sources and story ideas.
  • Ability to use social-media tools and platforms to reach audiences and amplify impact.
  • Knowledge and experience of the changing media landscape.
  • Experience working with diverse communities to bring their stories to light.
Knowledge/Experience (or willingness to learn) desired:
  • Familiarity with editing in Google Docs and using tools in Google Drive.
  • Narrative writing and editing.
  • Website management and posting. Familiarity with WordPress.
  • Fluency (or competence) with languages spoken by Mississippi communities, especially Spanish.
  • Ability to identify and conceptualize potential stories in a variety of areas.
  • Use of communications and project-management systems like Basecamp, GroupMe, Highrise, Google Drive, Zoom and more to make work more efficient for the full team and support healthy work-life balance for all, including editors.
  • Willingness to speak or appear in public (or virtually) to talk about MFP journalism, our mission and to develop source connections.
Salary and Benefits:
  • The salary range for the news editor begins at $50,000 and will be based on prior experience and skillset. A growth opportunity for this position is a future added position of managing editor or other top editor positions.
  • MFP currently pays 50 percent of the employee’s medical, vision and dental benefits through our group plan; family members can be covered through employee contributions.
  • This position can be fully performed offsite at home, but inside Mississippi, using our virtual team systems. The MFP’s office is in downtown Jackson and will re-open in 2022 on a hybrid basis for those wishing to work onsite, but it is not required. We will host meetings, brainstorm sessions and other activities in the office when we deem it safe enough, but staff members out of town may attend virtually. We do plan to have occasional all-hands retreats and other gatherings planned in advance that we’d like everyone to attend.
  • This position will receive a total of 24 days of PTO and nine holidays for 33 total paid days off a year. We are closed on seven non-religious holidays and provide two floater days for staff members to use for either religious or non-religious days off due to their personal preference and needs.
Application process:

To apply for this immediate hire, please send a resume and a cover letter describing your experience and what excites you about the possibility of editing and working at the Mississippi Free Press. If you have many of the requested skills and experiences, but not all of them, feel free to apply. Send resume and cover letter to Editor-in-chief Donna Ladd at [email protected]. You can also email questions before you apply to Donna as well as Publisher Kimberly Griffin at [email protected]. Please put “MFP news editor” in the subject line.

Read stories about the MFP’s coverage approach, team members, mission and shared ethos:

The Mississippi Free Press Aims to Be in Nonprofit News ‘For the Long Game’: Neiman Lab

Kimberly Griffin and Donna Ladd Connect Problems with Possibilities: Saturday Evening Post

My MFP Role Helps Me Pass Torch to Other Badass Black Mississippians: Mississippi Free Press

INN Names Mississippi Free Press ‘Startup of the Year’ (plus press release): Institute for Nonprofit News

Community Engagement Manager

The Community Engagement Manager is responsible for managing all products, platforms, and workflows that grow and deepen our membership and donor base.
Daily and Monthly Responsibilities
  • Develop and implement a newsletter strategy that onboards subscribers, donors and members.
  • Manage daily posting across all of MFP’s social media platforms and accounts in collaboration with our editorial and fundraising team.
  • Keep abreast of trends, essential dates and trending stories for stakeholder engagement.
  • Create video content for distribution across social media channels or be willing to learn this skill
  • Implement paid marketing strategies in collaboration with the Director of Revenue
  • Monitor donor and member engagement with the website and newsletter
  • Report monthly to the fundraising team on donor and member engagement
  • Plan and implement monthly donor events in consultation with the fundraising team.  (These events are currently virtual).
  • Uphold organization policies and standards
The Essentials:
  • 1+ years of experience in digital marketing, social media strategy or related field.
  • Strong connection to Mississippi
  • Shared values with MFP, including the value of journalism, racial justice, gender equity and systemic solutions.
  • Proven organizational, communication and leadership skills
  • Deep understanding of emerging digital trends or willingness to learn quickly
  • Compensation is $10,000 to $15,000 for a six month contract with the opportunity to move into a long-term role.