Research/Writing Assistant

Poynter seeks a talented journalist and NPR enthusiast to serve as a research assistant to the Public Editor. You’ll get paid to listen to NPR, brainstorm ideas with the NPR Public Editor, do initial research on columns, including setting up, sitting in on and sometimes conducting interviews with NPR folks. You will be a media reporter and NPR is your beat.

Skills required:

  • Ability to think like a news consumer
  • Ability to be persistent in chasing down information and leads
  • Critical thinking skills, a must; these columns have to connect with the NPR audience
  • Social media skills - We want to expand the NPR Public Editor accounts on Instagram, FB and Twitter into tools for research and connection
  • Clean, clear and fast writing skills - particularly when it comes to assembling the Public Editor newsletter.

The role of the Public Editor’s office is to foster greater newsroom transparency and accountability on behalf of NPR’s listeners and readers. The research/writing assistant will be a Poynter employee but the assignment is to work directly for the Public Editor. S(he) is expected to maintain cordial relations with the NPR newsroom, while remaining professionally separate and observing complete confidentiality regarding all work at Poynter and NPR.

Assists the Public Editor in assembling and posting weekly (or more) columns and newsletter.

  • Identifies potential topics for Public Editor columns.
  • Conducts in-depth and accurate research into listener/reader complaints that the office will be responding to. This includes assessing NPR’s past coverage by tracking down reports, and/or working with RAD to evaluate coverage, as well as monitoring ongoing coverage of various topics. Evaluates the topics as they relate to current industry debates over evolving journalism ethics and practices.
  • Writes a minimum of one newsletter item per issue on a topic of concern or interest to listeners/readers, to be determined by the public editor.
  • Seeks editor/reporter/producer responses to audience coverage concerns, when appropriate.
  • Works with NPR newsletters team and product team to refine the newsletter template
  • Fact-checks columns and newsletters for accuracy, and edits for AP style and NPR style.
  • Publishes final version and schedules newsletter for delivery.


No phone calls, please. 

Position is in St. Petersburg, FL

Gross Annual Salary: $45-$60k - based on experience and skills

Send a cover letter and resume via email to

Deadline to apply:  May 15, 2020

Start date for this position: as soon as possible