Marquee Staff Writer at Ballotpedia
Marquee Staff Writer
Middleton, Wisconsin, United States
- Ballotpedia is a collaborative team of fast learners and creative problem solvers who are eager to work hard to make the world a better place.
- We believe the world will be a better place if every citizen has access to information to make informed decisions about their vote in every election in which they are eligible to vote: primary, general, and special elections; federal, state, and local offices.
- We work diligently to present the available information about elections, candidates, judges, ballot measures, policies, and more in a way that enables our readers to vote with confidence and to act as engaged citizens outside of the polling booth.
- Ballotpedia readers, like Ballotpedia staff, are special people.
- When we launched in 2007, we did not go out of our way to seek new readers.
- Starting with our small team of visionary idealists, nerds, and aspiring political journalists, we just wrote the best unbiased online articles we could, especially about ballot measures.
- Readers found those articles in droves. It turns out there was an unclaimed audience out there—people who wanted straightforward facts about political issues, and were willing to read at length instead of just scanning the headlines.
- “If you build it, they will come:” our readers came to our neutral oasis in growing numbers; we’ve had many millions of lifetime pageviews, we reached nearly half of all voters in 2020, and, in the month surrounding the November 2020 election, we were the 77th most-visited website in the U.S.
- We’ve come to realize that we need to meet our readers where they are. In doing so, over the past five years, we’ve grown our email newsletter program from infancy to include more than 1,000,000 opt-in subscribers with more than a dozen newsletters to choose from.
- We are working in numerous ways to help put our neutral information in front of people at the times when they most need it, including on mobile phones while you’re standing in the voting booth.
- We firmly believe that our readers, and the mindset we help them cultivate, are essential to the preservation of our great civilization in a world where too many others are fighting to get us all addicted to sensational posts and the irrational decisions they foster.
- If this is a mission you’d be willing to work hard to achieve, and if this is a team you’d be willing to work hard with—JOIN US.
- Ballotpedia is seeking a full-time Staff Writer to join our Marquee Team.
- The Marquee Team is responsible for becoming experts in the stories, conflicts, and elections that matter most to voters, constituents, and the public at large.
- We are responsible for neutrally presenting the most important facts and news updates about these stories.
- We focus on the stories that matter most to broad swaths of our readers, and on those that stand to have the greatest effect on the balance of power and political outcomes in the country.
- We cover stories at all levels of government, from presidential elections down to school boards where the balance of power is at stake.
- A successful staff writer will be passionate and knowledgeable about politics.
- They will be comfortable conceiving and designing research methods.
- They will be comfortable conducting extensive research using media and political websites, official government sources, and through direct person-to-person outreach.
- They must have the ability to write about complex topics in a neutral, clear, and concise manner.
- They must have a passion for accuracy, completeness, innovation, neutrality, and for creating a delightful experience for Ballotpedia’s readers.
- They should be able to demonstrate excellent writing, organizational skills, proofreading ability, and familiarity with the use of style guides. Ballotpedia has its own style guide that is based on the AP Stylebook.
- They love critical feedback and view it as an opportunity to deliver greater value to our readers.
- Finally, they enjoy organizing their own lives and the world around them.
- They maintain orderly habits and perceive external disorder as an opportunity to innovate and improve.
As a Marquee Team Staff Writer, you will:
- Produce articles with excellent introductions and ledes that capture important elements of elections and political stories.
- Build and manage assigned articles in line with Ballotpedia’s writing guidelines and expected quality levels.
- Monitor breaking news daily and make timely updates to articles based on judgement about what updates will most satisfy readers.
- Respond to news by quickly developing new articles as needed.
- Contribute to the publication of Ballotpedia’s newsletter products.
- Use and generate complex procedure checklist documentation to perform key tasks.
- Ensure that your team’s managing editor is aware of project progress.
- Learn and master Ballotpedia’s taxonomy of bias.
- Interact with co-workers, customers, and the media in a professional, helpful, and pleasant manner.
Skills and Qualifications
An ideal Marquee Team Staff Writer will possess:
- A demonstrated passion for Ballotpedia’s mission
- Knowledge of the United States political system
- Experience working in databases and with spreadsheets
- Experience in writing and/or editing, with professional or academic writing experience an additional benefit
- Superb organizational skills and a focus on detail
- A desire to work collaboratively with Ballotpedia staff from multiple departments
- Comfort seeking and responding to feedback
- A drive for innovation and flexibility and an ability to identify and solve problems proactively
- Self-awareness and a drive toward constant improvement
The Marquee Team Staff Writer will work remotely from his or her home location. All Ballotpedia staff work remotely. To join Ballotpedia, you must have a computer with Internet access. Ballotpedia uses the Google Suite (Gmail, Google Calendar, Drive and more), Slack, and Asana to accomplish our goals. Some familiarity with the Google Suite, Slack, and Asana are helpful.
Ballotpedia has a flexible work environment, BP Flex, in which every employee enjoys unlimited vacation and flexibility in scheduling. Each employee will be oriented to the principles of Ballotpedia’s flexible environment during new employee training.
The starting pay range for the Marquee Team Staff Writer is $38,000-$40,000, commensurate with experience.
In addition to salary, Ballotpedia offers an annual benefits stipend equivalent to $7,000 that is paid out in equal increments in each paycheck once an employee becomes benefits eligible. The stipend may be used to pay for a full benefits package, including health, vision, and dental insurance; retirement accounts; and more. If benefits are not elected, the stipend is taxed as regular income and added to salary.