OPPORTUNITY: 'Local News Fund' Freelance Project Coordinator, Newry
About the Public Interest News Foundation
At the Public Interest News Foundation (PINF), we want everyone in the UK to benefit from great journalism that speaks to them, for them and with them. As the first charity in the UK to promote public interest journalism, we believe that our mission is urgent and important.
At a time when dramatic changes in the media have led to audience distrust and disengagement, we provide funding, leadership development and networking opportunities for high-quality independent news providers across the UK.
Communities depend on independent news media for reliable information that builds a sense of belonging and empowerment. But this kind of journalism costs money. So, we are working to attract new sources of funding into this sector.
We are committed to building a diverse team who can bring their life experience into this role. Therefore, we actively encourage applications from Black, Asian or minoritised groups, LGBTQI+ people and people with disabilities.
About the Project Coordinator role
In 2022, PINF, with funding with NewsNow.co.uk, pioneered a new approach to building support within communities for local journalism. The Local News Plan initiative worked in six locations around the UK to bring together a wide cross-section of the community in each places – including local businesses, local government, community philanthropy, faith groups, civil society, creative industries, education, and local media – to support community-led discussions about the value and impact of local media – and the consequences of the loss of local media.
Each community laid out an initial vision of the kinds of local media they would like to see in their area, and what they were prepared to do to help bring that about, including by building locally based and governed funding structures.
PINF has now secured funds to build on the work carried out in Newry, Northern Ireland, and is seeking a locally-based freelance coordinator as the project management focal point for the work in Newry. They will work closely with the Project Director (PD) to advance and deliver the project plan and associated activities for the next phase of the initiative to build a Local News Fund for Newry.
Contract: part-time consultancy of up to 7 months from 1 December 2023
Rate: £240 per day for a maximum of 35 days – to a maximum of £8,400 – with potential to extend or expand the role, subject to funding and mutual consent.
Location: Based in or within easy travelling distance of Newry, Northern Ireland
Working environment: Flexible working from home and/or a shared office or co-working space in Northern Ireland
Line Manager: Project Director, Local News Funds
Work with the Project Director to deliver the project plan, including through regular meetings with the PD and regular updates to the PINF team.
Identify – and carry out preliminary due diligence into – prospective participants in the Local News Fund project, and update, segment and maintain a database of stakeholders and contacts (compliant with PINF GDPR practices), including potential local supporters/donors.
Cultivate strong relationships with local stakeholders, ensuring that all feel highly respected by PINF and understand the valuable contribution they are making through their participation in the Local News Funds process.
Lead on the planning, invitations, documentation and smooth running of Local News Fund events; manage an events budget; co-facilitate Local News Fund events with the PD, other PINF staff member, and/or partner organisations; and support the PD with visit agenda/logistics, where necessary.
Contribute or co-create compelling content about the Local News Fund initiative for PINF’s media output, including through our blog, social media channels and articles for local, national, and specialist media.
Maintain accurate and comprehensive project records to help ensure that PINF’s and the funder’s reporting requirements are met in full, and to help monitor and evaluate the project.
Support the Project Director with other relevant tasks as required.
Skills & attributes
Project Management: You will have strong, demonstrable project management skills and track record, and will ideally be proficient in using online project/task management tools like Trello.
Event management: You will have demonstrable experience of planning and organising events in some capacity.
Working relationships with community stakeholders: You will be able to demonstrate that you already have or are able to build good working relationships with a variety of local stakeholders in Newry and the surrounding areas, including those involved in the first phase of the Newry Local News Plan.
Professionalism: You will have outstanding teamwork and interpersonal skills, driving plans forward with energy and attention to detail, using effective time management and self-motivation whether working from home or in a co-working space. You will have demonstrably solid research skills.
Communications: You will be able to communicate clearly, diplomatically and with integrity and attention to detail in writing, in person and on video calls.
Creativity: You will enjoy solving problems and identifying opportunities as they arise, working closely with the Project Director and other members of the PINF team to see opportunities and address challenges where necessary.
Compliance: You will have good awareness and understanding of relevant legal requirements such as GDPR. Please indicate if you are DBS-checked.
Administration: You will be able to use Microsoft applications and a CRM; you will have familiarity with project budgeting and expense tracking.
Enthusiasm for PINF’s mission: You will understand and be able to convey the importance of journalism for communities, democracy and society as a whole. You will be able to represent the values and aims of PINF and protect its reputation and charitable status.
Familiarity with the local news ecosystem: You will have demonstrable experience, familiarity or knowledge of the local news industry, preferably in a professional context, whether in the corporate local press or in the independent sector; but you should not stand to benefit financially from the outcome of the Local News Fund, and will be required to declare and document any potential Conflicts of Interest as part of the contracting process.
What are the next steps?
Please apply by sending an up-to-date CV and a cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line “Newry Local Coordinator”.
Interviews with shortlisted candidates will be held on a rolling basis as applications come in, so we encourage potential applicants to submit early.
The successful candidate should be able to start on a part-time basis no later than 1 December 2023, and be available to meet in person in Northern Ireland with the Project Director during December.