Are you a data hound and compelling storyteller? Would you be energized by playing a key role in a growing, financially sound nonprofit that is a national leader in the visual presentation of state-based political information?

The Virginia Public Access Project

Since 1997, VPAP has elevated public understanding of Virginia politics by organizing data in ways that are easily accessible and free of partisan bias. Our website and data visualizations provide insights into campaign finance, the legislative process, election results and more. We also produce VaNews, a free daily aggregation service with nearly 18,000 subscribers. Our annual operating budget is $1 million a year.

VPAP’s nonpartisan approach has won the trust and support of legislators, activists, business leaders and individuals from across the political spectrum.

About the Position:

The Data Journalist is a full-time position that reports to the Executive Director. (Note: Currently, the VPAP staff is working remotely. At some point in 2021, if all goes well, the team will return to its loft office in downtown Richmond at least two days a week.)

Responsibilities:

Become the chief idea generator for data visualizations, which are the most read items in our news aggregation. You will demonstrate chart literacy and collaborate with a small team to create images and accompanying text that make politics understandable to the widest possible audience. You need not be a coder or illustrator, but it would be nice if you were.  You will lead a two-person team that imports, matches and cleans that flows from various state government agencies. You will be VPAP’s voice on Twitter. You play the QA role in our web and data visual development process. You will have a passion for VPAP’s mission and a willingness to put aside your own views to follow a rigorous nonpartisan approach.

As our data journalist, you get to

  • Generate ideas of how to make Virginia politics more accessible to a wider audience
  • Play a leading role in the design of data visualizations that help people understand Virginia government and politics
  • Craft the narrative that accompanies data images and interactive visuals.
  • Apply quality assurance standards in web and visual development process
  • Create and execute a Twitter communication strategy
  • Help code and clean data that powers our website and informs our data visuals
  • Serve as chief contact with reporters from newspapers (including The Washington Post) that subscribe to VPAP’s data

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • At least four years of experience in journalism
  • Portfolio of data-driven news articles and/or data visualizations
  • Proficient with Microsoft Excel and MSSQL or equivalent
  • Exceptional writing, editing and copy editing skills
  • Experience with Python, R, Tableau or similar a plus
  • Knowledge of politics and/or Virginia a plus
  • A proven track record of working positively and collaboratively with others

Salary and Benefits:

Salary is commensurate with experience. Benefits include 100% company payment of employee’s health and dental insurance, 4% company match in a defined-contribution retirement plan, three weeks’ vacation and company-provided parking space in downtown Richmond.

Prospective team members should send a cover letter, resume, and salary expectations to dpoole@vpap.org. Deadline: November 27.