Program Manager, Free Press/Leadership and Culture

Department: Content
Reports to: Free Press Managing Director
Status: Full-time Regular
FLSA: Exempt
Prepared: August 2022

Summary and Objective

The role of the Free Press/Leadership and Culture Program Manager is to oversee all aspects of programs devoted to training journalists and journalism educators and those that improve the culture of newsrooms and classrooms. You will help expand the Freedom Forum’s Power Shift Project, which promotes equity, inclusion and civility in the news industry through several distinct programs.

Under the leadership of the Free Press Managing Director, your priority is to devise a new program that will provide training and mentorship for journalists of diverse backgrounds with up to five years of full-time experience. This new program will be added to the elements of the Power Shift Project to form a powerhouse training curriculum.

You will also partner with your counterpart Future Leaders Program Manager to ensure that high school students interested in journalism as a career receive training and mentorship as they progress through college and early career. The team is supported by an Initiatives Program Manager who assists with administrative duties and logistics. Our goal is to change the culture of newsrooms and help journalists have healthy careers in support of the First Amendment and press freedom.

The Leadership and Culture Program Manager is a journalist who has already demonstrated leadership, innovation and skill on high-impact projects. You know how to create a community and are adept at inspiring journalists of diverse backgrounds. You’re familiar with all levels of the news industry and have relationships in newsrooms and colleges that will aid in recruiting participants for these and other Freedom Forum programs.

Essential Functions/Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Oversee the planning, strategy and execution of the Power Shift Project as part of the Freedom Forum’s Free Press team. These duties include but are not limited to coordinating and carrying out logistics, communications and outreach for all the current elements in the Power Shift Project curriculum. That curriculum includes the Inclusive Leadership, Do You Want to Be an Ally, and Workplace Integrity components. You will oversee all webinars and in-person training in conjunction with key staff, consultants and trainers.
  • Help redesign and transition the existing Chips Quinn Scholars Program, currently devoted to newspaper interns, into a new training and mentorship program for full-time journalists of diverse backgrounds who are early in their careers. More than 1,400 people have taken part in the Chips Quinn Scholars program since 1991.
  • The goal is to help journalists with up to five years of experience develop the tools they need to thrive in newsrooms undergoing dramatic cultural change. This is not technical training, but training to develop personal attributes and essential skills needed in the workplace. The new program will continue to honor the late Chips Quinn, a newspaper editor who believed in diversity in the news and newsrooms.
  • Once the program content is designed, you will recruit and help select participants in conjunction with the Free Press team and execute the program’s agenda at every stage. This will include coordinating and moderating panel discussions and/or conducting live interviews with journalists and other experts for the program.
  • Manage and engage the Chips Quinn Alumni network, maintaining an up-to-date database and tracking the achievements of former scholars and mentors. This includes developing new opportunities for alumni in the Power Shift Project, the Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference for rising high school seniors, and other Freedom Forum activities.
  • Develop and maintain analytics to measure the success of and opportunities for the Power Shift Project, including the revamped Chips Quinn Program. Our goal is to continually build on these foundational programs to help people do their best journalism.
  • Effectively collaborate with other Freedom Forum teams to promote and market the Power Shift Project, the revamped Chips Quinn Program and all elements of the PSP curriculum. This includes creating and curating event materials, writing newsletters and emails, and conducting surveys and obtaining other feedback.
  • Develop and help execute activities that reinforce the role of a free press in democracy and the value of local news.
  • Report and write as required articles, editorials, website explainers and other material.
  • Participate in annual conferences and events as needed. Some travel is required.
  • A bachelor’s degree or at least seven years of journalism work experience, including demonstrated leadership. Supervisory experience is helpful but not required.
  • A passion for the First Amendment, the free press, journalism and the challenges of evolving newsrooms.
  • A can-do mentality and obsession for solutions. You identify opportunities and potential problems, and you address them efficiently.
  • A self-starting attitude and proactive manner. You direct yourself; you connect the dots and think ahead.
  • The ability to multitask, think strategically and work collaboratively.
  • Deep knowledge of or contacts in journalism associations and organizations, as well as colleges that provide students with practical journalism experience. A broad range of contacts among working journalists experienced in training, mentoring and inspiring journalists is also helpful.
  • Experience in developing and executing a social media strategy. You know how to engage audiences through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok and other platforms.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills. Comfort with speaking publicly and moderating programs is helpful.
Application Process

Please email your application as a single PDF titled lastnamefirstname (example: JonesJane.pdf) to [email protected] with a cover letter, resume, a writing sample of published work or a script or video link to a program you have run, plus three references.

Diversity and Inclusion Statement: Our Unique Differences Are Our Greatest Strength

Diversity is an integral part of the Freedom Forum’s history ̶ and it is vital to our future. Our founder, Al Neuharth, championed the hiring and promotion of women and minorities across the country as chair and CEO of Gannett. His legacy lives on at the Freedom Forum, where we are committed to creating an environment where everyone across race, gender, age, sexual orientation, sexual identity, religion, physical ability and life experience is respected, valued, encouraged and supported. Diversity fuels inclusion. Everyone offers a unique perspective; we welcome yours.

The Freedom Forum is committed to an ethical workplace, and our code of ethics reflects this commitment by promoting integrity, innovation, inclusivity, collaboration, accountability, respect and engagement. Competitive benefits include health, dental, vision and life insurance, as well as paid time off and a 401(k) Plan.

The Freedom Forum is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, pregnancy, age, genetic information or any other characteristic protected by law.