Our Dallas newsrooms do not reflect the people who live in our city. Dallas is predominantly Latinx with a substantial Black population, and more than half of our residents are women, but our newsrooms’ leadership and the bylines that shape our city remain predominantly white and male.
Our Dallas students likewise are not being exposed to experiences that spark a desire to enter the field of journalism. STEM programs abound, especially in communities of color, and college pathways are focused mainly on technology and trade careers. This is great news for our future STEM workforce, but it means that when local newsrooms look for talented journalists who reflect Dallas’ cultural and ethnic experiences, we’re having to look outside of our city.
Dallas Free Press launched in January 2020 to amplify voices in disinvested neighborhoods and explore solutions to our city’s systemic inequities. Executive director Keri Mitchell, who spent 15 years dedicated to community and civic journalism at Dallas’ Advocate magazines, founded Dallas Free Press with the belief that all neighborhoods deserve reporting and storytelling that values their community and holds leaders accountable. Our goal from the beginning has been to hire journalists who reflect the culture, diversity and experiences of the neighborhoods we cover, South Dallas and West Dallas. Over the past year, however, it has become evident that not only we but our media colleagues across Dallas are struggling to find young journalists who grew up here and want to stay here.
That’s why Dallas Free Press has launched a journalism pathway from Dallas high schools to Dallas newsrooms, starting with efforts to engage high school students. We are looking for a part-time journalism pathway coordinator to work with students in South Dallas and West Dallas on writing, storytelling, civic engagement and media literacy skills that would benefit them no matter what career they choose. Our goal is for these students to use their voices to tell the stories of their communities.
What you’ll do
- Work with high school students during school hours and in after-school settings via our neighborhood partnerships (Voice of Hope, Fairview Youth Foundation, L.G. Pinkston High School, the “Great” James Madison High School and others)
- Iterate established curriculum to teach writing, storytelling, civic engagement and media literacy skills
- Edit students’ work and prepare it for publication in Dallas Free Press, Dallas Weekly and our other media partners
- Coordinate with Dallas Free Press’ college interns and editorial strategy
- Identify potential partners and collaborators for the pathway, including potential scholarships and funding streams
Who you are
- You’re a leader and strong communicator who can motivate and encourage young people.
- You enjoy mentoring high school students and are VOLY cleared to work with them.
- You have civic reporting know-how and experience, plus an aptitude for storytelling and compelling narratives.
- You are organized and efficient.
- You are well-versed in digital communication tools, including platforms that young people use to communicate with each other and find their news and information.
- You live in, grew up in, or reflect the culture, diversity and experiences of South Dallas and West Dallas (Spanish fluency is a plus).
- You understand the current challenges of newsrooms and community trust.
- You are creative, innovative and resourceful in your work, and faithful to meet deadlines.
This is a part-time position, estimated at 25-30 hours a week, with an annual salary of $30,000. The job will begin right around the start of Dallas ISD’s school year, Aug. 16. The schedule is flexible except for set student class times during or after the school day, which will be determined at the onset of the 2021-22 school year. Our goal is to grow the pathway and eventually make this a full-time position.
If you are interested in applying for this position, please submit your résumé and work samples by Tuesday, Aug. 3, via this link: https://forms.gle/cijEtm6LxK3V3XPh6
Applications for this position will not be accepted via email, and we will be unable to respond to applicants until after Aug. 3.
If you are interested in partnering with Dallas Free Press on the journalism pathway, please reach out to executive director Keri Mitchell.
If you’d like to financially support Dallas Free Press and the journalism pathway, you can do so here. We also invite you to follow our work and be notified of volunteer opportunities via email, texts to South Dallas and West Dallas residents (in English and Spanish), and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.