Contributing Editor

Posted On: July 22, 2014

Journalism Job

Media Organization: Footnote

Company Description

Footnote is an online media company that unlocks the power of academic knowledge by making it accessible to the public. We collaborate with scholars to translate their research and expertise into original content that is accessible and engaging for a mainstream audience. You can learn more by checking out our site ( and our mission statement (

Job Description

Footnote ( is an online media site that turns academic research and knowledge into a news and information resource for the public. We collaborate with scholars to create original content highlighting their expertise and its applications on topics ranging from robotics to healthcare reform to Middle East politics.

We are seeking experienced editors with a background in science, social science, explanatory, or data journalism to help translate academic research into accessible, engaging articles designed for a general audience.

We see academic expertise as a resource that’s largely untapped by the mainstream media and we created Footnote to change that. While the scholars we collaborate with are experts on an impressive number of topics, turning dense, complex information into something the public can use isn’t always one of them. That’s where our editors come in, helping unearth the brilliant ideas of our contributors and polishing them into content mainstream readers can understand and enjoy.


Contributing Editors collaborate directly with scholars from top schools to produce articles showcasing their research and expertise. Editors ensure the contributors’ ideas are communicated in a clear, concise, and accessible manner appropriate for general readers. In addition to providing substantive/developmental editing, editors add hooks, stories, stats, visuals, quotes, and other material to make dry academic discussions more powerful, engaging, and reader-friendly.

As Contributing Editors become familiar with Footnote’s content vision and style, they may expand into managing all stages of the content development process for their articles. Responsibilities could include:
• identification of research topics and studies that are a potential fit for Footnote,
• identification and recruitment of academic contributors,
• development of article concepts and outlines, and
• creation and implementation of strategies for packaging and promoting content.


• At least 2-3 years experience as a substantive/developmental editor, ideally working on content related to academic research and scientific knowledge.
• Excellent editing and writing skills demonstrated in a strong portfolio of work.
• The ability to understand and evaluate basic research methods and statistics and support the creation of content on a wide range of academic topics.
• A keen sense of what makes an article engaging and how to package academic ideas so people want to read and share them.
• Attention to detail and exacting standards for producing articles of the highest quality, in terms of both content and language.
• The ability to manage projects independently and reliably meet deadlines and quality standards.

The Details:

This is a freelance contract position starting at 10-15 hours a week, with the potential to grow, possibly into a full-time staff position. Editors will primarily work from home but should be based in or near New York and available for face-to-face meetings with the team there.

To Apply

If interested, please send a resume and samples of relevant editorial work to Use the subject line “Application for Contributing Editor position” and let us know where you heard about the position.