Posted On: September 13, 2018
Media Organization: PEN America
PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.
PEN America seeks a consultant to conduct preliminary background research and make recommendations for the scope and structure of a qualitative report on "information deserts" - areas where the shrinking of local news sources has resulted in a dearth of reporting on issues of local concern - and their impact on democracy and civic life.
This initial scoping project will aim to define and sharpen the focus of a larger research report to be carried out over the next nine months, helping to hone in on how such a project can best contribute to knowledge in the field and to concrete action to foster free expression, a vibrant media and access to information in communities affected by shrinking availability of news. Building on existing work, the consultant will complete a literature review of recent contributions to the field, conduct 6-12 expert interviews, and offer 2-3 fleshed out proposals for project scope, direction, content and impact in order to refine and concretize plans for the larger project.
Ideal candidates will have research experience and first-hand knowledge of or interest in journalism, including particularly regional and local news. PEN America aims to publish the final report in the first half of 2019. Initial scoping is anticipated to take 3-6 weeks. A successful consultant for the initial scoping project will be seriously considered as a candidate to complete the larger research report, should that be of interest.
Please send a resume and letter of interest to Summer Lopez, PEN America Senior Director of Free Expression Programs, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with PEN America’s work and mission, including particularly prior research reports, before applying.