Time is running out to join The Post
Like what you see? Come join us
There are now less than three days left to apply to become the new staff writer at The Post. The windows slams shut on 24 September (that’s Sunday) so this week we’re having one last push for applicants. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, have tons of experience or are new on the block, as long as you’ve got the talent and work ethic to do the kind of journalism that makes a real difference then we’d encourage you to apply.
We’re able to expand thanks to one key fact: the company we belong to, the Mill Media Co, recently raised £350,000 from an assortment of investors. They included the new CEO of CNN Mark Thompson (formerly of the New York Times and BBC), who said that “Britain’s cities need great commercially sustainable journalism to inform the public and hold powerful institutions to account”. While we simply hate to brag, we must acknowledge: yes, he’s talking about us.
This hire comes at a crucial time, so it’s important we get it right. We’ll be looking to prove ourselves not just as an interesting experiment in a type of non-clickbait based local journalism. No, we’re setting out to establish ourselves as a genuine alternative to the current way of doing things (where three massive companies own virtually every local news outlet in the UK). To be frank, local journalism in this country is largely a shambles. As we grow we’ve got a chance to prove that our way of doing things — high-quality and reader-funded — can be the answer. But we need the right person to help us do it.
So who is that person? Well, you’ll find out the specific qualities we’re after in the job ad below, but here’s a summary.
Energy: the kind of person willing to chase and chase stories, even down blind alleys, to find leads, but also constantly thinking up new ways we can grow The Post and spread the word. It is a startup after all.
Beautiful writing: the sort of writing you might see in a national newspaper’s weekend supplement or in the New Yorker, but that hasn’t been a feature of local news in the country in decades. We’re trying to change that. At The Post you might spend weeks or even months working on a story, and nobody’s going to ask you to turn around a list of the top 7 most popular casino sites for UK players, nor Holly Willoughby’s £95 trousers (that look “very smart”). We want people to take the time to develop the craft of their writing as well as their news reporting.
A belief in what we’re doing: perhaps this is the most important thing of all. The Post isn’t just a site to keep people up to date with goings on in their communities. It’s a genuine attempt to provide a new and improved model for what local journalism can be. We look forward to reading your applications.
PS. Small postscript to this very lengthy email: if you think “I am not a writer!” but you have impressive editorial/commercial chops, please consider applying to the other two jobs the Mill has going: senior editor and head of commercial at the company, as detailed here. While theoretically these jobs are based in Manchester, we’d be open to hiring someone based in Liverpool if they were the right person for the role.
Staff writer, The Post
Location: Liverpool (the reporter must live full-time in the city region)
Salary: Dependent on experience (£20k-£25k range)
Basis: Full-time role
Start date: October 2023
Application deadline: Sunday, September 24th 2023
The Post started in 2021 with a mission to change journalism in Liverpool and the surrounding region by publishing the kind of stories you don’t find in the local press. Every week, we produce thoughtful, long-form articles that help our readers connect with their city, including features, investigative stories, news briefings and interviews (our greatest hits include a hilarious piece about the Adelphi hotel, an investigation into the Eldonian village and an exposé about a council-funded trip to South Africa). Our work has been picked up in the national press and our stories often reach tens of thousands of readers. That’s why well over 17,000 readers have joined our mailing list already and why we now have almost 1,200 paying members, who get four editions of The Post in their inboxes every week.
This is a job for a journalist who believes in our mission, loves the kind of reporting we do and is passionate about applying our brand of journalism to many more stories in the years ahead. We need someone who has a natural flair for reporting — the kind of person who relishes trying to get hold of sources on the phone and enjoys chasing stories even if they seem like dead ends. You will be someone who likes getting to grips with complex issues and stories by speaking to experts and insiders and who has the ability to explain those issues clearly to readers.
Given the salary for this role, we would expect to hire a recent graduate or someone who has a few years of experience in journalism, but we are open to people at all stages of their careers and will judge applicants on their applications and performance in interviews and writing tests rather than what they have on their CV.
Producing consistently high-quality journalism for The Post that goes a level deeper than most newspaper reporting — including news reports, features, interviews and investigations.
Generating dozens of fantastic and highly original story ideas every month, both for you and for our other staff and freelance writers.
Developing exceptional contacts within Liverpool’s political, cultural and business worlds so that we can break significant stories in the city.
Helping to grow The Post by posting on social media, assisting with our marketing and fostering strong bonds with our community of members.
Contributing to the day-to-day running of The Post by answering emails from readers, setting up interviews for others and helping us to build our editorial schedule.
Working pattern: This is a full-time role. You will work two days a week at a co-working space in Liverpool with the rest of the Post team, and remotely the rest of the time. You will make fortnightly visits to The Mill’s office in Manchester.
Reporting flair: Someone with an unusual talent for unearthing information, including huge energy when pursuing a story, a knack for getting hold of people on the phone and the ability to develop contacts over time.
Clear writing: Someone who can write with clarity and distil complex issues for readers — you don’t need to have extensive experience writing long features but you need to be able to engage readers and write precisely.
Independence: Someone capable of working independently without lots of supervision from editors — that means being exceptionally organised, very communicative with colleagues and self-motivated when working on stories.
Growth mindset: Someone with an entrepreneurial spirit who is motivated by The Post’s growth as well as our journalism and wants to be a part of building a new media organisation, including the unglamorous stuff.
Post values: Someone who is committed to our key editorial values: accuracy, nuance, thoughtfulness, fairness to sources and giving readers the context they need to understand what is going on.
How to apply
To apply for this role, email firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday 24 September at the latest (earlier applications are appreciated). We don’t expect every applicant to be a long-time reader of The Post, but please make sure you are very familiar with our work before you apply.
Please include the following things in your application (all within the body of the email, not as attachments).
Four or five paragraphs introducing who you are and why you would be a good fit for this role.
Three links to stories you have written, each with one or two sentences explaining how they demonstrate the attributes listed above.
Three ideas you have for stories you would like to work on if you joined The Post.
Any other relevant details, for example how long your notice period is.