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Join us as a Now Then Community Correspondent

We’re looking for someone to report on their chosen community in Sheffield, whether that’s a geographic neighbourhood or a community of interest, identity or faith - or something else completely.

Now Then Product Photo MG 3001

Opus is looking for a journalist to report on the many communities of Sheffield which are underrepresented in local and regional media through its flagship project, Now Then Magazine.

This could be shining a light on local decision-making and speaking truth to power. It could be empowering people at neighbourhood level. It could be shouting about the great things happening in our communities or challenging media narratives which damage cohesion in our city.

We say ‘could’, because we want you to be part of shaping what this job is and what it can achieve.

Vital statistics

  • Location: Sheffield, UK. Home working assumed, depending on Covid. Office space available near Bramall Lane.

  • Hours: Up to 2 days per week, starting in January or February 2021. Working hours flexible. Job share applicants welcome.

  • Contract: Temporary (for a period of six months).
  • Rate: £9.30 per hour (Living Wage Foundation accredited rate).

  • Deadline for applications: Extended to Friday 29th January 2021 (We are no longer taking applications. Thanks for your interest.)

The role

You’ll need to find stories and write them up for publication, make new connections and choose your own areas of focus. This could mean setting a geographic boundary for your coverage (for example, the north-east of the city) or looking at underrepresented communities of interest, identity or faith.

We want to allow space and freedom within this role because we know that, when it comes to the many communities of Sheffield, we don’t know what we don’t know. We will measure success against how well our stories represent the passions and concerns of local people to the wider city through Now Then's platforms.

You will work with Now Then’s small staff team, and sometimes with our volunteer community writers too.

You will need to be self-motivated and enthusiastic about journalism - and about Sheffield.

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected different communities in different ways, so you will need to raise awareness of how the most vulnerable or marginalised members of our society have been affected by the crisis.

Some examples of past Now Then articles which could inform future editorial direction:

Hours & pay

This is a part-time position of up to 2 days per week (subject to discussion) for a period of 6 months.

The rate of pay is the real living wage of £9.30 per hour. We know this is low by industry standards - however it is what all Opus employees are paid, including the company directors and Now Then’s Editor-in-Chief. When we increase wages, which we aim to do in line with Living Wage Foundation recommendations, we do so for everyone who works at the company.

The role is part of a pilot project funded by South Yorkshire's Community Foundation. It’s temporary but we will explore how we might support further paid work beyond this six-month project.

What we’re looking for

Essential criteria

  • Some experience and/or training in journalism. This doesn't have to be formal - it could be unpublished writing, work done as a student, or any other type of experience which you think makes you well-suited.

  • A passion for Sheffield and for representing its underrepresented communities through journalism.

  • A desire to explore outside corporate media narratives that have shaped the city in recent years.

  • Hard worker, who is comfortable managing deadlines, creating and following their own leads, and working on multiple stories at once.

  • Confident communicator with good interpersonal skills.

  • Good level of IT/digital skills.

  • Self-motivated, able to generate ideas and good at managing time.

  • Ability to work flexibly - from home where needed, but with some office time once we return to ‘normal’ working patterns.

Desirable criteria

  • Formal training and/or good experience in journalism.

  • Existing connections to community or communities.

  • Willing and able to travel around the city (Covid depending).

  • Able to speak and write in a language other than English.

To apply...

Please send the below to sam@weareopus.org by Friday 29th January.

  • Your CV.
  • A short cover letter (no more than 600 words), explaining why you think you’d be well-suited to the role and which community or communities you would want to report on.
  • Some examples of your past writing (links or attachments).
  • A filled-in Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form (optional but encouraged, available to download here).

If you have any questions about the role or the application, feel free to get in touch.

We are also open to applications made in different formats (e.g. video, audio).

Diversity and equal opportunities

Diversity in our workforce is a priority for Opus. As well as the clear moral imperative of properly reflecting our city’s make-up, diversity in our team improves how we work, how we ‘frame’ problems and their possible solutions, and how we interact with stakeholders and audiences.

We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds. In particular, we encourage people who are currently underrepresented at Opus to apply - writers of colour, writers with a disability, and writers who identify as LGBTQ+.

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