Senior Social Media Journalist, First Draft News

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Location: London
Salary details: £35-42,000pa DOE
  • Full-Time

First Draft is looking for an experienced journalist with excellent writing and online research skills to join the London editorial team.

The senior social media journalist will be central in maintaining the high quality of First Draft’s editorial output across the organisation’s website, newsletters and social media channels, as well as monitoring online communities and conversations for disinformation and media manipulation around the world as part of the pioneering CrossCheck initiative.

Key duties and responsibilities include original reporting on issues of information disorder for expert and non-expert audiences; using investigative and computational methods to identify co-ordinated, automated or inauthentic activity on social media; and creating training materials and resources to help journalists and other relevant parties become more resilient against media manipulation.

The advertised position is ideal for journalists with experience in online research and verification skills, a hunger to better understand the impact of technology on society and a desire to help others do the same.

The senior social media journalist will work at First Draft’s London offices (near Kennington Park, SW9) to research and monitor online trends in a balanced and unbiased way, working with and reporting to First Draft’s Digital Editor. 

Key Accountabilities

  • Developing and producing original written and multimedia coverage on the effects of disinformation and media manipulation.
  • Helping First Draft maintain the highest editorial and research standards across all output channels.
  • Working with the Training and Outreach teams to develop online training resources.
  • Supporting the work of CrossCheck partners by monitoring social media for examples of disinformation and media manipulation around key news events.
  • Working with journalists and editors from a broad range of newsrooms across the political spectrum to amplify the work of CrossCheck partners.
  • Building monitoring systems to more efficiently identify online trends and conversations.
  • Investigating how false or misleading claims are spread and amplified online, including identifying patterns, suspicious activity, co-ordinated inauthentic behaviour and online advertising.
  • Applying advanced search and verification tools and techniques on a daily basis.
  • Representing First Draft at industry events.
  • Co-ordinating with the Education and Outreach teams to develop other elements of First Draft’s output.
  • Able to deputise for the Digital Editor where appropriate.



  • At least three years experience in a newsroom or similar editorial role.
  • A strong understanding of the online information landscape and concepts of information disorder.
  • Knowledge of advanced digital research and verification techniques.
  • Excellent standard of written English and a well-developed writing style.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • A confident, pro-active and ambitious attitude.


  • Familiarity with social media monitoring tools and platforms such as Tweetdeck and CrowdTangle.
  • Familiarity with computational and multimedia journalism skills and tools such as Python and R or Adobe Illustrator and After Effects.
  • Fluency in a second language is desirable.


To apply, please send your CV with three examples of your published work and a cover letter that illustrates why you are a great match for this role to Please mention Journo Resources when applying for jobs – it really helps us out.

The closing date for applications is Friday 28 February 2020, with interviews commencing from Monday 10 February 2020.

Recruitment Policy

First Draft is working hard to build a diverse and inclusive team in each of our locations. We do not discriminate based on race, gender, age, disability, religion, identity or lifestyle. We actively encourage applications from individuals who may traditionally face barriers to entering the fields of journalism, research, product design and training, such as access to education or work experience.

Successful applicants will be offered a position based on their demonstrable knowledge, skills and interest in our work and overall mission. All First Draft employees will be expected to take an active role in maintaining a positive and supportive work environment, as part of a proud, unified, considerate and respectful team. Examples of this are a willingness to support and encourage the professional development of colleagues alongside your own, and an openness to listen to and accept suggestions and criticism in an often challenging and high-pressure environment.

First Draft prioritises the welfare of its staff and actively promotes the awareness and prevention of vicarious trauma and other mental and physical illness associated with researching distressing content, and the long term impact of sedentary or solitary working.

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