CUNY Journalism School

CUNY Journalism Program


Senior Investigator

Post Date:Dec 13, 2017Type:Full time
Start Date:January 2018Salary:
Location: United States - District of Columbia - Washington Job Reference:
Job Description:

Through monitoring changes to federal websites, it’s possible to understand how public access to public Web resources is changing and, in turn, register shifts in the government’s stated policies and priorities. Documenting and reporting on these changes allows the public to hold our government accountable for how it presents information, as well as enabling analyses of how changes affect the public and important government functions, like notice-and-comment rulemaking.

GovWebWatch (G2W) will launch in January 2018 to begin this work. Building on our past efforts at the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative (EDGI), we’re now expanding beyond documenting changes to environment, climate, and energy federal websites. Our work will be separate from, but complementary to, EDGI’s work, focusing on topics such as health and healthcare, civil rights, immigration, criminal justice, and others. We will work in partnership with the Sunlight Foundation, a digital transparency non-profit, which will serve as the main publisher for our reports and analyses.

We are looking to bring on a new team member to help lead our effort:

Start date: January 2018

Compensation and duration: We are offering competitive pay for either a six month fixed-term contractor position or a full-time employee position with full benefits

Core roles and responsibilities:

  1. Researching and scoping agency websites for monitoring

  2. Using our software to monitor key websites on a regular basis

  3. Writing and vetting reports based on investigations of important identified changes

  4. Working with journalists and civil society groups to disseminate findings

  5. Maintaining a website change tracker

  6. Writing blog posts that provide context for particularly significant changes

There will also be opportunities for further analysis and investigation, which might include:

  1. Working to understand the decision-making process leading up to changes at agencies, including investigating emails, memos, or other communications

  2. Analyzing how agency website practices may be in violation of Web records guidelines, regulations, or laws, like those issued by the National Archives (NARA) or the Office of Management and Budget

  3. Drafting recommendations on best practices for how agencies should provide notice for website changes, as well as how to log and archive them

  4. Analyzing how changes to Web resources impact the public's capacity to benefit from or understand governance and engage in democratic processes, like notice-and-comment rulemaking

Strong experience in research or investigative work
Bachelor's degree or equivalent experience, Master's degree prefered
Good written and verbal communication skills
Experience leading small teams, organizations, and/or projects
Comfort learning and using new software
Detail-oriented with demonstrated experience of planning and leading meetings
Ability and willingness to work independently
Proven ability to work as a member of a team, and to successfully manage multiple projects and changing priorities
Proactivity in organizing, documenting, and communicating effectively with stakeholders
Ability to take initiative to explore monitoring leads and additional topics for focus

Other requirements:
U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status

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Contact Information
Toly Rinberg

United States

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