Civic Media Manager

Submitted by hratfsm on Wed, 01/17/2018 - 9:52am

Free Spirit Media

Job Title: Civic Media Manager

Reports To: Deputy Director

Supervises:FSM News Programs, Real Chi Youth Program, Open Lab, Youth Council



The Civic Media Managerfor Free Spirit Media leads the organizations’ out-of-school time media arts & journalism programs, which provide underrepresented emerging media-makers ages 14-25 with professional development, production and skills training, community journalism, mentorship and work-placed opportunities.


FSM News West & South are media arts and journalism after school programs that provide high school participants with the opportunity to gain skills in camera operation, audio recording, performance, writing, video editing and photography. FSM News is based at two media labs on Chicago's West and South sides.


Real Chi Youth is an experimental "learning newsroom" in North Lawndale for young adults interested in learning to produce high-quality, solutions-oriented, community journalism on the job. Our journalists learn to use new media technology to interrupt and transform the one-note news coverage that Chicago's West and South sides receive.


The Civic Media Manager for Free Spirit Media plays a key role in driving program design and execution, partner engagement and strategic alliances, and participant engagement and advocacy. The ideal candidate should have a familiarity with the local journalism landscape; a background in media education, particularly with youth & young adults; and a strong interest in creative workforce development. The Civic Media Managerconnects participants, partners, mentors and employers, playing the role of advocate. To be successful, the Civic Media Manager needs to be a well-organized, dynamic project manager and passionate youth advocate, who balances relationship building with mentors and young people, while developing, executing and evaluating innovative, impactful programs with community and organizational partners.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

·         Oversee and execute the development and implementation of program vision, portfolio, and model for growth, determining staffing, budget and program activities 

·         Continue to align programs with existing Free Spirit Media programs’ curriculum and programmatic strategic goals, seeking opportunities for collaboration with all program staff

·         Provide oversight and guidance to ensure consistency of program delivery and facilitation reflecting best practices across all programs through the following: logic and program model reflecting, best practices in youth development, professional development practices, completion of program plans, partner meetings, and program evaluation oversight

·         Lead ongoing development of the evaluation model, tools and systems for programs, overseeing the ongoing collection and management of all data to align with strategic priorities and funding requirements

·         Maintain and improve participant and mentor database and tracking systems, ensuring documentation of participant and mentor engagement and progression

·         Build and maintain relationships with industry professionals to leverage mentorship and entry level & apprenticeship positions in media & journalism industries

·         Develop and manage partnerships with key programmatic partners and mentors

·         Collaborate with other program managers and members of the leadership team to ensure a strong organizational bond

·         Monitor and manage staff workload and assess capacity/changes in key responsibilities; meet with the team on a consistent basis to develop programming structure and supports, provide feedback; Set expectations and accountability by creating performance goals and clarifying alignment to strategic organizational goals

·         Oversee the implementation of the media arts & journalism initiatives in the strategic plan

·         Collaborate on grant proposals, funder reports, and lead partner evaluation strategies

·         Represent FSM in external settings to other organizations through conferences, workshops, and community events

·         Attend all quarterly leadership, technology, and manager team meetings to support the development of strategic organizational goals, grant outcomes, technology processes, and youth council events

·         Support the production of high quality media projects

·         Position and promote work for distribution and dissemination among audiences

·         Encourage and amplify the social media presence of FSM, its programs and content

·         Develop and pursue strategies for innovative practice

·         Other duties as assigned

Skills & Qualifications: 

Qualifications, Education and/or Experience

·         Bachelor's degree in journalism and/or education or comparable professional experience

·         5+ years experience working in program development and management

·         Experience with journalism, media arts, youth development, and/or social justice organizations preferred

·         Experience leading, developing, and supervising a strong team

·         Excellent managerial skills, experience working cross-departmentally, and proven track record of building systems and processes for organizational sustainability

·         Comprehensive knowledge and familiarity with a variety of journalism and media arts environments

·         Passionate about youth and their education and inspiring youth voice and vision

·         Experience or interest in engaging and working with youth, primarily ages 14-25

·         Excellent people skills working in a diverse team environment

·         Excellent organizational abilities and capacity to manage multiple projects at a time

·         Proven track record of innovation, creativity, problem-solving and taking initiative

·         Excellent verbal and written communication skills and a high level of computer literacy


Work Requirements:

This is a full-time position.  Hours may exceed 40 hours per/week.  Occasional evening and weekend hours required.  Ability to drive and/or own a reliable vehicle is strongly preferred.


Compensation & Benefits:

Salary: Competitive and commensurate with education and experience; Range $48,000 - $52,000

Benefits: Competitive package including healthcare, dental, and vision; IRA match after 1 year

Paid Time Off: 18 Paid Time Off days accrued during first year in addition to 16 paid holidays

Professional development: Funds available to support staff in achieving career objectives

To Apply: 

To Apply:

Please e-mail resume, cover letter and salary history to hr@freespiritmedia.orgwith subject line: Civic Media Manager: {Your Name}. 


Free Spirit Media is an equal opportunity employer committed to fostering a diverse and equitable environment in which all staff can excel regardless of race, ethnicity, age, faith, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ability. People of color, women, individuals with disabilities and veterans are encouraged to apply.


About Free Spirit Media:

The mission of Free Spirit Media is to cultivate diverse youth voices to transform media and society. Free Spirit Media provides youth on Chicago’s South and West sides with a comprehensive foundation in media literacy and a hands-on media production experience through a youth development lens. We employ a holistic program model to develop youth into productive, connected, and engaged adults. Since our founding in 2001, Free Spirit Media has empowered more than 5,500 youth to share their stories, discover their potential, and engage their peers and communities through digital media. Free Spirit Media’s programming includes school-based media arts education, after school digital media programs, and advanced pathways programs that connect participants with opportunities in professional media industries. Participants at all ages and levels of our programming are supported in developing 21st Century skills that prepare them for success in college and careers. Please see freespiritmedia.orgfor more information.

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