Join FRONTLINE As a Knight-Mozilla OpenNews Fellow!


August 11, 2015

We were thrilled to find out that FRONTLINE was selected as a host organization for a 2016 Knight-Mozilla OpenNews fellow. While most know us for our hard-hitting, in-depth documentaries that air on PBS, what you may not realize is that in the last few years, we’ve transformed ourselves into a truly transmedia organization committed to rigorous journalism and pushing boundaries beyond the broadcast.

Who We Are

FRONTLINE is a place where people care about big ideas: We give ourselves the time and space to go deep and truly understand our world. We’re passionate about investigative journalism: We know that corruption and malfeasance isn’t going to expose itself so we have to do the hard work to shine a light into dark places and hold people accountable. We believe in narrative, creating a good story well told, and we are driven by a relentless commitment to fairness.

We’re also public media. “We answer to no one but you” is more than just a tagline, it’s our responsibility. We are transparent about our journalism and we make our films available online — we currently have 189 full films streaming on our website. And we extend this philosophy to the open source community. Our goal is to build tools and practices that can be used by other newsrooms, and especially throughout public media.

We’re collaborative. In recent years, we’ve launched investigations with partners including The New York Times, NPR, ProPublica, Univision, the Center for Investigative Reporting and many others.

And we’re experimental. Innovation and experimentation are an expectation in our newsroom. Some of our projects include:

  • In-depth data interactives like Ballot Watch, which monitors changes to state voting laws, and Concussion Watch, which will be going into its fourth season of tracking all officially reported head injuries in the NFL.
  • Interactive documentaries, like David Coleman Headley’s Web of Betrayal and Web of Terror, both of which explore the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai.
  • Digital-first documentaries, like Stickup Kid, which explores what happens when a juvenile offender is sent to adult prison, and The Bombing of al-Bara, a rare first-hand account depicting the immediate aftermath of a government airstrike in Syria.

We believe in meeting our audience where they are and we are proponents of “right-form” video, created natively for the platform. To that end we’ve recently launched a YouTube channel as well as several Facebook-first series.

Why Apply

This is a really exciting time for anyone working in visual journalism — particularly with video — and the possibilities for innovation are endless. We believe the shift to mobile and social video is revolutionary, not unlike the transition from watching films on a theater screen to watching television in your living room. Virtual reality and interactive documentaries bring the viewer into the story, allowing them to self-navigate, letting their personal curiosity lead the way. As creators, we cannot treat these as promotional opportunities. We need to be creating original content that is native to the platform.

As a Knight-Mozilla OpenNews fellow at FRONTLINE, you’ll be right in the middle of all of these conversations, gaining hands-on experience and working with everyone in our newsroom, including our executive producer, Raney Aronson-Rath (a 2014-15 MIT Open Doc Lab fellow).

You’ll work closely with our digital team, based in Boston — a lively hub of technologists and innovators who are thinking about these issues at places like the MIT Open Doc Lab, the Nieman Foundation and elsewhere. We’re a close-knit team of 10 reporters, video producers, developers, designers and audience development specialists. But you’ll also get to know and work with our award-winning filmmakers and our world-class post-production team, who are always on top of the latest trends in cameras and editing software.

The Details

We’re looking for a creative storyteller who wants to explore these opportunities with us. We’d like someone with boundless curiosity, a sharp eye for visual storytelling and experience with rich media on the web. We expect to be using HTML5 video, popcorn.js, Unity and similar tools. Javascript is a must. Experience with native mobile apps or VR is a bonus.

We hope you’ll join us! Applications are due Aug. 21 at midnight; apply here.

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