Job listing: Data researcher for Economist Films

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Job Title: Data Researcher

Location: London, WC2N 6HT

Hours: 35 hours per week - Monday to Friday, 10am to 6pm

Wage: Competitive

Contract: Fixed Term (exact dates to be confirmed, dependent on start date)

Job description
Economist Films is the award-winning factual production arm of the global current-affairs newspaper, The Economist. Economist Films captures The Economist’s globally curious outlook in short, mind-stretching films, which offer clear, sharp analysis of a subject, presented in a compelling and digestible way. On average our films are viewed 30m times across 15 platforms every month. They are distributed via the publisher’s editorial channels and social platforms including Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram IGTV. They can also be viewed on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Google Chromecast, Android TV and ROKU, among others.

Economist Films are looking for a Data Researcher to join the production team. You will be helping to produce The Economist’s twice-weekly “Daily Watch”, including short-form documentaries, animated films and explainers, and you will be an integral part of the team tasked with developing and launching a new weekly format for our YouTube channel.

We are looking for a candidate with the ability to research data-driven elements for all of the above in collaboration with other members of the production team, and to source and help produce data visualisations and infographics. You should be able to visualise on-screen graphics, in order to then hand over to a specialised designer.

The ideal candidate will also be well-read with a broad general knowledge that reflects The Economist’s content, including current affairs, culture, business and technology. You will need to be able to learn quickly in this unique environment.

An interest in film and on-screen data representation is essential, as is the ability to demonstrate excellence in researching and analysing data, excellent written and spoken communication, numeracy and literacy skills, creativity and journalistic judgment.

Role Responsibility

  • Initiating, researching and developing fresh ideas for films.
  • Improving the quality and representation of data within films and pitching ideas for data-driven elements or stories.
  • Keeping abreast of the news and reading a wide range of newspapers, magazines and other source material.
  • Suggesting original, thought-provoking and if appropriate humorous treatments.
  • Writing clear, concise and accurate briefs for film-makers.
  • Fact-checking, sometimes at short notice, to tight deadlines.
  • Having the confidence to reject narratives and allegations reported elsewhere as a result of research.
  • Adapting to a fast-changing environment.

Main duties

  • After initial briefing by the senior editorial staff or producer, undertake independent research to a broad or specific brief, using all sources of reference, both internal and external, including proper note-taking. Such research may involve either a journalistic or academic approach and involve finding and contacting individuals and organisations, or understanding and accessing relevant materials from The Economist’s archive of data journalism.
  • Deliver a solid grounding in journalistic methods, for example the ability to research a topic, spot a story and write it up clearly and engagingly.
  • Be prepared to work as part of a strong and effective team. Able to demonstrate judgment and where appropriate refer issues to more experienced members of the production team.
  • Take responsibility for delivering to tight deadlines while maintaining the highest standards.
  • Suggest strong stories and offer creative and compelling ways of presenting research material within the programme.
  • To maintain excellent communications with The Economist’s data journalists, acting as the key liaison between the two departments.

Desirable skills and experience
Skills in some or all of: data-mining/scraping; statistical packages and programming languages such as R, Stata and pandas or scikit-learn in Python; databases and SQL; visualisation tools like Adobe Illustrator, AfterEffects, D3.js and QGIS.

A keen understanding of global politics and economics. Particular emphasis will be placed on identifying the primary points of journalistic interest in a complex dataset, and conveying them clearly and concisely for a general audience.

To apply, please send your CV and cover letter to hello@economistfilms.com, before Friday 19th July 2019.

The Economist Group values diversity. We are committed to equal opportunities and creating an inclusive environment for all our employees. We welcome applicants regardless of ethnic origin, national origin, gender, race, colour, religious beliefs, disability, sexual orientation or age.