Journalism and Media Program Assistant

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Journalism and media program assistant

The Stanley Center for Peace and Security has an exciting opening for a journalism and media program assistant to join our policy programming team and help our mission-driven organization catalyze real-world change.

We are looking for a driven and intellectually curious individual with a passion for journalism, media, and international affairs to contribute to the design and implementation of the center’s journalism and media programming across three areas of focus: climate change, nuclear weapons, and mass violence and atrocities.

Reporting to the director of policy programming strategy and working as part of a two-person team under the day-to-day direction of the journalism and media program officer, the program assistant will help to create workshops, reporting fellowships, investigative reporting projects, story labs, and other programs for journalists and media professionals in the United States and around the world.

This is a full-time position that offers opportunities for international travel, learning, and growth within the organization. Strong candidates will have an interest in global peace and security challenges, policy change, and the news media and information environment, with a bachelor’s degree in the field of journalism/media or a related subject. Applicants must be legally authorized to work in the United States. Please see below for details on how to apply. Only complete applications will be considered.

More about Journalism and Media Programming

About the Stanley Center

The Stanley Center for Peace and Security partners with people, organizations, and the greater global community to drive policy progress in three issue areas—mitigating climate change, avoiding the use of nuclear weapons, and preventing mass violence and atrocities. The center was created in 1956 and maintains its independence while developing forums for diverse perspectives and ideas. To realize our vision of a secure and enduring peace, we design and implement programming activities through projects and partnerships that span the globe. We value independent, accurate journalism and the role journalists and the media play in building better-informed societies, more-accountable institutions, and effective global governance.

Based in Muscatine, Iowa, the center is constructing a new home that will become one of the most ecologically sustainable office buildings in the world.

The Stanley Center offers a competitive pay and benefits package, including health, dental, and vision insurance, paid parental leave, employee assistance program, career development opportunities, fitness reimbursement, tuition assistance, a retirement plan, and much more, and, if hired, the center will reimburse or pay covered relocation expenses.


Full Position Description

A key member of the Stanley Center team, the program assistant supports the planning, implementation, and impact assessment of the center’s journalism and media programming across three issue areas—climate change, nuclear weapons, and mass violence and atrocities. All journalism and media programming furthers the center’s mission, vision, and strategic goals.

The center believes that independent, accurate journalism plays an important role in building better-informed societies, more-accountable institutions, and effective global governance. In support of this belief, we organize activities such as workshops, reporting fellowships, investigative reporting projects, story labs, and other programs to provide journalists and media practitioners with the information, tools, and training they need to produce reporting that is fact-based and impactful. Our programming is often created and carried out in close collaboration with journalism and media partners around the world. In all these efforts, we uphold and respect the processes and principles of a free and independent press.

The program assistant is a part of the policy programming team, reporting to the director of policy programming strategy and working under the day-to-day direction of the program officer responsible for the center’s journalism and media programming.

Primary Responsibilities

Program Support: Because the design and implementation of programming is how the Stanley Center furthers its vision, mission, and goals, the program assistant provides key support to our programming activities as part of a two-person team. As part of program support, the program assistant:

  • Supports the development and pursuit of our journalism and media programming strategies.
  • Assists with the design and implementation of our journalism and media programming activities.
  • Collaborates across departments to ensure our delivery of high-impact programming.

Specific program-support responsibilities of the program assistant include:

  • Researching, tracking, and monitoring: journalists; journalism/media networks, organizations, and funders; participants in previous journalism and media programming; and new contacts, including prospective partners and participants, across the three global peace and security challenges the center’s work focuses on. This also includes keeping the information gathered organized.
  • Drafting text for various uses across the organization and with external partners.
  • Collaborating closely with the Communications Department, and others as needed, on journalism- and media-programming-related communications and publications (social media, newsletters, reports, blogs, and other content on the center’s website).
  • Liaising with the Operations Department when planning, organizing, and carrying out programming events.
  • Keeping the program officer for journalism and media programming, as well as others on the policy programming team and co-workers in other departments, well informed of developments and progress on assigned work.
  • Participating in programming activities or other events in the United States and abroad organized by the Stanley Center, its partners, or others.

External Networking and Relationship Maintenance: Because collaboration with other organizations is a key element of the Stanley Center’s work, the program assistant is a part of networking and maintaining strong and supportive ties with key organizational partners, journalists, editors, and other media professionals. As part of networking and relationship maintenance, responsibilities of the program assistant include:

  • Supporting the center’s journalism and media-oriented networking and relationship development by tracking media trends and the work of current partners or participants and by researching potential new partners or participants and programming models.
  • Assisting with external collaboration with outside partners, including by scheduling and being a part of planning meetings, drafting documents (e.g., agendas, invitation lists), and other related tasks.
  • Keeping journalism and media contacts organized and up to date in the center’s contact database and management system.
  • Displaying the determination and excitement of the center’s vision and mission through daily engaged and positive relationships in and beyond the organization.
  • Communicating effectively the vision, mission, and values of the center and the goals and strategies of the journalism and media programming.

Learning: Because the Stanley Center has a learning process to help us best understand the impact of the center’s programming, the program assistant is expected to understand and contribute to that process. For the program assistant, this includes:

  • Working with the program officer responsible for journalism and media programming, and outside partners as needed, to collect impact data (quantitative and qualitative) for the center’s learning process, including administering postactivity assessment surveys.
  • Working with the program officer responsible for journalism and media programming to incorporate lessons learned from activity-specific assessments and to adjust programming to reflect feedback from midcycle and end-of-cycle evaluations for each of the programming areas.
  • Participating in cross-team learning from assessing programming impact.
  • Building their own media intelligence that allows them to understand how best to engage journalists, editors, and others in media around the center’s policy issue area work.

Team Contribution: Because the Stanley Center values teamwork and collaboration, we expect the program assistant to:

  • Use open, respectful, and inclusive communication. Communicate needs and expectations early and often. Practice the art of humble inquiry.
  • Meet deadlines agreed upon with others. Communicate with those affected as soon as it is known or suspected a deadline is in jeopardy of not being met.
  • Confront difficult situations early. Call out, as close to the moment as possible, statements and behaviors that seem contrary to the kind of workplace we want to create.
  • Celebrate success and show appreciation to others who contributed to the success.
  • Keep an open mind and be willing to hear others’ ideas. Be willing to learn, including from others’ past relevant experiences, and consider different approaches to achieving success or excellence. Brainstorm, problem solve, and share information within and across departments.
  • Use a “we” instead of a “me” approach to your work every day.

As part of the larger staff team, the program assistant contributes to internal reporting mechanisms, meetings, and processes/procedures as requested. The program assistant may be part of organizational committees or other groups focused on tasks outside of their primary responsibilities.


The ideal candidate will possess:

  • A bachelor’s degree with coursework in a relevant discipline (journalism, media, mass communications, international affairs, or a related field).
  • Practical experience producing journalism or media content and/or interacting with journalists and media organizations and a demonstrated familiarity with a variety of news and media platforms.
  • An interest in international policy and collective action to address global challenges that cannot be solved by one country alone, particularly subject areas related to the center’s vision, mission, or areas of programming focus—climate change, nuclear weapons, and mass violence and atrocities.
  • Excellent communication and active listening skills, including the ability to present your own ideas and other information effectively and to provide and accept appropriate feedback.
  • Demonstrated organizational skills, including the ability to track details and manage multidirectional information flows across multiple ongoing activities and to set goals for, plan, schedule, and organize work in a way that allows for a high level of quality productivity.
  • Strong writing and analytical skills, including the ability to connect larger ideas with their practical application in designing and implementing programming.
  • Demonstrated collaborative skills on behalf of shared goals in a team setting, including the ability to establish trust and maintain openness/transparency with others across the organization and adopt work habits that contribute to a positive work environment.
  • An interest in gaining new or additional knowledge of and experience with programming design and implementation.
  • An aptitude for networking and relationship building.

Additional desirable traits include:

  • Project- or program-implementation experience, including a proven capacity to set goals and meet deadlines and schedules.
  • Familiarity with effective social media use (especially Twitter) and other digital media and communications platforms.
  • Ability to speak, read, and/or write in multiple languages.
  • Study, travel, or living experience outside of the United States.

The position requires frequent travel. Applicants must be legally authorized to work in the United States.

This position is located at the Stanley Center office in Muscatine, Iowa, a unique community of 23,000 people with affordable housing and a variety of recreational opportunities on the Mississippi River. Since its founding in 1956, the center has been intentionally based in Muscatine. Our location provides a valuable vantage point from which to conduct global operations while also continuing the Stanley family’s commitment to fostering inclusive dialogue, celebrating diverse perspectives, and promoting equity locally. We are currently renovating the former public library to be our new home, transforming the space into one of the most environmentally friendly and ecologically sustainable buildings in the world, with plans to move in for fall 2022.

Within commuting distance of Muscatine are Iowa City (population 70,000)—a UNESCO City of Literature and home of the University of Iowa, the renowned Iowa Writer’s Workshop, and nationally recognized University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics—and the Quad Cities area, comprising Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa, and Moline and Rock Island, Illinois, with a combined population of about 350,000.

While on-site work at the center’s office in Muscatine is mandatory, we offer flexible work hours and allow some remote work each week.

Application Directions

Only complete applications will be considered. A complete application consists of a letter of interest, résumé, references, and a brief writing sample that explains in a clear, direct way how journalism and media interact with policy change. Please send to:

Debra Hughes
Human Resources Generalist
Stanley Center for Peace and Security
209 Iowa Avenue
Muscatine, IA 52761
Phone: 563-264-6865
E-mail: [email protected]

Deadline for application: This position will remain open until filled.

email to Apply

The Stanley Center is an equal opportunity employer; people of color, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. We are committed to building a team that represents a variety of backgrounds, cultures, and experiences, knowing that diverse perspectives lead to new and better ideas. We cultivate an organizational culture that reflects our vision for freedom, justice, and dignity for all people–one that is antiracist and in which all employees are valued and respected.

For more information about working at the Stanley Center and applying for this position, please visit our Careers page and read our Career FAQs.