OBSERVER NEWS

We’re Writing Our Next Chapter — Join us

Are you here to drop us an application for our paid positions? You’re in the right place. Browse this page to learn more, and when you’re ready, click HERE to apply.
At The SAIS Observer, the official student-run newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, our mission is simple, but professional: to capture a pulse of SAIS life through quality journalism, to offer a medium for students to disseminate ideas, and to maintain a platform for bringing today’s and tomorrow’s leaders together to examine the pressing issues of our time.

A few highlights:

  • Cross-campus news organization with “bureaus” in Washington, D.C., Bologna, Italy, and Nanjing, China
  • More than 90,000 page views on our website since launching of our web presence
  • Interviewed leading academics, policymakers, and journalists, including SAIS Dean Vali Nasr, Former CIA Deputy Director John McLaughlin, U.S. Department of State Spokesman P.J. Crowley, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Roy Gutman
  • Became a weekly print and web publication in the Fall 2013
  • Serve as an “internal review system” and vehicle for raising policy issues with the administration

Why join?

Represent the student voice; improve your writing skills; get a taste of journalism; meet and lead interviews with students, faculty, alumni, and policymakers; employ your media talents (web, InDesign, social media, photography, and film); participate in journalism workshops from alumni; and give back to the community. 

How do I apply?

It’s easy. Browse our positions below, and then drop us an application here per the timeline below with the following:

1. statement of interest (less than one page; listing preference for top three roles)
2. your resume

3. one writing sample (800-1,000 words)

Round 1 — due Monday, February 15, 2016 (11:59pm EST)
Round 2 — on a rolling basis

Here are our positions across our three campuses:

Washington, D.C. Bureau
Bologna Bureau
Nanjing Bureau


Washington, D.C. Bureau

Managing Editor (RECRUITING)

Responsible for ensuring the pipeline for the next two weeks is set and is consistent with timely stories. Will work closely with the editor-in-chief in managing the editorial staff of all three campuses; will serve as the key arbiter of content and quality; will ensure all (campus) news pieces are representative of all sides of the discussion and quotes are attributed properly and verified. An article which does not meet the necessary journalistic standards must be pulled, irrespective of the time or issue; this reinforces the importance of the pipeline, early deadlines and back ups in worst case scenarios. Will be the core go-to person for all editorial staff writing pieces that are slotted for publishing. Will be proactive on generating content ideas, reaching out to Section Editors to check on the pipeline of their individual sections, and will coordinate across campuses.

Layout Chief (RECRUITING)

Tasked with managing the Observer’s print publications on a weekly basis using Adobe InDesign. This position serves an essential role to the Observer’s vision of maintaining traditional print on campus in addition to web-based content and social media platforms. Responsibilities include 1) populating all slotted stories (for the next week’s publication) into the InDesign by importing finalized stories and media from the Observer’s cloud platform; 2) updating the “SAIS Speak” column on page 2 with up-to-date official SAIS events, which are published through the weekly “Next Week at SAIS” email; 3) working with the managing editor to arrange stories on page; 4) communicating any gaps in content, space, and other design-related issues with the leadership team; and 5) finalizing each publication into a pdf-ready file for our print publisher, for our archives database on Issuu. The Layout Chief is part of the leadership team and offers a path to leadership opportunities with the paper in the future.

Copy Chief (RECRUITING)

Responsible for ensuring high quality journalism and editing standards through ‘copy editing’ of all articles, stories, and pieces that go in print and on the web. Using ‘The Associate Press Stylebook’ and internal SAIS Observer standards, this person will copy edit all articles on a weekly basis and work with the Section Editors on communicating any needed follow-up matters regarding content, clarification, and sources.

Campus News, Section Editor (RECRUITING)

Stay in the loop on campus happenings; meet students, faculty, and administration; improve your writing; and work with writers across campuses // Responsible for generating one story per week related to Campus News — issues with existing and new policies, administrative matters and changes, new courses or academic changes at SAIS, new facilities or provisions for students, and more. These can come from staff writers or contributing writers from all three campuses. Will also be the point person for the staff writers of campus news in Bologna and Nanjing, namely coordinating stories with them. This will include ensuring that the two stories every week are rotationally representative of each campus (i.e. three weeks should ideally feature stories from DC-Nanjing, Nanjing-Bologna, Bologna-DC).

Student Life, Section Editor (RECRUITING)

Keep the community “in the know” about student life, collaborate with the Bologna and HNC campus, and improve your writing // Responsible for generating one story per week related to Student Life — student events, trips, student profiles, social events, speaker events, and more. *Pieces can be written by the DC Section Editor, staff section editors in Bologna and Nanjing, or from staff and contributing writers from any campus. Pieces not written by the Section Editor must be recruited and assigned by the Section Editor.

Careers, Section Editor (RECRUITING)

Learn about various career paths and trends for SAISers, network with the Career Services office, and improve your writing // Responsible for generating one piece per week on all topics career-related: career treks, employment trends for SAISers, industries, and/or sectors, career fairs, etc. *Pieces can be written by the DC Section Editor, staff section editors in Bologna and Nanjing, or from staff and contributing writers from any campus. Pieces not written by the Section Editor must be recruited and assigned by the Section Editor.

Alumni, Section Editor (RECRUITING)

Network with SAIS alumni across many industries, build a bridge between alumni and current students on relevant career issues, and improve your writing // Responsible for generating one SAIS alumni profile per week as part of the “Paths After SAIS” column. Format for alumni profiles should follow a narrative format (with question & answer format for ‘crunch time’ staying within 10 questions). *Pieces can be written by the DC Section Editor, staff section editors in Bologna and Nanjing, or from staff and contributing writers from any campus. Pieces not written by the Section Editor must be recruited and assigned by the Section Editor.

Continuing the Discussion, Section Editor (RECRUITING)

Stay current on international issues, choose pressing policy issues and major news stories to focus on, share your own commentary, and improve your writing // Responsible for recruiting and generating two differing perspectives on a specific theme within IR news, chosen by the CTD Section Editor. Previous topics have included NSA leaks, US and illiberal democracies, US drone strikes, chauvinism and exceptionalism, the responsibility to protect doctrine, the International Criminal Court, the Ukraine crisis, etc. Responsible for drafting the prompt, soliciting pieces from students and/or faculty, and assigned each perspective to two people. *Pieces can be written by the DC Section Editor, staff section editors in Bologna and Nanjing, or from staff and contributing writers from any campus. Pieces not written by the Section Editor must be recruited and assigned by the Section Editor.

Faculty and Experts, Section Editor (RECRUITING)

Meet faculty across concentrations, build rapport with them, and encourage their commentary on trending policy issues and major news stories // Responsible for generating one “faculty experts” Q&A interview per week on a specific topic chosen by the F&E Section Editor (with suggestions from the editorial team too). Will proactively reach out to faculty (and staff writers in charge of the section on other campuses) across all three campuses to ensure at least one interview runs each week, will ensure the interview time and location is schedule, and will develop and manage rapport with SAIS faculty. *Pieces can be written by the DC Section Editor, staff section editors in Bologna and Nanjing, or from staff and contributing writers from any campus. Pieces not written by the Section Editor must be recruited and assigned by the Section Editor.

Opinion, Section Editor (RECRUITING)

Be opinionated, choose trending policy issues to debate, network with students, encourage peers to voice their opinion, and improve your writing // Responsible for generating one to two opinion pieces per week from SAIS students on a topic chosen by either the Opinion Section Editor or the students themselves (which must be cleared with the Section Editor). Will proactively reach out to students and encourage opinion pieces on trending topics and outline editorial guidelines to non-editorial writers. *Pieces can be written by the DC Section Editor, staff section editors in Bologna and Nanjing, or from staff and contributing writers from any campus. Pieces not written by the Section Editor must be recruited and assigned by the Section Editor.

SAIS Speak, Section Editor

Stay in the loop about the plethora of speakers walking through SAIS’ doors and keep the community updated on details and RSVP information // Responsible for keeping the “SAIS Speak” column continuously up-to-date with official SAIS events published through the weekly “Next Week at SAIS” email. Will work closely with the Technology Editor to ensure that events are accurately posted on the website and also has the necessary event information such as speaker name and title, topic, location, host, allowed guests, and RSVP information. Will also locate a professional photo of the speaker for a particular event, document the source, and send along to the Technology Editor.

Around Town, Section Editor (RECRUITING)

Channel your social acumen to this column to keep students in the know around urban happenings (e.g., concerts, book signings, music festivals, restaurant week, happy hours, movies, farmer’s markets, etc.) and report on “neighborhood” stories off campus // Responsible for keeping the “SAIS Frolic / Around Town” column continuously up-to-date with all SGA and non-official SAIS social events happening in Washington, D.C., Bologna, and Nanjing. With develop rapport with SGA to ensure major social events are relayed to the Section Editor on happy hours, cultural events, and other festive gatherings. Will also actively scout urban happenings in the city — such as embassy day, food tastings, theatre reviews, market reviews, concerts, Politics and Prose speakers, new restaurant reviews, and more — and relay these to the Technology editor with the following parameters: event type, title, date, brief description or review, and photo reflecting the event.


MEDIA ROLES

Technology Editor (RECRUITING)

Responsible for marketing all Observer content to the SAIS community and external veiewers through management of the website — www.saisobserver.org — and social media platforms (facebook and twitter). Will ensure all content is continuously up-to-date and work closely with the Copy Editor to queue and publish stories as they become available. Will also upload appealing photos (with source information) with all social media posts, and will collaborate with the Photo Editor and Film Editor on uploading content.

Photo Editor (RECRUITING)

Responsible for taking photos for all relevant stories on the Washington, D.C. campus. Will also coordinate, plan, and also publish “photo essays” in collaboration with the Technology Editor. Will be flexible to take pictures on short notice (in cases of stories involving faculty and senior administrators) and will consistently and proactively upload photos in a timely manner for the Technology Editor to access.

Film Editor (RECRUITING)

Responsible for producing film content around a theme on a recurring basis. This role has flexibility as there has not been a precedent for film with the paper, and the editor is encouraged to pitch ideas for new projects and content to the editorial staff.


STAFF WRITERS

Staff Writer (RECRUITING)

Responsible for contributing two articles per month with the flexibility to write for any section. Will be assigned stories from Section Editors and will also work directly with them on generating story ideas, writing content, and communicating any follow-up tasks.


Bologna Bureau

Bureau Chief / Associate Editor, Bologna Campus (RECRUITING)

Manages editorial staff of the Bologna campus and serves as the main liaison to the Washington, D.C. campus. Responsible for ensuring a steady pipeline of stories, following up with writers on timely submissions, and working with the co-editors-in-chief on communicating story ideas and delays, and coordinating the rotation of stories for the Bologna campus. Will also write at least two stories per month with flexibility for any section.

Campus News & Student Life, Staff Writer (RECRUITING)

Responsible for generating at least two pieces per month related to campus news and student life — issues with existing and new policies, administrative matters and changes, new courses or academic changes at SAIS, new facilities or provisions for students, student events, trips, student profiles, social events, speaker events, and more. Will collaborate closely with your D.C. section editor counterparts on coordinating stories and pipeline.

Alumni and Careers, Staff Writer (RECRUITING)

Responsible for generating at least two pieces per month related to alumni and careers: career treks, employment trends for SAISers, industries, and/or sectors, career fairs, and alumni profiles for the “Paths After SAIS” column. Will collaborate closely with your D.C. section editor counterparts on coordinating stories and pipeline.

Continuing the Discussion & Faculty and Experts, Staff Writer (RECRUITING)

Responsible for contributing at least two pieces per month to the weekly “Continuing the Discussion” column and “Faculty and Experts” column. The CTD column includes two differing perspectives on a policy issue or theme (which can be from students of all three campuses), chosen by the D.C.-based section editor. Previous topics have included NSA leaks, US and illiberal democracies, US drone strikes, chauvinism and exceptionalism, the responsibility to protect doctrine, the International Criminal Court, the Ukraine crisis, etc. The F&E column includes a weekly profile of a SAIS faculty member around a policy issue or theme (professor can be from any of the campuses). Will collaborate closely with your D.C. section editor counterparts on coordinating stories and pipeline.

Opinion, Staff Writer (RECRUITING)

Responsible for generating two opinion pieces per month (from yourself or students) on a trending news topic or a relevant IR issue. Will collaborate closely with your D.C. section editor counterpart on coordinating stories and pipeline.

Around Town, Staff Writer (RECRUITING)

Contribute at least one story per month to the “SAIS Frolic / Around Town” column to keep students in the know around city happenings in Bologna (e.g., concerts, music festivals, restaurant week, happy hours, movies, etc.) and report on “neighborhood” stories off campus. Will collaborate closely with your D.C. section editor counterpart on coordinating stories and pipeline.

Photo Editor (RECRUITING)

Responsible for taking photos for all relevant stories on the Bologna campus. Will also coordinate with the D.C.-based photo editor on sourcing Bologna photos and publishing “photo essays” in collaboration with the Technology Editor. Will be flexible to take pictures on short notice (in cases of stories involving faculty and senior administrators) and will consistently and proactively upload photos in a timely manner for the Technology Editor to access.

Staff Writer (RECRUITING)

Responsible for contributing two articles per month with the flexibility to write for any section. Will be assigned stories from Section Editors and will also work directly with them on generating story ideas, writing content, and communicating any follow-up tasks.


Nanjing Bureau

Bureau Chief / Associate Editor, HNC Campus (FILLED)

Manages editorial staff of the Hopkins-Nanjing Center campus and serves as the main liaison to the Washington, D.C. campus. Responsible for ensuring a steady pipeline of stories, following up with writers on timely submissions, and working with the co-editors-in-chief on communicating story ideas and delays, and coordinating the rotation of stories for the HNC campus. Will also write at least two stories per month with flexibility for any section.

Campus News & Student Life, Staff Writer (RECRUITING)

Responsible for generating one story per week related to campus news and student life — issues with existing and new policies, administrative matters and changes, new courses or academic changes at SAIS, new facilities or provisions for students, student events, trips, student profiles, social events, speaker events, and more. Will collaborate closely with your D.C. section editor counterparts on coordinating stories and pipeline.

Staff Writer  (RECRUITING)

Responsible for contributing two articles per month with the flexibility to write for any section. Will be assigned stories from Section Editors and will also work directly with them on generating story ideas, writing content, and communicating any follow-up tasks.

Alumni and Careers, Staff Writer (RECRUITING)

Responsible for generating at least two pieces per month related to alumni and careers: career treks, employment trends for SAISers, industries, and/or sectors, career fairs, and alumni profiles for the “Paths After SAIS” column. Will collaborate closely with your D.C. section editor counterparts on coordinating stories and pipeline.

Continuing the Discussion & Faculty and Experts, Staff Writer (RECRUITING)

Responsible for contributing at least two pieces per month to the weekly “Continuing the Discussion” column and “Faculty and Experts” column. The CTD column includes two differing perspectives on a policy issue or theme (which can be from students of all three campuses), chosen by the D.C.-based section editor. Previous topics have included NSA leaks, US and illiberal democracies, US drone strikes, chauvinism and exceptionalism, the responsibility to protect doctrine, the International Criminal Court, the Ukraine crisis, etc. The F&E column includes a weekly profile of a SAIS faculty member around a policy issue or theme (professor can be from any of the campuses). Will collaborate closely with your D.C. section editor counterparts on coordinating stories and pipeline.

Opinion, Staff Writer (RECRUITING)

Responsible for generating two opinion pieces per month (from yourself or students) on a trending news topic or a relevant IR issue. Will collaborate closely with your D.C. section editor counterpart on coordinating stories and pipeline.

Around Town, Staff Writer (RECRUITING)

Contribute at least one story per month to the “SAIS Frolic / Around Town” column to keep students in the know around city happenings in Nanjing (e.g., concerts, music festivals, restaurant week, happy hours, movies, etc.) and report on “neighborhood” stories off campus. Will collaborate closely with your D.C. section editor counterpart on coordinating stories and pipeline.

Photo Editor (RECRUITING)

Responsible for taking photos for all relevant stories on the HNC campus. Will also coordinate with the D.C.-based photo editor on sourcing HNC photos and publishing “photo essays” in collaboration with the Technology Editor. Will be flexible to take pictures on short notice (in cases of stories involving faculty and senior administrators) and will consistently and proactively upload photos in a timely manner for the Technology Editor to access.