Consultant Editor for Forests News CLOSED

Communications, Outreach & Engagement Team

The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) envisions a more equitable world where forestry and landscapes enhance the environment and well-being for all. CIFOR is a non-profit, scientific institution that conducts research on the most pressing challenges of forest and landscape management around the world. Using a global, multidisciplinary approach, we aim to improve human well-being, protect the environment, and increase equity. To do so, we conduct innovative research, develop partners’ capacity, and actively engage in dialogue with all stakeholders to inform policies and practices that affect forests and people. CIFOR is a CGIAR Research Center, and leads the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA). Our headquarters are in Bogor, Indonesia, with offices in Nairobi, Kenya; Yaoundé, Cameroon; Lima, Peru; and Bonn, Germany.

CIFOR is looking for

Consultant Editor for Forests News


The Editor, Forests News, will oversee the day-to-day running of Forests News, the blog of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), including such tasks as commissioning, copyediting, content packaging and dissemination.

This full-time consultancy is an opportunity for a skilled, energetic and creative science journalist or writer/copyeditor to run and shape an established and respected online news site.

Forests News is the cornerstone of CIFOR’s communications strategy. It is run as a virtual news service, primarily reporting new research findings and analysis in language accessible to a broad readership, while maintaining scientific accuracy and journalistic styles and principles. Articles are written by consultant science writers working remotely, by CIFOR scientists and associates around the world, and by in-house science writers. Most are also translated into French, Spanish and/or Indonesian.

Forests News has become a crucial resource for researchers, journalists, academics, policy makers, development practitioners, environmentalists and students, and has amplified the reach of CIFOR’s work like no other medium.

Key to its success are the quality and accessibility of the writing, the strong scientific base, the volume of stories published (3/week) and the production of special features.

The Editor will support its ongoing success through his/her experience in journalism, flair for writing catchy headlines and compelling leads, ability to spot and fix story flaws, genuine interest in science, the environment and development, and do so with energy and spirit.

CIFOR has sought to connect print articles with videos, through interviews and global on-the-ground video and science news packages in locations where CIFOR works, now in 48 countries, primarily in developing countries.

The Editor, Forests News, is responsible for the day-to-day running of CIFOR’s central English-language blog, maintaining high editorial standards and scientific accuracy, under the guidance of the Team Leader, Outreach and Engagement. The Editor will also contribute to the development of strategic communications outreach plans to ensure that CIFOR’s scientific research is creatively produced and disseminated.

Duties and responsibilities

1.      In
collaboration with the Team Leader, Outreach and Engagement and other COE staff
as appropriate, identify research for reporting, come up with story angles and
ideas, and coordinate the editorial calendar.

2.      Develop the Forest
News strategy and work plan. Write articles and produce multimedia items for
social media and corporate CIFOR and outreach.

3.      Commission
articles and multimedia from consultant (freelance) science writers working
remotely. Identify and facilitate contracting of the freelance journalists as
needed, and advise the Team Leader, Outreach and Engagement on discontinuing
contracts with journalists who do not meet the blog’s editorial standards.

4.      Work with
CIFOR scientists to develop expert story lines, analysis articles and content

5.      Copyedit
articles written by consultant science writers and scientists, according to
Forests News editorial style and standards.

6.      Oversee
CIFOR’s photo gallery and caption guidelines for content outreach.

7.      Post
articles, photos and multimedia to the blog, according to the editorial plan,
and curate packages of new and older stories as necessary. At least three items
should be posted each week.

8.      Develop
communications outreach plans for promoting posts and messages through social
media channels in alignment with CIFOR’s strategy.

9.      Collaborate
with CIFOR’s social media manager in telling Forests News stories in new
formats on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other digital media platforms.

10.   Prepare the
monthly News Update, in collaboration with the Outreach and Web team.

11.   In
collaboration with CIFOR staff and partners, generate ideas for articles and
content packages in alignment with CIFOR’s research outputs.

12.   Work closely
with Team Leaders and Communications Specialists to promote CIFOR stories with
external media and media partnerships.

13.   Undertake other
writing or editing tasks relevant to CIFOR’s mission as requested by the Team

14.   Provide support
with media training of journalists and scientists.

Education, knowledge and experience

• Hold a university degree in journalism or related field or in a subject other than communication.
• Have a minimum of five years of journalism experience, print or broadcast/radio and some experience with science or development communication.
• Be fluent in English (flawless idiomatic written English); fluency in other major languages, especially French and Spanish, is an asset
• Be skilled at copyediting other journalists’ work, and be able to rewrite a clumsy or jargon-filled sentence, fix a script and spot a typo at 20 paces.
• Have a flair for writing catchy headlines, compelling standfirsts and intriguing leads.
• Be a skilled journalist who can spot a great angle and tell a strong story.
• Have a good understanding of the complementary use of photos, text and multimedia.
• Have experience in using WordPress and an understanding of how social media works.
• Be able to maintain the publishing pipeline, with a large number of stories on the go at any one time, and be able to adapt to changing circumstances.
• Be excited by forest and landscape science and environmental literature and issues – someone who genuinely enjoys engaging with scientists and the topics they research.
• Have a passion for creative and innovative storytelling and connecting with targeted audiences.

Personal Attributes and Competencies

• ability to excel in a fast-paced, deadline-oriented environment
• strong client service approach
• resourceful, adaptable and self-directed, and able to find creative solutions
• passion for excellence
• collaborative, positive and energetic team player.

Terms and Conditions

• This is a full-time consultancy position.
• The period of the consultancy is expected to be August 2018 – June 2019.
• CIFOR offers competitive remuneration commensurate with skills and experience.
• The duty station will be at CIFOR HQ in Bogor, Indonesia.

To apply, please visit our career site at:

To learn more about CIFOR, please visit our website at:

CIFOR is an equal opportunity employer. Staff diversity contributes to excellence.

Application process

The application deadline is 31 Jul-2018
We will acknowledge all applications, but will contact only short-listed candidates.


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