Design developer

We’re looking for a skilled designer with a keen sense of digital storytelling to join the Interactive News desk at POLITICO.

This is a wide-ranging role and touches on the full spectrum of our work, including data visualization, enterprise features, tools, databases and more. You’ll play an outsize part in defining the public signature of our team’s work and be one of our most important advocates for reader experience.

Some things you’ll do on the job:

  • Design and code the look and feel of pages and applications alongside developers, graphics reporters and other visual journalists.
  • Anchor our project workflow by prototyping page designs with developers, reporters and editors.
  • Help develop and maintain the Interactive News team’s style guides and libraries and evangelize consistent design principles within the team.
  • Pitch original project ideas and refine pitches from our newsroom as a fully-vested reporting partner.
  • Develop templates for our team and wider newsroom to use to help increase the reach and scale of POLITICO’s visual storytelling.
  • Constantly evaluate the designs you make, using analytics, user experience testing and whatever else can help make us smarter and more thoughtful about design.

The main raw material of our team is data, and you should be comfortable translating data-driven work into compelling visual presentations. You’ll also help us imagine new ways to format our reporting, whether they be non-linear stories, chats or something completely different.

We’d love to see you have:

  • Experience mocking up designs using prototyping software like Figma or Sketch
  • Strong evidence you make consistent color and typography choices across a variety of story formats
  • Experience building or refining web-native data visualizations in Adobe Illustrator, D3 or something else
  • Strong competence with the building blocks of modern web development: HTML, CSS and JavaScript
  • Familiarity with or willingness to learn modern front-end development frameworks like React and CSS extensions like SCSS or Sass.
  • Comfort working with data and translating key analysis points into compelling visuals

If you have some but not all of these qualities, you should still apply. The ability to learn quickly is far more valuable to our team than what you don't know today.

Be sure to tell us if you have previous experience covering politics, government policy or campaigns or if you have experience in a different industry that you think would give you a unique edge in this job.

This position, like all others on the Interactive News team, is part of the POLITICO newsroom. Your work will be grounded in keen editorial judgment and close working relationships with POLITICO's deeply sourced reporters and editors. A background in journalism is a plus, but not required. A commitment to the editorial goals and standards of our newsroom is a must.

This position will be located in our Rosslyn office, just outside D.C.

Editor of Interactive News

POLITICO is looking for an enterprising editor to lead a team of ambitious journalists — developers, graphics reporters and designers — working alongside the best politics and policy reporting teams in the industry. The Interactive News Desk creates compelling interactive stories , runs election night results , tracks political campaigns , builds new platforms for our reporting, open-source newsroom tools , design powerful presentations for featured investigations and much, much more .

The ideal candidate is full of original ideas for creative enterprise journalism, finds compelling narratives in datasets large and small, and is eager to lead the team's efforts as they build the fastest, most informative live election results 2020 can offer.

This person should have a strong vision for a powerful, technical team that constantly experiments in style and delivery. They will have a drive to collaborate across the newsroom — and a knack for pinpointing visual and interactive opportunities in our most important reporting verticals. They'll need sharp news judgment and a keen interest in politics, polling, elections and campaigns. The editor must have the technical skills to manage documentation of open source and internal tools, hone our strategy for securing, testing and publishing our work across AWS platforms and identify potential technical issues — often before they arise. They will be adept at working quickly under pressure to troubleshoot problems that arise in our fast-paced, breaking news environment.

What you’ll need...

  • Experience managing special projects or a team of visual or computational journalists within a newsroom or other editorial setting.
  • A desire to lead a team while helping the newsroom at large build its visual and data reporting skills.
  • A full-stack development skill set, including fluency in one back-end language (e.g., Python, Node), front-end fundamentals (HTML, CSS & JavaScript) and a modern JavaScript framework (React, Vue, etc.). We're currently a React shop on the front-end powered by a Python/Django and Node backend.
  • Comfort with basic applied quantitative and statistical principles and experience doing data cleaning and analysis in a programming language such as Python or R.
  • Minimum four years experience building high quality interactive and graphic features that clearly demonstrate your instincts for storytelling on multiple platforms.
  • Strong fluency with data journalism and its published output in copy, graphics and design.
  • Clear record of working with non-technical journalists and senior editors to realize new storytelling forms.
  • History developing, maintaining or supporting open source software, experience building cloud-based architecture and familiarity with GIS software (QGIS, ArcGIS) and analysis are all a plus, but not required.

As part of the job you will...

  • Establish the vision for the team, including long term goals that facilitate smart, memorable enterprise politics coverage.
  • Define and build static and interactive charts alongside the team, creating evergreen databases and trackers, specially designed stories, newsroom reporting tools, and more.
  • Develop best practices and templates for interactive news that help the team move more quickly while holding to standards for accessibility, style and POLITICO’s editorial brand.
  • Pitch, plan, manage and represent the journalistic goals of the team, balancing them with the needs of the wider newsroom.
  • Shape a digital strategy along with key stakeholders in the newsroom. -Prioritize tool building that enables the newsroom at large to recognize and tackle visual storytelling opportunities.
  • Guide and bulletproof data journalism across the newsroom.

This position is part of the POLITICO newsroom and is located in our Rosslyn office, just outside D.C. Have questions? Send them to Lily Mihalik at lmihalik@politico.com or @mazet.

Why work on Interactive News

If you're comfortable working with a high degree of autonomy and a wide scope, our team is a unique opportunity.

Because we're small, we have to be radically economical, and we treat that as our advantage. Part of our drive isn't just grinding out the work, but discovering the ways we can do the work better. We often prioritize projects that teach us lessons or give us tools and design patterns we can reuse. We still go toe-to-toe with bigger news organizations, but we're out here trying to moneyball interactive news.

If you like working out in the open, thinking critically about news design, sharing your code as your journalism, we do, too. We're aggressively open source. Spool through our repos to see what we mean. Want to know how we work, you don't have to guess. We open sourced that, too.

We aren't driven by clicks or awards, but we aggressively market our work and take responsibility for our own strategy. If it's unique or innovative or just feels POLITICO, we'll pursue a new approach over a dozen derivative ideas.

We're also invested in our staff's growth, both in their careers and where we can support them beyond the job. We specifically look for projects that will help the team stretch for new skills. We set professional goals regularly and give frequent feedback on them.

Why work at POLITICO

POLITICO’s business model is both profitable and growing. We offer 12-week paid parental leave, a flexible vacation policy, comprehensive benefits to employees and their families, 401(k) matching, commuter subsidy and cell service reimbursement. Our Rosslyn office is home to our much vaunted snack bar and is easily accessible from anywhere in the DMV.

Ask us more about what it's like to work here at interactives@politico.com.