We're hiring a staff writer in Birmingham
Come and join the party
It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for since 7am this morning — our big announcement!
Exciting news: we’re hiring our second staff writer on The Dispatch. Without exaggeration, we can say this will be one of the most varied, fun and fulfilling roles in UK media, a rare full-time staff role in which the remit is to write great stuff. Not to publish SEO content or churn out dozens of quick-fire stories but to focus on one or two stories a week and make them brilliant.
We need someone who can produce pieces that truly connect with our fast-growing audience and a writer who will love finding and reporting a huge variety of stories across the West Midlands, covering everything from nightclubs to radical book clubs to working men’s clubs (non-club-based stories will also be involved). We’re looking for someone who will take pride in growing The Dispatch and will work incredibly hard to make this new publication an essential outlet.
The application deadline is Sunday, 10 March and the details are below.
By taking on this job, you will be joining Mill Media Co, a pioneering new media company that launched The Dispatch in October 2023. Described by the FT’s John Burn-Murdoch as “one of the most interesting and impressive media startups of the last decade,” we have published award-winning journalism across the country and received financial backing from leading figures like Sir Mark Thompson, the CEO of CNN and former boss of the BBC and the New York Times.
Our titles — including The Mill in Manchester, The Tribune in Sheffield, and The Post in Liverpool — are publishing some of the best long-form reporting in the country and creating an exciting new brand of local journalism. The Guardian says we publish “high-quality, deeply researched reporting” and the Observer says we cover “everything from homelessness to restaurant-industry bullying in gratifying depth.” Patrick Maguire of The Times writes that we are “at the vanguard of quality journalism in England’s great cities”.
The Dispatch was founded late last year with a mission to change journalism in Birmingham and the West Midlands by telling the kind of stories you don’t find in the local press. Led by local journalist Kate Knowles, we have published major investigations into housing providers, lovely features about local people and big essays about Brummie pride.
Within a few months, we already have 10,000 people on our mailing list and hundreds of paying members, which means we have the confidence to hire a second staff writer.
Location: Birmingham (we need someone who lives full-time in the West Midlands)
Salary: Dependent on experience (£20k-£25k range)
Basis: Full-time (including some out-of-hours work)
Office/remote: Three days per week in our co-working space in the city centre, otherwise remote.
Start date: April 2024
Application deadline: Sunday, March 10th 2024. Scroll down for details on how to apply.
What we’re looking for
This is a job for a journalist who believes in our mission, loves the kind of reporting we do and is passionate about applying our brand of journalism to many more stories in the years ahead. We need someone who has a natural flair for writing — who will deliver the kind of stories our readers look forward to when they open our newsletters.
This role also requires the kind of person who relishes trying to get hold of people on the phone and enjoys chasing stories even if they seem like dead ends; who likes getting to grips with complex issues and can explain those issues clearly to readers.
You will be working closely alongside our founding staff writer Kate Knowles, including sometimes collaborating on stories, and you will have a lot of contact with the editors and writers from the wider Mill Media team. You will also be expected to pitch in with various non-writing tasks, like helping with our social media and liaising with freelancers.
Producing consistently high-quality writing for The Dispatch that informs and delights our readers and makes us stand out.
Generating lots of highly original story ideas every month, both for you and for our other staff and freelance writers, ranging from culture to crime, food to local politics.
Developing exceptional contacts within Birmingham’s political, cultural and business worlds so that we can break big stories.
Helping to grow The Dispatch by posting on social media, assisting with our marketing and fostering strong bonds with our community of members.
Contributing to the day-to-day running of The Dispatch by answering emails from readers, setting up interviews for others and helping us to build our editorial schedule.
Working pattern: This is a full-time role. You will work three days a week at a co-working space in Birmingham with Kate, and remotely the rest of the time. You will make fortnightly visits to the company’s office in Manchester.
Superb writing: Someone who can write stories that our readers don’t just like but love, whether it’s a colour piece, an interview or a newsier feature. A key part of this is being able to write with clarity and distill complex issues for readers.
Reporting flair: Someone with an unusual talent for unearthing information, including huge energy when pursuing a story, a knack for getting hold of people on the phone and the ability to develop contacts over time.
Independence: Someone capable of working independently without lots of supervision from editors — that means being exceptionally organised, very communicative with colleagues and self-motivated when working on stories.
Growth mindset: Someone with an entrepreneurial spirit who is motivated by The Dispatch’s growth as well as our journalism and will enjoy growing our social media accounts and spreading our brand.
Dispatch values: Someone who is committed to our key editorial values: accuracy, nuance, thoughtfulness, fairness to sources and giving readers the context they need to understand what is going on.
How to apply
To apply for this role, email email@example.com by Sunday, 10 March at the latest (earlier applications are appreciated). Make sure you are very familiar with our work before you apply. Please include the following things in your application (all within the body of the email, not as attachments).
Three or four paragraphs introducing who you are and why you would be a good fit for this role.
Three links to stories you have written, each with one or two sentences explaining how they demonstrate the attributes listed above.
Three ideas you have for stories you would like to work on if you joined The Dispatch.
If you have any questions, just get in touch via the same email.