Bhekisisa is hiring a health reporter. (Unsplash)

We’re looking to employ a health journalist who will be responsible for producing regular policy and news analysis. Are you passionate about health journalism? This position might be just for you. Application deadline: 16 January 2022

The Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism specialises in solutions journalism aimed at policymakers in the fields of health and social justice in South Africa and abroad. What does that mean? We don’t only tell our audience  about problems — we also critically evaluate what’s being done to fix them.

Our reporting includes science explainers as well as narrative storytelling that showcases the stories of real people to help media consumers understand issues better and be a part of real change. 

The centre has a solid track record of producing impactful, award-winning reporting both locally and internationally. Bhekisisa reporters have gone on to become health editors at leading publications and their work has appeared in international publications such as the UK’s Guardian and Spain’s El País. Bhekisisa’s stories and events are also frequently referenced in science journals such as The Lancet and British Medical Journal

The centre syndicates copy to major South African outlets such as the Mail & Guardian, the Daily Maverick, News24 and Financial Mail. We’re a small, donor-funded newsroom that doesn’t shy away from hard work that pushes us outside our comfort zones and allows us to grow and learn together. 

If you’re looking for a 9 to 5 job where you only focus on your own stories, this isn’t for you. But if you’re willing to put in some extra hours and learn some new skills to tell health stories differently, then you might be suited to our latest vacancy. 

The centre is seeking to employ a health journalist who will be responsible for producing regular policy and news analysis. 

The position is based at our Johannesburg office and includes opportunities for future growth in line with the candidate’s interest and performance track record. (If you dream it, we’ll try our darndest to make it happen). 

Interested but don’t have a background in health? Don’t worry, you can learn if you’re passionate, hard-working and self-motivated.

Expected duties:

  1. Produce three pieces of analysis per month
  2. Show a demonstrated interest in your beat, reading independently to ensure that you’re up to date with the latest research developments as well as local and international conversations
  3. Proactively pitching well-researched story ideas
  4. Take your stories from conception to birth and beyond, actively thinking about how to translate key messages into social media content or other products as diverse as panels to  plays 
  5. Meaningfully contribute to developing Bhekisisa’s strategies in terms of content creation across platforms and media as well as sustainability initiatives such as training or related projects. This will include helping the centre develop new products and branding strategies based on your interests and work
  6. Assist coworkers, if needed, in terms of social media scheduling, event organising or other duties as prescribed
  7. Other duties as required

Expected qualifications:

  1. At least two to three years’ reporting experience in a newsroom; a degree in journalism or a related field is desirable 
  2. A deep desire to grow your writing and engage with scientific research even if you haven’t done it before. (There’s a first time for everything)
  3. A demonstrated track record regularly producing news stories; experience in feature writing will be an asset
  4. Fluency in written and spoken English; ability to speak an additional official language will be highly advantageous
  5. Familiarity with social media channels, especially Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
  6. A passion for social justice issues; some demonstrated interest in health reporting is welcomed
  7. Ability to work well as part of a team on a variety of tasks if needed
  8. Familiarity with content management systems, especially WordPress, is an advantage. Willingness to be edited and fact checked. Bhekisisa’s narrative features go through an average of two editing processes  – one for the science, the other for the story line, and both processes involve a few drafts. We’ll always work with you on these but we know this type of intense editing isn’t for everyone
  9. Strong time management skills to ensure deadlines are met, as well as the ability to work on two stories at the same time are a must
  10. Legal permission to work in South Africa
  11. All shortlisted candidates will be expected to undergo a test before proceeding to the interview stage

To apply, please send the following materials to Bhekisisa’s programme manager, Rosaline Daniel ([email protected]) with the subject line “Application for Health Reporter”. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

  1. Updated CV with three contactable references; at least one should be familiar with your raw copy
  2. Five writing samples, ideally these samples should show some range in writing e.g. news, analysis and features
  3. A cover letter detailing why you would like to work at Bhekisisa specifically. Cover letters of successful candidates will demonstrate an understanding of Bhekisisa’s unique brand of solutions-based, narrative journalism and analysis.

Application deadline: 16 January 2022, 10pm

+ posts