Position Title: Lead Researcher
Type: Paid contractor position
Application Deadline: February 7th, 2021 at 11:59pm EST
Time period: January/February -April 2021
About New Media Advocacy Project:
New Media Advocacy Project (NMAP) is a team of narrative strategists working at the intersection of communications, movement building, and cultural engagement. We recognize the power of story and narrative to change power structures and to promote equity and justice, and to accomplish that, we partner with and train nonprofits, activists, and coalitions around the world. Our roots are in human rights advocacy and visual storytelling, but we work across barriers to design narrative strategies informed by the science of framing, measurement, and strategic distribution. A leader in the narrative change space, we’ve established a global network through more than 100 civil society partnerships in 30 countries over the last decade.
Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion:
NMAP is committed to building and maintaining an inclusive, anti-racist, multicultural workplace. As a human rights organization that addresses systemic injustices in all facets of society, we strive to promote the kind of equitable world we fight for alongside our global partners. We see diversity, equity, and inclusion as a core part of our mission and responsibility.
NMAP is conducting a comprehensive Media Landscape and Narrative Analysis for three countries in Eurasia. The purpose of this research is to identify shifting societal values that may have emerged due to the disruption of regular life caused by COVID-19, and to study how these shifts present opportunities for centering human rights values as societies shape a new path to the future. Currently there is a lack of research into these shifting values, and in order to determine opportunities for new pro-human rights narratives, it is imperative to understand the current narrative landscape. NMAP will share the findings with activists and civil society groups working in the region to spark discussions and make existing movements aware of the opportunities we uncover.
The research will focus on three countries, one from each of the following sub-regions: Eastern Europe, the South Caucasus and Central Asia.
NMAP is looking for an experienced researcher familiar with Eurasia to conduct the first “Discovery” phase of this work. This Discovery phase will help us understand the changing trends in media narratives. By conducting research and interviewing relevant experts, the Lead Researcher will produce a report that will include:
- An analysis of the findings of the media research and expert interviews
- The narratives and storytelling trends that have been dominating the COVID-19 pandemic coverage
- Any issue areas that are being reported on in different ways;
- Any other media that signals shifting values, narratives or stories around issues or in people
- 2-3 recommendations for potential issue areas or topics to examine more closely in the media landscape phase
- Recommendations for the 3 countries to focus on in the media landscape phase
After this Discovery phase, NMAP will begin working on media landscapes for each country. The Lead Researcher will then help NMAP’s Research Director synthesize all the findings into a final report.
Duties and Responsibilities:
- Look at the top trending stories in at least six countries from the three sub-regions we have identified above;
- Conduct an initial media survey, looking at top news stories in the region, and using tools such as Media Cloud, in order to understand which narratives and storytelling formats have been dominating the COVID-19 pandemic coverage and identify any issue areas that are being reported on in different ways;
- Search for any other media that signals shifting values, narratives or stories around issues or in people;
- Research potential experts to interview; these experts would be from think tanks and research institutions who are well-acquainted with changing trends in the region and would be able to share their observations of what issues have been seeing narrative shifts due to the pandemic;
- Prepare research questions, schedule and conduct expert interviews;
- Conduct interviews with 5-7 individuals and organizations in this region, who follow trends in public opinion and media;
- Provide an analysis of the findings of the media research and expert interviews, and share two to three recommendations for potential issue areas or topics, and which three countries to examine more closely in the next phase or research.
We are looking for someone who has:
- Extensive research experience, particularly focused on: narrative change, cultural values analysis, media, storytelling, and/or social psychology
- Strong foundation in research methodologies, with expertise in rigorous social science theories and techniques
- Deep familiarity with social justice and human rights issues and contemporary media and narrative trends in Eurasia
- Past work conducting media landscaping, analyzing narratives and frames, and studying patterns in news, media, and public discourse
- The ability to collect, analyze, and synthesize multiple streams of quantitative and qualitative data to produce further research recommendations
- Capacity to distill and interpret complex research findings for non-academic audiences
- Fluency in English and Russian (other regional languages a plus)
- Curiosity and creativity; exceptional organizational and time-management skills; practical judgment to move work forward; flexibility and ability to adapt to changing needs
- Availability to participate in calls during the mornings New York time
This is a contract position (not full-time) that will pay a flat fee of $5,000 for a set of deliverables, including the research report, spread out over January-April 2021. The exact timeline will be determined at the start of the contract with the Lead Researcher. This position is not eligible for benefits.
How to Apply:
Please send your resume, a cover letter outlining your interests and qualifications, and any relevant research work examples to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Eurasia Researcher”. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled.
**Please note: Only short-listed candidates will be notified.