Covering Coronavirus: Tips, best practices and programs

As newsrooms cut, new job board lists 500 journalism openings

Daniel Levitt planned to launch a new journalism job board in the fall. Instead, he debuted it last week — at a time when newsrooms are cutting, furloughing and reducing pay for thousands of journalists. “Why wait, when hundreds of journalists and students are being laid off or having their internships canceled right now?,” the London-based journalist said by e-mail. Levitt, who is himself starting a new job that will be announced in a few weeks, is the founder of Inside The Newsroom, a podcast and newsletter combining text, audio and data visualizations. 

There are 500 media positions listed on the site, all newly listed since February, from the Associated Press to the Wausau Daily Herald to YouTube. The range shows “journalism today exists in ways it didn’t 15 years ago. YouTube’s rise [as] a news source is nothing short of spectacular, but with all of its power comes questionable decisions to limit the spread of fake information. Now more than ever does the world need trained journalists in these positions,” Levitt said. We asked Levitt a few questions by e-mail. These are his responses. 

With several websites that list journalism job openings, but none that shows them at a glance so clearly, what prompted you to pull them together this way?

Levitt: The answer is in the question. There are so many job websites out there that it’s hard to know where to even start when applying for jobs. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There are almost certainly thousands of jobs I have [not] found yet, and that is part of the challenge. Each time I find a new group of jobs is like finding 10 bucks in your coat pocket.

You mentioned you were originally planning to launch this during internship season but decided to go live sooner. What was your first job in journalism and what would you tell people about to start their first journalism jobs? 

Levitt: My first true journalism job was for a now-defunct hyperlocal news website in D.C. called Hill Now, which focused on the neighborhoods around the Capitol. It was part of the still active Local News Now network, and I covered car crashes, building fires and burglaries. I started way out of my depth, but I learned what to do in a hurry.

What prompted you to start Inside the Newsroom, and what do you want people to know about it? 

Levitt: I started the podcast in the spring of 2018 as I had free time during a part-time internship with The Texas Tribune. It remains a passion project, but as my subscribers have risen to more than 4,000, I’ve realized I have an opportunity to help other journalists out with a few clicks of a mouse. My aim with Inside The Newsroom is to give people insights into what it’s like in the White House press room, FiveThirtyEight’s polling desk, and what it’s like tracking tornadoes and hurricanes, among other things. It’s a no-nonsense look at the amazing work of journalists around the world.

What are you doing to take care of yourself?

Levitt: To be honest, my life hasn’t changed much in lockdown. After grinding for the past six years through graduate school and a series of internships, my mental health is the most important thing of all, so I’ve already got procedures in place preventing me from going down the dark spiral. Plus I have a passion project to devote most of my time — that helps a lot.