This American Life is a home for narrative reporting; its stories are organized around plot. They have emotional arcs, strong central characters, surprising twists, funny moments and original ideas. The show’s also hugely popular, with 5.8 million radio listeners and podcast downloads each week.
We’re looking for people who excel at bringing a story from the seeds of an idea to a final edit: finding an original angle, planning interviews, listening to tape, structuring, writing. A good candidate ideally can do this for their own stories and can lead others through this process as well. Our staff producers create their own stories and also produce others’. These include small personal stories, longform investigative pieces, and reporting that takes on bigger national and international issues. Producers oversee tape gathering, they edit audio, they structure and write stories. They generate ideas for stories and for full episodes. They produce entire episodes. They direct talent in the studio and some do audio mixes. A crucial part of the job is editing: listening to drafts of other producers’ stories and giving notes. This is a very collaborative office.
Since our entire story process is driven by the taste, observations and interests of our staff, we believe that having a diverse staff is the only way to effectively document the reality of life in this country with the proper nuance and perspective. A more diverse group of people putting together the show makes us better at every stage of the editorial process, from story selection to line editing. So we strongly encourage people of all backgrounds, races, genders, and abilities to apply.
- We’re looking for candidates who have demonstrated experience doing journalism like the stories on our show. This means narrative journalism, stories that unfold with a plot and emotion and humor, with relatable, surprising, three-dimensional characters.
- At least three years producing radio, preferably for a nationally distributed show or podcast. We’ll consider comparable film, TV documentary or print experience if it involves crafting stories in a style similar to those on our show.
- Audio editing skills.
- Ability to think about big picture approaches to covering issues and ideas, while also executing the many small details and tasks involved in producing a weekly show. For this position, we’re especially interested in candidates who want to take on topical subjects and things in the news.
- A proven ability to meet deadlines and balance multiple duties at the same time.
- Ability to collaborate. Must have experience working closely and working well with others.
This position is based at the This American Life office in New York City. Please include links to work samples in your cover letter. This American Life is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer that actively seeks diversity in the workplace.
Please send your cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put “Producer” and your name in the subject line.