American Society of Magazine Editors

Visual Journalist at The Trace

The Trace’s mission is to shine a light on America’s gun violence crisis through independent journalism. For our reporting to achieve impact, it has to grab people’s attention and make complex subjects simple to digest. Recognizing those needs, The Trace is looking to hire a full-time visual journalist with strong design skills and an enterprising attitude to join our growing nonprofit newsroom.

This is an opportunity for a journalist with a talent for data visualization and graphics-making and a thorough understanding of journalistic standards and processes to produce work that really matters. Our coverage explores subjects like the toll that shootings exact on American families and communities, especially those of color; the role of firearms in domestic violence; the influence of the gun lobby; the business of guns; and the regulators and law enforcement officers tasked with the difficult job of keeping firearms out of the wrong hands.

The primary responsibilities and key qualifications of the visual journalist are outlined below. The nature of both The Trace’s coverage and of visual communication and storytelling for digital audiences means that there will be some fluidity in day-to-day tasks and the skills required for each. The visual journalist may spend one hour quickly creating a share-friendly social media graphic to accompany a breaking news story, and the next returning to a long-lead interactive requiring data analysis and coding. We recognize that outstanding candidates may not possess all those skills at the outset, and so have cross-posted this job opportunity under the alternate title of news designer. There’s no need to apply to both listings.

To boil it all down, we’re looking for someone who:

  • Brings creative ideas for creating indelible data visualizations, from simple charts to ambitious, intricate info graphics.
  • Applies the mindset and ethics of a journalist to data visualization and graphic design, zeroing in on the most consequential findings while maintaining accuracy and fairness.
  • Possesses a keen instinct for lead images, layout elements, and social graphics that hook readers.
  • Can work quickly when the situation requires.
  • Collaborates well with both editors and reporters, freelance illustrators and photographers, and contractors. (Among the duties of this position may be to work with our design and development firm, Upstatement, on landing pages for special projects.)
  • Meets deadlines, communicates clearly, and finds smart solutions to challenges.
  • Has proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite and basic HTML/CSS experience.

To apply, please send your resume and a selection of your best work to Please also read through our recent articles and send us one sketch for a graphic element that would have added impact to a story.

The Trace is committed to diversity and strongly encourages applications from women, people of color, people with disabilities, and LGBQT people.

About The Trace:

The Trace is an independent, nonprofit news organization dedicated to reporting on gun violence in America. Every year in our country, a firearm is used in nearly 500,000 crimes, resulting in the deaths and injuries of more than 110,000 people. Shootings devastate families and communities and impose steep costs on local, state, and federal governments. Meanwhile, the problem of gun violence has been compounded by another: the shortage of knowledge about the issue.

We believe that when an issue is shrouded by an information gap, journalism can be a big part of the solution. As a nonprofit newsroom, The Trace is able to dedicate itself to in-depth reporting that doesn’t let up after the latest high-profile shooting leaves the front pages. Since launching in 2015, we have collaborated and co-published articles with more than 24 news organizations, including the Atlantic, the Guardian, HuffPost, Slate, the Tampa Bay Times, the New York Daily News, the Chicago Sun-Times, and Vice.

Thursday, May 18, 2017