NewCounts Is Hiring Two 2020 Census Reporters

NewsCounts, a Knight Foundation funded project, is seeking two Research Scholars to help report on the 2020 U.S. Census and its role in American democracy — from privacy in the decennial count, to its impacts on funding across the country, to how journalists find and tell stories in the numbers. NewsCounts was just featured on the Stats+Stories podcast.

We urgently need a robust national conversation about the serious and imminent challenges facing the 2020 Census, underscoring the important role it plays in the political, economic and civic life of the nation. To avoid a failed count, we need strong, fact-based reporting to fuel this conversation, and to perhaps point to potential solutions and opportunities. But these are complicated issues, requiring knowledge from local communities as well as subject area experts. These two research positions will support NewCounts in building a national network of journalists, news organizations, professional bodies, technology companies, schools and universities that can create a national dialog about the census, and help ensure a successful count.

NewsCounts will form a new kind of community: a framework for collaboration for journalists and census experts, linking them in local newsrooms, to develop shared projects and expertise, and a prize to acknowledge the best census reporting; a network of experts ready to act as sources and help reporters find fast, high-quality information; a toolkit of timelines and story prompts, to guide reporting before, during, and after the count; mentorship among census experts, quantitative and statistical scientists, senior reporters, and student journalists; and interdisciplinary researchers studying not only technical details of the census, but also its history and cultural meaning.

One of the two available positions will focus on building and managing  the communication infrastructure for journalists, public officials engaged with official statistics, as well as researchers and faculty across the country. 

The other will focus on surveying the landscape and interviewing potential partners to understand needs and wants in thinking about how we report on the 2020 U.S. Census. They will be tasked with managing a database of contacts as well as serving as community manager for the project.

Both positions will be appointed at half-time for fall/spring semesters of the 2019-2020 academic year or ⅓-time for a full calendar year, and are open to the public as well as students and alumni in the dual-degree/data degree/PhD programs at Columbia Journalism School.

To apply or for more information, contact Mark Hansen at