Criminalization Editor


Job Title:        Criminalization Editor
Location:        New York City
Reports To
:   Editorial Director 
FLSA Status:  Exempt 
Department:  Editorial 
Division:        Colorlines 


Summary:  Colorlines is seeking a seasoned editor who can cover the parallel systems of immigration enforcement and criminal justice, including private prisons, 287(g), and the growing criminalization of immigrants as War on Drugs-era mass criminalization undergoes reform.

The Criminalization Editor will help develop and edit the work of a Criminalization Reporter, create and edit practitioner blogs, consult with web development to establish Colorlines’ presence on a dedicated microsite administered outside of Editorial, and monitor and speak on trends in criminalization through the lens of race and racism.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities include the following:

Editing/Content Development

  • Approve, assign and line edit the daily and feature-length work of Criminalization Reporter, practitioner bloggers and freelance writers and producers
  • Work closely with in-house Video Producer to create relevant content
  • Closely follow breaking and evolving stories.
  • Work with Web Developer and designers to experiment with visual storytelling methods outside of photo essays such as timelines, infographics, animation, etc.
  • Report and write as needed
  • Ensure that the voices and perspectives of incarcerated people and detainees are key parts of Colorlines’ work and strategy
  • Work with Editorial Director, Deputy Editor and Criminalization Reporter to develop investigative stories and special projects
  • Represent Colorlines and gather news at conferences, lectures, social events or other activities related to the beat
  • Work on content partnerships with other media and organizations
  • Work with Editorial Director and Deputy Director on the overall vision of Colorlines.
  • Interface with the Research Department to support and create data- and research-driven content
  • As needed, fill in for Deputy Editor and Editorial Director to edit NOW posts in the event of absences, including sick days, vacations and management retreats



  • Coordinate with Communications/Public Engagement on Twitter and live chats and other public outreach
  • Investigate ways to provide incarcerated and detained people with our materials
  • Interface with activists and advocates



  • Provide Development with information as needed
  • Work with Publishing Director as needed
  • Interface with funders and supporters as needed
  • Work with Publishing Director to facilitate partnerships and sponsorships with organizations such as Firelight Media and BlackOut for Human Rights and publications such as The Marshall Project


Management & Administration

  • Support hiring and performance review of Criminalization Reporter, working with Editorial Director and Human Resources
  • Manage the payments to and contracts with practitioner bloggers, working with the Publishing Director, Editorial Assistant and Operations and Finance Department
  • Attend editorial meetings and all required Race Forward meetings, including staff retreats


Other duties, as assigned



To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • B.A. or Master’s Degree in print, digital or broadcast Journalism and/or equivalent work experience
  • Seven to 10 years’ experience editing short and long-form storytelling, preferably in the areas of immigration and/or mass incarceration
  • Five to 10 years of reporting experience, preferably in the areas of immigration and/or mass incarceration
  • Deep knowledge of immigration and law enforcement systems
  • Hands-on experience with a CMS such as Drupal
  • The ability to pay close attention to details and retain feedback
  • Working knowledge of data analysis
  • Working knowledge of social media broadcasting
  • Working familiarity with A.P. style


Language Ability:

Ability to read, analyze, and interpret the most complex documents.  Ability to respond effectively to the most sensitive inquiries or complaints.  Ability to write speeches and articles using original or innovative techniques or style.  Ability to make effective and persuasive speeches and presentations on controversial or complex topics to top management.


Math Ability:

Ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide in all units of measure, using whole numbers, common fractions, and decimals. Ability to compute rate, ratio, and percent and to draw and interpret bar graphs.


Computer Skills:

To perform this job successfully, an individual should have knowledge of Word Processing software; Project Management software and Database software.


Certificates and Licenses:

No certifications needed


Supervisory Responsibilities:

This job has no supervisory responsibilities.


Work Environment:

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

The noise level in the work environment is usually quiet.


Physical Demands:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. 

The employee may have to lift and/or move up to 10 pounds. While performing the duties of this Job, the employee is regularly required to sit and use hands to finger, handle, or feel.


Please submit all resumes and cover letters (required) to  Email inquiries only.  No Staffing Agencies or Recruiter inquiries, please. 


Race Forward is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability or veteran status.