Senior Media Officer

Human Rights Watch, City of London, United Kingdom

Skill Required:, Media and Communication
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
16th August, 2021

Job Description


Do you believe in the power of bearing witness to make positive change? Human Rights Watch is seeking a dynamic and experienced communications professional to help us build HRW’s media presence and profile in the United Kingdom, get human rights issues onto the UK news agenda, and produce compelling digital stories.

HRW's Media Department ensures that we communicate our message in an effective and engaging way to reach our desired audience and effect change. We craft compelling messages, engage with media, tell stories which matter, and do all of this in an ever-tightening news cycle across multiple platforms.

This full-time position reports jointly to the UK Director and the Digital Director. Successful candidates will be based in London once our offices are fully re-opened (due to COVID-19, many of our global offices are closed or operating in reduced capacities); in the interim candidates may be based elsewhere but will be expected to keep UK working hours.

We recognize that this pandemic moment is a uniquely difficult time for many people, particularly those with caregiving responsibilities, and we aim to be as flexible and supportive as possible in both the recruitment and onboarding of this position.


  • Work with the UK Director to develop a media strategy for HRW in the United Kingdom;
  • Help to build and promote HRW’s media presence and profile with UK based media;
  • Provide strategic communication advice and assistance to HRW staff on the UK media landscape, including identifying opportunities to engage with existing and new audiences, being a strong storyteller, and crafting compelling messages for different audiences and formats; work proactively to plan media strategy for particular projects and campaigns, but also be able to react quickly to breaking news;
  • Draft communications products, from social media updates to feature-length interviews with survivors of human rights abuses or our own staff;
  • Support the Media Team’s social media efforts across HRW’s platforms
  • Edit HRW’s global news releases, dispatches and op eds;
  • Where there is a specific UK media angle, help produce stories by accompanying researchers on mission to create multimedia or written products;
  • Help to cultivate strong relationships with UK-based journalists and media outlets by meeting regularly with journalists and staying in close phone/email contact;
  • Facilitate meetings between HRW researchers and UK-based journalists;
  • Pitch HRW’s reports, op eds, analysis and staff to key UK media outlets, in order to maximize coverage of HRW research and promote the HRW brand in the UK media;
  • Support the media profile of the UK Director, including looking for opportunities to pitch the UK Director as a commentator on key issues in the UK media;
  • Assist in the organization of communications events in the UK, including media briefings for journalists and news conferences;
  • Work with the press team to ensure that HRW has up-to-date contact details for key media in the UK;
  • Operate in compliance with organizational regulations and rules, including the policies of applicable employee agreements; and
  • Carry out any other tasks as required.


Education: A bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, international affairs, or other relevant field is required.

Experience: A minimum of 5 years of relevant work experience is required.

Related Skills and Knowledge:

  • Excellent writing, editing and oral communication skills in English.
  • Knowledge of the UK media landscape, and a proven ability, or aptitude, to develop strategic and effective communications strategies.
  • Experience of working with different mediums, including social media.
  • A track record of strong storytelling, either in print, broadcast or digital.
  • A good network of contacts with UK media or the ability to develop such contacts is strongly preferred.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including patience and a sense of humor, and ability to work well under pressure while juggling multiple tasks simultaneously.
  • Experience reporting or editing at a news outlet or non-governmental organization is strongly preferred.
  • Ability to prioritize with minimal supervision and work independently as well as function as a member of a team with staff in multiple locations globally.
  • Solid interest in and a good understanding of international human rights is strongly preferred.
  • Proficiency in computer packages including MS Office applications.


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