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New York Times Director of Election Data Analytics in New York, New York

The mission (https://www.nytco.com/company/mission-and-values/) of The New York Times is to seek the truth and help people understand the world. That means independent journalism is at the heart of all we do as a company. It’s why we have a newsroom that’s 1,700 strong and sends journalists to report on the ground from nearly 160 countries. It’s why we focus deeply on how our readers will experience our journalism, from print to audio to a world-class digital and app destination. And it’s why our business strategy centers on making journalism so good that it’s worth paying for.

Note for US based roles: Any offer of employment is contingent on providing proof of Covid-19 vaccination prior to your start date, subject to approved medical and/or religious exemptions, in accordance with applicable law.

Job Description

The New York Times is looking for a senior data leader to manage and oversee The Times’s acquisition and analysis of election data, including public polling, election results and the election night live forecasting model known as “the needle.”

In this role, you’ll lead — and help grow — a cross-functional team of data scientists, developers and journalists. You’ll oversee an ambitious effort to obtain, analyze and publish the best election data, from fielding political surveys to scraping precinct results to the development of statistical models and analysis tools, both for internal use and for public consumption. You’ll orchestrate one of the most ambitious live products in journalism while ensuring its rigor and reliability.

This job is collaborative and high-pressure. It requires foresight, organization, careful planning and exacting attention to detail. It involves the coordination across multiple interdependent teams, often composed of staffers juggling other competing demands during the heart of an election season. The ideal candidate has experience managing production-level data projects, and enjoys bringing together staffers from multiple disciplines in a collaborative way to make them happen.

Any successful candidate will have an understanding of the data used most frequently for political analysis, including election returns, voter registrffation files, census data and public polling. It is equally essential to demonstrate expertise in the statistical techniques and social science methods used to analyze political data, including survey methodology and statistical modeling. You should be as imaginative about how models can fail and predictions can run awry as you are excited to innovate new ways of analyzing and presenting election data.

We are R users. As a candidate, you should be proficient in R and data management. You should also be comfortable working with developers who build data collection pipelines and engineer our front-end web applications.

Most of all, you should be excited to stay up late on a close Election Night — maybe even if your job didn’t require it.

Responsibilities

  • Oversee and coordinate the development, testing and production of our election night live model, known as ‘the needle’

  • Manage the analysts who model and help project the outcome of races on election night, and advise the executive and managing editor about whether the Times can declare winners on election night

  • Serve as the primary point of contact with our election result providers

  • Oversee the collection of election-related data, including data from results providers as well as from local governments and other sources

  • Oversee The Times’s public opinion and survey research, including managing development of poll questionnaires and coordinating with outside groups and internal stakeholders

  • Work with editors in the Graphics department to find creative ways to clearly present what we do and don’t know on election night

Requirements

  • Deep understanding of election results and political data

  • Experience with statistical modeling

  • Experience with public opinion polling

  • Experience working on projects that require development of production-level code

  • Proficiency in R

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The New York Times is committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce, one that reflects the varied global community we serve. Our journalism and the products we build in the service of that journalism greatly benefit from a range of perspectives, which can only come from diversity of all types, across our ranks, at all levels of the organization. Achieving true diversity and inclusion is the right thing to do. It is also the smart thing for our business. So we strongly encourage women, veterans, people with disabilities, people of color and gender nonconforming candidates to apply.

The New York Times Company is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of an individual's sex, age, race, color, creed, national origin, alienage, religion, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation or affectional preference, gender identity and expression, disability, genetic trait or predisposition, carrier status, citizenship, veteran or military status and other personal characteristics protected by law. All applications will receive consideration for employment without regard to legally protected characteristics. The New York Times Company will consider qualified applicants, including those with criminal histories, in a manner consistent with the requirements of applicable state and local "Fair Chance" laws.

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