Senior Software Engineer

Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
New York, United States
Salary Not specified
Apr 26, 2021
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Senior Software Engineer

The Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University invites applications for a full-time position of Senior Software Engineer.

The David and Helen Gurley Brown Institute for Media Innovation was founded in 2012 and is a joint effort between Stanford’s School of Engineering and Columbia Journalism School (CJS). Each year, the Brown Institute awards close to $1M in grants and fellowships to foster new tools and modes of expression, and to create stories that escape the bounds of page and screen. We are committed to radical experimentation with the potential to define new priorities and practices for both engineering and journalism.

In that spirit, the Brown Institute at CJS is overseeing a newly funded Local News Lab. The Local News Lab is applying Machine Learning (ML) to journalism, and specifically to promoting sustainable businesses by creating new reader revenue strategies.

Our team has over two decades of combined experience working in media, helping attune us to the ethical sensitivities in journalism. An Advisory Board of roughly a dozen representatives from both large and small newsrooms ensures we have input from a range of perspectives, as we move from experimentation to prototyping and production. Finally, we have a Partnerships Lead who is dedicated to the task of nurturing our newsroom relationships, so we can engage in ongoing dialogue and avoid an extractive, parachuting approach to our work.

As the first of a number of anticipated projects, we are developing an open-source “smart” paywall that deploys ML to go beyond one-size-fits-all solutions to audience engagement. We explicitly extend the idea of a paywall to include a variety of actions that a publisher can take to engage their readers and encourage subscription or donation. Currently, our team is exploring three avenues of data science work — paywalling likely subscribers, selecting premium content, and personalizing reader recommendations. The end goal of this work is to deploy equitable and explainable models that help local newsrooms sustain their businesses. All code will be Open Source and there will be options for easy deployment via APIs and custom machine instances.

Responsibilities in this position include: Create the project’s formal specifications, and set technical milestones, together with the full development team. Assign specific tasks to the project’s development team, supervise individual developers, and explicitly track team progress.

This is an externally funded position, contingent on performance and the continued availability of funding.

For a more detailed description, and/or to apply for this position, please visit the following link:

Columbia University is an equal opportunity employer committed to creating and supporting a community diverse in every way: race, ethnicity, geography, religion, academic and extracurricular interest, family circumstance, sexual orientation, gender-identity, socioeconomic background, and more.