Senior Staff Writer job – American Psychiatric Association (APA) – Arlington, VA


Senior Staff Writer

American Psychiatric Association (APA)

Arlington, VA

DIVISION/DEPARTMENT: PSYCHIATRIC NEWS

  • OPEN DATE: MARCH 2, 2017
  • CLOSED DATE: OPEN UNTIL FILLED
  • GRADE: E-17
  • SALARY: PLEASE PROVIDE SALARY REQUIREMENTS IN YOUR COVER LETTER FOR CONSIDERATION
  • FLSA: EXEMPT
  • AREA OF CONSIDERATION: ALL INTERESTED APPLICANTS
  • Apply Online

    The American Psychiatric Association seeks a full-time staff reporter for its twice-monthly newspaper and related electronic products to cover clinical and research news and government news and regulations in the psychiatric field. Position also entails writing assignments in other areas, such as association news and news pertaining to the mental health care of the military and psychiatry’s global work. Must be able to develop original story ideas in addition to taking on assignments, work independently on complex issues under tight deadlines, and foster effective working relationships with APA members and leaders, researchers, and other news sources. Some travel required; video and photographic skills a plus. Must have experience as a medical reporter or editor and a strong background in feature writing. Web experience preferred. Please provide three writing samples (preferably in one PDF file) with your submission.

    Brief Description
    The Senior Staff Writer writes news and feature articles and produces video and audio reports for Psychiatric News , APA’s official newspaper, and its related electronic news vehicles. Subject areas may include but are not limited to scientific and clinical developments in psychiatry; issues that affect the practice of psychiatry and patients; and news in subareas of psychiatry and APA initiatives, such as legislative/legal news, disaster psychiatry, and military psychiatry. The incumbent must follow accepted journalistic practice and standards and plan art (photos, charts, etc.) to accompany articles and news briefs. Also required are excellent writing, analytic, and interpersonal skills; the ability to meet tight deadlines; and the ability to work successfully with Psychiatric News colleagues and within a membership association environment.

    Essential Duties and Responsibilities
    Write original news and feature articles for Psychiatric News on self-initiated or assigned topics within the clinical and research arenas of psychiatry and related disciplines. Beats include but are not limited to military and veterans’ mental health issues, child psychiatry, disaster psychiatry, rural psychiatry, member profiles, and APA initiatives.

    Key Supporting Tasks:

    • Develop articles through a variety of sources
    • Analyze and evaluate information gathered through #1 to determine whether it should be used in Psychiatric News either as the focus for an article or in some secondary way.
    • Analyze and interpret detailed and complex scientific information from multiple credible sources and distill significant and relevant material, translating, integrating and presenting the information in a way that is appropriate for the Psychiatric News readership.
    • Write articles following accepted journalistic standards.
    • Verify information and quotes.
    • Write articles in a timely manner to meet deadlines.
    • Type articles on a PC using common word-processing software.
    • Proofread printouts of articles and pageproofs.
    • Perform other duties as assigned.

    Write original news and feature articles for Psychiatric News on self-initiated or assigned topics in areas that have an impact on psychiatric practice and its patients. Examples of such topics are health care reform, health care economics, state and federal legislation, APA advocacy and public relations initiatives, APA’s outreach activities, and Supreme Court cases.

    Write brief news reports and plan art for Psychiatric News Alert (daily news service delivered via e-mail and RSS feeds) on self-initiated or assigned topics and contribute appropriate news briefs to the Psychiatric News Update (weekly e-newsletter).

    Key Supporting Tasks:

    • Write brief news items with links to relevant sources.
    • Identify and prepare appropriate art to accompany news reports.

    Produce video and audio reports for use in Psychiatric News ’ communication vehicles.

    Key Supporting Tasks:

    • Identify topics and interview subjects for video and audio reports.
    • Schedule and carry out interviews.
    • Operate video or audio equipment and related equipment to ensure high quality.
    • Edit material into final product.

    Follow issues and developments in psychiatry and related fields and maintain contact with professional sources, APA components, and APA staff to originate story ideas and assess news value.

    Key Supporting Tasks:

    • Monitor a variety of media, including journals, trade and lay publications, broadcast reports, Internet sites, press releases, and blogs pertaining to psychiatry, the medical profession, and related fields.
    • Maintain regular contact with sources throughout APA for news and information that would be of interest to APA members or that APA wishes to disseminate to members.
    • Maintain regular contact with sources throughout the psychiatric clinical and research community, including, but not limited to the federal institutes, academic and private medical centers, and clinic and private practice settings.
    • Identify, and attend as assigned, conferences and other meetings that are likely to yield valuable scientific, clinical, or practice-management information for readers.
    • Keep executive editor informed of news/developments and sensitive issues about which incumbent learns in the course of carrying out position responsibilities.

    Plan art to accompany articles in Psychiatric News .

    Key Supporting Tasks:

    • Identify those articles for which photos, art, tables, charts, etc., are appropriate, with an emphasis on summarizing complex and detailed scientific data in a visually appealing and informative manner, and discuss with Executive Editor or Associate Editor.
    • Take or procure photographs or art.
    • Design or obtain charts or tables and get permission to reproduce them as necessary.
    • Write captions for photos, charts, etc., and proof final product.

    Experience and Professional Qualifications

    • A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, or a related area with expertise in the sciences or health professions or a degree in the health professions field with extensive writing experience is required, with at least seven years’ experience writing and editing in a medical or health-related field, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
    • A master’s degree in a scientific discipline related to medicine or the health professions is strongly preferred.
    • Experience in a professional association is preferred.
    • Proficiency with digital camera and video equipment is required; experience with video/audio and photo editing software is preferred.

    Working Conditions
    Office Environment



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