The New Republic is a century-old progressive news outlet, but a job it advertised over the weekend is right at home in the modern gig economy: an “inequality editor” position that offered no benefits, no union eligibility, and, at 29.5 hours a week, was “part time” mainly in the sense that it’s a half-hour shy of some federal definitions of full-time work.
It was an opportunity for “raising hell,” the job listing gushed, at a storied news outlet that has been “long a champion of equality in all its guises.”
The listing, which went live to disbelief and ridicule on Sunday, was briefly taken down on Monday afternoon. Monday evening, New Republic editor Chris Lehmann said the job would include benefits, as would all permanent New Republic jobs going forward. (It remains a part-time, non-union position.)
The original listing alluded to larger plans to launch an entire section of coverage around the topic of inequality. The ideal candidate, it was clear from the description, would be an experienced journalist: “well-sourced in this beat,” capable of recruiting and managing a small team of writers and dreaming up events, features for the New Republic’s print magazine, “potential partnership opportunities” and even possible podcasts.
“We need someone who can go into the 2020 elections raising hell,” it said.
The job posting also expressed a preference for editors who are based in and can work from the New Republic’s offices in New York City or Washington, D.C. — cities with two of the highest costs of living in the country.
Editors at the New Republic did not immediately respond to requests for comment from this reporter, who worked at the New Republic six years ago under other management.
The New Republic’s staff union said Monday from its Twitter account it was “disappointed” with the outlet’s recent job postings and would confront management on the subject at upcoming contract negotiations.
“We formed a union because we believe every worker is entitled to a fair day’s pay and benefits for a fair day’s work,” it said.
This post has been updated with a decision to include benefits with the job.