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I worked at Media Matters for America full-time (More than a year)
Lots of clever, educated young people around. Challenging, intellectually stimulating environment. The work itself is rigorous, and staffers pride themselves on not making mistakes. For all these reasons, employees may develop a pleasant, convivial "foxhole" mentality...there is a lot of chatter and bonding.
It was clear just a few months after I started at Media Matters that I had no future there--low pay, little obvious path for advancement, long or irregular work hours. I have no idea how you would stay there if you wanted to start a family, and that may be by design--management's tack seems to be perpetually banking on the newest eager, overeducated 20-somethings spilling into Washington DC, of which there is a virtually inexhaustible supply. Media Matters doesn't care about providing decent benefits or opportunities for advancement because there will ALWAYS be another round of kids to replace you. That's pretty smart, but it makes it a bad place to work. Unsurprisingly, turnover was incredibly high while I was there. Another thing: I have held a bunch of white-collar office jobs, but never until Media Matters did I stare at screens (both computer monitors and TVs) so much that my eyes regularly hurt at the end of the day. I didn't even know that was a thing. Be prepared for it.
Advice to Management
See above. Maybe some of this has changed since I left--I hope it has. You have to invest in people a little if you want them to stick around.