International Center for Journalists Reviews | Glassdoor

International Center for Journalists Reviews

Updated January 15, 2018
8 reviews

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International Center for Journalists President Joyce Barnathan
Joyce Barnathan
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  1. "Great organization supporting journalism around the world"

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at International Center for Journalists as a contractor (More than a year)

    Pros

    Very diverse environment, friendly staff, innovative leadership, great for early career

    Cons

    It's a smallish organization that makes little room to grow if you want promotion within the company.


  2. "Great starting point"

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    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at International Center for Journalists as an intern

    Pros

    - Opportunity to excel
    - Chance to pitch ideas and follow through on them
    - Always free food
    - Supportive environment

    Cons

    - Quiet office
    - Occasional difficulty communicating

  3. "There should be room for both project managers and journalists"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at International Center for Journalists full-time

    Pros

    Opportunities for travel and training; good place to gain experience for project management; promotions are available from within. Working from home is an option after a year.

    Cons

    Many supervisors can't do their supervisee's work, and therefore aren't aware of project burdens/workloads. Individual experiences are shaped by individual managers. Lack of accountability, especially for upper management. High turnover leads to a lack of institutional knowledge.

    Advice to Management

    Figure out ways to distinguish between technical experts (journalists) and project managers; it's a non-profit for journalists, and there's room for both. Make a genuine effort to create and adhere to requirements for positions. Hold people accountable to those requirements.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Benefits good,"

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at International Center for Journalists full-time

    Pros

    Good starter job for International Development. Great mission and work around the world. Good opportunities to work with diverse organizations and companies to build up network. Benefits are great, pay is okay, could be better. Opportunities to move up are good.

    Cons

    General non-profit issues, high turnover, often under-resourced, under-staffed and over-worked. Work-culture very fast-paced, high-stress, perfectionist, and top-down.

    Advice to Management

    Loosen up, push better work-life balance in organizational culture and expectations. Get more input from staff in company decisions.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "To quote a coworker here, "There is literally no shortage of people trying to take advantage of you at ICFJ.""

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Assistant
    Former Employee - Program Assistant
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at International Center for Journalists (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The topic is quite interesting.

    Cons

    They inflate higher-level employees' titles and salaries while giving the new lower-level employees made-up, lower-sounding titles year after year- and paying them less.

    Advice to Management

    Pay people at all levels of the organization fairly, i.e. enough for them to live comfortably in DC. $30-40K is not enough.

    Actually develop performance standards for each position, as well as a performance review plan- and do reviews in a timely manner. Maybe even get an ACTUAL HR professional working here full-time!?


  6. Helpful (3)

    "A fascinating field but ICFJ has not yet defined what it or its employees can contribute to this space"

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at International Center for Journalists full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    This is a smallish organization in a very interesting industry that is open about improving its operations. Just by nature of the individuals and topics you will work on, you will learn a tremendous amount about media development. The work is, as I said, interesting, and it is possible to maintain a work-life balance working at ICFJ.

    Cons

    I moved to DC for this job and I left early to move away from DC so both the timing and my decision to leave have external influences. I think many people are seduced by the idea of working in media development or a media-related outfit, given the ubiquity of digital media "innovations" on a daily basis. But working on an interesting topic and supporting people who are doing that work directly are two very different things. I have not been in DC long enough to say certainly, but I feel the experience at ICFJ represents partly the work culture in DC and partly to an organization that isn't clear what value it adds to its participants. As a result, there is a lot of meetings, data-entry tasks, admin work, but not a sense employees are using their full skill set or empowered to take on significant projects.

    Advice to Management

    - Big picture management goals could be stronger, inspiring team members and creating a clear focus on daily tasks
    - Communication style, in meetings and team functions, could be improved. Office atmosphere is not very inviting to team communication.
    - Less emphasis on processes and admin work, and more on valuable additions, projects, and activities that make use of staff strengths


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Basic in every sense of the word"

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Internship is paid! That's pretty much the only reason why I'd recommend it. People were friendly.

    Cons

    If you're looking to simply work (and only work) then come here. As an Intern, I didn't really feel like there were any opportunities for professional growth; I just came in, did my work, and left. In other words, it was robotic and felt meaningless. I certainly volunteered for other projects (even for other teams) just to find value in the tasks I was working on and sought professional advice from staff but nothing "wowed" me. For example, a lot of the intern work I did was very administrative, as expected, but my supervisor never encouraged asking questions about the non-profit industry, what it's like to break into the DC scene, or networking for a job in field of communications and journalism, non-profits, or a government agency. I did that all on my own by forging my own path towards professional development. On the other hand, I've worked for internships that created brown bag lunches to converse with staff members, one-on-one resume advice by the president of the company, career conversations from invited industry leaders, bi-weekly meetings between supervisor and intern, and so much more, all for the benefit of the intern and their short time at ICFJ. That said, I completely understand where ICFJ might stand on this: a temporary intern comes in to work and contributes little to the already penny-pinching company. Their time and money could be used to work on other employees' needs or projects. But it would have been nice to, as a student and intern, work and gain some industry insight in my short-time there.

    Additionally, the work culture is so bland. Don't get me wrong, the people were nice, but that's it. Not much interaction. Think of talking about the weather at the cooler. Every. Single. Day.

    Advice to Management

    Build your internship program to really feel like an internship, not temporary labor. We're students; we're oddly enough receiving pay but not much industry experience

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Typical nonprofit experience"

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at International Center for Journalists full-time

    Pros

    Fairly laid back atmosphere. People get along, and work together well - not much workplace strife. Some positions have opportunities for travel. Decent hours and pay, for an NGO. Good policies for things like sick leave, maternity leave, etc.

    Cons

    If you're looking to be a journalist.. look elsewhere. This is a place for people interested in nonprofit mgmt.
    Not much dynamism here, it is a 'quiet' sort of organization. There is a lot of micromanagement, which can get frustrating. Not much room for growth for entry-level employees. For a young person, this is a fine place to work for a year or so, but you will probably not stay long after that. It is not an instantly recognizable organization - takes some explaining when you tell people where you work.