Since 2016, The Ken has been on a mission to make business journalism more meaningful, rewarding, and original. Not just for our subscribers in Southeast Asia and India, but for our journalists too. If you’d like to work and learn alongside the smartest set of colleagues working together around business journalism, subscriptions, and digital products, apply to us.
A Strong Desk is a Newsroom’s Core
At its core, The Ken is a community of storytellers. Our Desk enables this, working with our reporters to shape powerful ideas into compelling and lucid prose that is both effortless and rewarding to read.
Along the way, the Desk serves as an eye in the sky, of sorts. Constantly monitoring the progress of writers, providing feedback on drafts, and ensuring intelligent argumentation and thorough reportage. This may happen over multiple drafts.
Ultimately, the Desk takes the final draft and elevates it to The Ken’s standards of reporting and storytelling—this includes headlining, straps, summaries, and lead image selection, in addition to copy-editing, fact-checking, and rewriting. The aim is to ensure the organisation’s work is as close to perfect as possible. No typos. No factual errors. No amateur arguments. No ethical conflicts.
The edit process, though, is only one part of the desk’s responsibilities. The desk is also responsible for managing reporters’ story pipelines, ensuring each reporter has a story to work on, and that the organisation has visibility over its publishing calendar going forward.
But, why stories?
Because it’s not enough to merely report news events. Or to just collate events and facts into an article, and hope for readers to do the work of understanding their relevance.
At The Ken, we believe in writing original and deeply reported business stories with a strong narrative element. Whether a longform feature, a sharp newsletter, or a data-driven analysis, we pay a lot of attention to getting our storytelling right. That means giving our writers enough time to report, write, and edit their stories–on average around 10-12 days for just one story.
They are also given enough creative space to tell their stories using words and visuals. A dedicated Desk Edit team works behind the scenes to provide valuable feedback from the idea or pitch right to the published final draft. And being a subscriber-driven organisation, the feedback doesn’t stop after publishing. Our global community of subscribers is a rich daily source of feedback and learning around every story.
And why you?
Not many organisations these days ask what journalists want. Instead, roles are often structured around what they’re expected to deliver. We like to think of it in reverse. Great journalism comes from newsrooms that place journalists and their interests, ambitions, and preferences at the centre of their storytelling.
We started The Ken in 2016 with the desire to create a place where talented, ethical and ambitious journalists could build and sustain a newsroom to tell important stories without being pressured to file ‘exclusives’, churn out copycat pieces, or meet impossible story ‘targets’.
This makes the Head of Desk role at The Ken an interesting one because it’s central to shaping the narratives we are known for. While the work includes traditional editing—which comprises proofreading, copy editing, and ensuring readability and grammar—the Head of Desk also has the responsibility of helping Desk Editors and Staff Writers to zero in on the core argument in our stories and structure or rewrite them.
We work across numerous time zones. You will collaborate via tools like Slack, Zoom, Coda and Google Suite with a distributed newsroom comprising award winning journalists across multiple countries, editors, visual designers, podcasters, product managers, and developers.
We expect the Head of Desk to take ownership of maintaining consistency in how our stories and daily and weekend emails read. All the same, we count on the person hired for this position to experiment with narrative styles while keeping in mind The Ken’s high standards for clarity and accuracy.
More specifically, we’re looking for the following qualities:
- A flair for stories and storytelling
- A keen understanding of non-fiction narratives
- An insatiable appetite for all things business
- Flawless grammar and attention to detail, because our subscribers share these attributes too
- Good interpersonal and team communication skills
- Flexibility and adaptability in terms of both roles and responsibilities
- A minimum of 10 years of experience, preferably in business or tech news
- Experience in leading a team of editors
Candidates must display a strong understanding of the business and startup ecosystem in India and/or Southeast Asia. Experience in writing or editing longform stories is a bonus. If what we said above resonates with you, we’re pretty sure you’ll find The Ken is a great place for you.
What we offer
One of our tenets is to offer the most competitive salaries and meaningful benefits we can to our colleagues.
- Great salaries
- The latest Apple MacBooks
- A flat, non-hierarchical and open culture
- A universal ESOP plan
- Health insurance for you and your family
- Cutting-edge learning opportunities, whether it be on journalism or subscriptions products
- Unlimited leaves
- Company-sponsored therapy
About The Ken
The Ken is a pan-Asian, online business publication founded in India in October 2016. We pioneered and built the category of subscribers-only business journalism and are known for our consistently deep and analytical coverage of business, technology, and policy. We are backed by venture funding from Omidyar Network and highly respected angel investors.
If you haven’t read The Ken yet, you can get a sense of our work from our free reads section.
Our diverse community of more than 40,000 subscribers comprises innovative and successful entrepreneurs and senior executives, venture investors, knowledge professionals, policy makers, college students, and dozens of the world’s best-known companies.