Cipher is hiring!

Cipher is hiring journalists to help expand its coverage of climate and energy.

A quick background on us: Cipher is a new publication by Breakthrough Energy. We launched in September with a weekly newsletter and regular video interview series, and we are planning a full news website in 2022. 

Cipher’s mission is to help accelerate the technological transformations required to get to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 through trustworthy and objective journalism.

We are looking for journalists who are passionate about putting their writing to work to help combat climate change by scrutinizing the challenges and opportunities of the technologies we need.

About Breakthrough Energy: Breakthrough Energy is a network of investment vehicles, philanthropic programs, policy advocacy and other activities committed to scaling the technologies we need to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Its founder is Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

We’re currently looking for one reporter position. Role will likely be remote. Reporters based outside of the United States are strongly encouraged to inquire, though all locations will be considered.

Reporter, daily writing and editorial management

We’re looking for a player-coach candidate who is excited about both writing and helping manage the day-to-day journalistic demands of Cipher.

This role would be contract-based first with the anticipation of joining the team full-time if we jointly determine the role is a good fit.

Desired qualification and skills: 

At least three years of journalism experience covering energy and climate change topics, though we are also eager to hear from more senior reporters. 

A bachelor’s degree or equivalent is required, with a focus on writing a plus. 

An ability to write stories based both on breaking news and trends. 

Ability to quickly learn and handle content management and email systems a must. 

An ability or interest in learning how to be a capable copy editor and to provide regular feedback on colleagues’ stories.  

A basic understanding of data visualization – or a willingness/ability to learn – a must. This includes learning and regularly using the chart tool Flourish. 

A deeper technical proficiency working with data and understanding what datasets are possible in the energy and climate space a plus (but not required). 

Experience in—or interest in becoming experienced in—live interviews and on-stage moderating a plus.


Helping Cipher grow with leadership on both the journalism and the operational sides of the publication. 

Writing on at least a weekly basis, including putting into context breaking news and bigger picture trend stories. 

Amount of writing per week will vary and grow over time. A typical average initially will be one story (500-800 words) and one chart. Interest in longer form journalism a plus because this will be an increased focus for Cipher as we grow.

Finding good and relevant data and inputting it into our chart system on a weekly basis. 

Helping research and prepare for video and live interviews, both virtual and in-person.

The operational side of Cipher journalism includes social media writing and planning, responding to readers’ emails, editing colleagues’ copy, providing input on visual and design elements, compiling and formatting the weekly newsletter and more. 

To learn more or apply, please submit your resume and portfolio to Amy Harder no later than December 23, 2021: [email protected]  

Breakthrough Energy offers full-time candidates a competitive compensation package that includes salary and generous benefits.

Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is also represented in our compensation philosophy. We are committed to offering starting salaries on the value of the position within the market. We do not believe salary should be based on a candidate’s ability to negotiate, previous salary history, or any other non-skills-based attributes. Breakthrough Energy believes that transparency is a pathway to achieving pay equity.

Breakthrough Energy will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations. If reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and/or to receive other benefits and privileges of employment, please contact Craig Staples: [email protected].

To learn more or apply, please submit your resume and portfolio to Amy Harder no later than December 23, 2021: [email protected]   

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