New Role: Media and Democracy Policy Lead

Join the IWA by becoming our new Media and Democracy Policy Lead.

About the IWA

The Institute of Welsh Affairs (IWA) is an independent think tank working to make Wales better. Our vision is to help create a Wales where everyone can flourish. We are politically independent and do not represent any particular sector, trade or interest group. We’re also a charity, funded by our members, charitable trusts and foundations and our own commercial activity. We act as a catalyst for change. We stimulate challenging debate and work with our members and others to spark practical, new ideas that can shape Wales’ future. Through our policy projects, we develop and secure commitment to practical ideas that can transform Wales.

About this role 

The IWA has a reputation for rigour and independence, for clearly articulating complex policy challenges, for convening expertise across sectors and for effectively influencing policy areas that can shape Wales’ future. Our work will aim to improve the political education of the nation and the accountability and transparency of our politicians. We want to see Wales’ civic sphere grow and strengthen.

This is a brand new role. The Media and Democracy Policy Lead will coordinate the IWA’s influencing work around our Media Priorities. This project is funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust.

You will work closely with and report to the IWA’s Policy and External Affairs Manager, and work collaboratively with the whole IWA team to ensure our policy priorities are implemented.

We are looking for a proactive self-starter with experience in journalism or a related field. You will have the ability to operate independently with high levels of autonomy, and clear communication skills which will contribute to our effective engagement with external partners and stakeholders, including at a senior level.  

This is a two year fixed term contract. 

We recommended that 

The Welsh Government should: 

  1. Create a contestable fund for independent news of at least £1m per year 
  2. Work with the UK Government to improve the accountability of Public Service Media organisations (PSMs) to the Senedd, through devolution of specific broadcasting powers 
  3. Make Creative Wales the home for an ambitious strategy for a thriving media economy, which tells stories of Welsh life in all its diversity. 

And that the Senedd communications committee should undertake an inquiry into the role of social media and misinformation during the 2021 Senedd elections.

Who are we looking for?

Essentially, we are looking for someone who will initially work with us and our partners to secure these recommendations during the Sixth Senedd. You will be someone who believes that a strong, confident democracy is something worth fighting for and you will have a deep understanding of the impact Welsh, UK and global traditional and social media have on citizen engagement. 

This project is the beginning of the next phase of our work on Media and Democracy as the world around us continues to change. There will be opportunities for the postholder to scope and identify areas of interest beyond our initial recommendations and we are interested in hearing what your own ideas and expertise might bring to our media and democracy work.

Role and Responsibilities

Project Delivery

  • Creating and delivering a detailed work plan and collaborative Theory of Change to implement our Media and Democracy Priorities, working closely with our new advisory group
  • Scoping and commissioning external research as needed
  • Managing the project budget within agreed parameters
  • Producing project reports (narrative and funding) in line with internal and donor requirements
  • Supporting the preparation and delivery of a strategy to influence policy makers and opinion formers, based on the Theory of Change
  • Compiling and delivering funding bids to support our work on Media and Democracy beyond the two year contractual period

Developing Partnerships/Coordination

  • Developing partnerships with key individuals, stakeholders, elected representatives and decision makers 
  • Coordinating an advisory group consisting of respected academics and practitioners in the field of media policy
  • Coordinating work streams around each priority

Communications and Influencing

  • Working closely with the Media, Communications and Engagement Officer, devise and lead on communications in relation to the project’s outputs 
  • Contributing to the IWA’s online presence and delivering policy content for high impact communications
  • Coordinating event planning and management in relation to this project and assisting with other related IWA events
  • Undertaking other duties commensurate with this post as requested.

Person specification

Essential Criteria


  • Experience of working in journalism, professional social media or similar field 
  • Proven track record in developing relationships with key stakeholders across a wide range of sectors
  • Experience of delivering or commissioning research
  • A track record of engaging with, and communicating complex issues to the public 


  • Proven ability to communicate at all levels, with both technical and non-technical audiences, and to present complex issues and concepts in an accessible way in clear written documents or on social media
  • Good understanding and experience of technology to include use of full Microsoft Office package / Google equivalent

Qualifications, education and training

  • Relevant university degree level or equivalent experience

Desirable Criteria


  • Understanding of media policy in Wales and / or the UK


  • Proven ability in the management and delivery of complex projects
  • Experience of delivering successful project fundraising bids
  • Experience of WordPress or similar content management system
  • Experience of social media management for an organisation or group
  • Experience of planning and/or managing events


  • Ability to write and speak Welsh
  • Graphic design skills

Terms and Conditions  

This is a full time post (37.5 hours per week) for a fixed period of 2 years and the salary is £30k per annum. There is a company pension scheme and a cycle scheme. The postholder will have 25 days annual leave and up to an additional four days over the Christmas/New Year period. We are a Living Wage employer. We are also a supportive and flexible employer because we care about our team.

Location: The IWA currently has offices in Cardiff Bay, however you will be mostly home-based until Covid-related restrictions are fully lifted and even then we’re happy to discuss the possibility of working remotely for much of the time. We’re happy to consider applications from candidates not based in south Wales so long as you are available for office-based meetings/work on a regular basis.  

How to apply

Please send a CV and short covering letter (combined in one pdf, max 2 x A4 sides each item) addressed to Rhian Cook, setting out why you want to work for the IWA and why you are suited to this role. Please name your document [your name]_media & democracy lead.pdf  

This should be sent to by 5pm on Monday 31 January 2022. 

We are committed to improving the diversity of our team so please note that we will remove all identifying contact details from your application so that we shortlist blind, as usual. This is to ensure that we evaluate your application on your skills and experience alone.

Please also complete our Equality and Diversity Monitoring form when you apply, which can be found here. This is voluntary and anonymous, but helps us to ensure that we are being inclusive in our recruitment, as part of our commitment to the Zero Racism Wales pledge.

Interviews will be held on Friday 11 February 2022 over Zoom.  

If you have any queries please contact Rhian Cook on 02920 484387 or via, who will be able to arrange an informal conversation regarding the role.

You can download the job description here [pdf].

Issued 10 January 2022

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