Editorial Consulting

Focused primarily on magazine-quality journalism—in all formats, at all lengths, and across industries—I provide strategic advice and services to a variety of publishers and organizations looking to tell great stories that have the potential for impact, whether it's changing policy or influencing personal behavior. If you’re in need of an editorial consultant, please contact me directly at nicholas.b.jackson@gmail.com.

I have served as an officer of the International Association for Literary Journalism Studies since June of 2010. The IALJS is a multi-disciplinary learned society whose essential purpose is the encouragement and improvement of scholarly research and education in literary journalism. For the purposes of scholarly delineation, our definition of literary journalism is "journalism as literature" rather than "journalism about literature." As an officer, I manage and update the association's official website and assist with the development of a twice-yearly professional journal and annual conference that brings together top literary journalism educators from around the globe.

The mission of the International Association for Literary Journalism Studies is the improvement of scholarly research and education in literary journalism/reportage—not journalism about literature but journalism that is literature. To accomplish this, the association's activities include: encouraging critical and cross-cultural scholarly research and inquiry in the field of literary journalism; enhancing the standards of content and instruction in literary journalism courses; promoting a sense of public service and professional responsibility among both scholars and practitioners of literary journalism; fostering close and continuing relationships between academe and the profession; and increasing the understanding and awareness among professionals and academics of the importance of literary journalism—a genre also known around the world as literary reportage, narrative journalism, creative non-fiction, the New Journalism, Jornalismo Literário, el periodismo literario, Bao Gao Wen Xue, literary non-fiction, and narrative non-fiction.


I was an early adviser and editorial consultant to Beacon, a platform that let writers connect with readers that value their work. Beacon, which launched in the second half of 2013, was part of Y Combinator’s Winter 2014 class. As an adviser, I recruited high-quality and -profile independent journalists with expertise on topics of interest to readers.

The Web has forever changed the way we produce and consume information, but fundamentally the relationship between reader and writer remains the same. Journalists have stories to tell, readers are listening. Beacon was a simple platform that let writers connect with readers that valued their work. Created by a team of industry professionals and technologists that believe in using the Web to empower great creators, Beacon was our way of sharing that belief.

Hundreds of journalists used the platform to finance their writing and investigations, with organizers working with newspapers and other publishers to promote the projects and to help the stories produced reach a wider audience.

Over $1,000,000 was raised via 20,000 donors by 2015 to fund journalism. The site differed from other models of funding journalism with donations, such as National Public Radio and Kickstarter, by focusing on the individual journalists, providing publishing support, and encouraging audience participation in story development.

Examples of Funded Projects

  • Ferguson: HuffPost raised $40,000 for a fellowship to allow a journalist to cover protests in Missouri for a full year.

  • My Four Months as a Private Prison Guard: $75,000 for Shane Bauer, a journalist imprisoned in Iran for 26 months.

  • The Net Neutrality Battle: Techdirt raised nearly $70,000 to support coverage of net neutrality in Washington, D.C.

  • Climate Confidential: Six climate and environment reporters raised over $46,000 to create a micro-publication.

  • The Shale Boom: The Texas Tribune obtained funding for a series of stories on energy developments.



While working as an editor at The Atlantic, where I oversaw the development and launch of a new section devoted to health coverage, I was part of a two-person team that conceived of—and developed a launch plan for—the magazine's video strategy. I also worked with the product and development groups to contribute to homepage and site re-designs.

The challenge is twofold: 1) Find The Atlantic's sweet spot at the intersection of video and ideas. 2) Create a leapfrog strategy to massively increase video views on a shoestring budget. we think we can do all of the following with an increase in headcount of exactly one. No publication has really figured out how to do this, but we've got an idea based on some new conditions in the broader Internet space. Online video communities of both producers and viewers have grown over the past few years. These have extended beyond YouTube to encompass Vimeo, Flickr, and Metacafe. It's important to note that these sites are unique ecosystems. It is difficult to reach them via other social media. The creators on these sites represent a huge and inexpensive pool of producers for The Atlantic. The viewers could be a massive new audience for Atlantic content, but we don’t currently play in that space.

We propose transforming The Atlantic's current video channel into a dynamic stream for video content. No magazine or publication has attempted to tap the native video ecosystems. Instead, they've focused on expensive, in-house produced content. The real opportunity, though, is to become the taste-making conduit between the legions of smart documentarians and the wider Internet. That is to say, we want to take the best of what the Internet has to offer in exchange for the exposure and brand power of The Atlantic.


Working independently, I spent hundreds of hours researching and writing all website display copy for World Sport Chicago, the "living legacy" of the Chicago 2016 Olympic bid.

World Sport Chicago, an independent non-profit organization, supports resiliency and strengthens community by increasing access to youth sport. We hold that when young people are able to benefit from the positive values and fun experienced through sport, the trajectory of an entire neighborhood can change. World Sport Chicago takes action to connect kids to the caring mentors, safe spaces, and supportive networks that help them thrive. By advocating for investment in neighborhood sport and directing collaboration across community stakeholders, public agencies, and existing sport assets we will support greater resiliency and build a stronger Chicago. World Sport Chicago has a unique history routed in the principles of Olympism and Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The organization has evolved substantially and learned much since the bid, yet the collaborative spirit and core values that drove those efforts remain central to our work.

World Sport Chicago

I worked directly with Cathy Cousins Veal, the president of The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora, Illinois, to develop marketing and communication strategies, plans, and materials—after observing and interviewing students, alumni, staff, and faculty—in support of the experimental residential high school's strategic action plan to develop IMSA as a teaching and learning laboratory for imagination and inquiry.

The internationally recognized Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) develops creative, ethical leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. As a teaching and learning laboratory created by the State of Illinois, IMSA enrolls academically talented Illinois students (grades 10 through 12) in its advanced, residential college preparatory program, and it serves thousands of educators and students in Illinois and beyond through innovative instructional programs that foster imagination and inquiry. IMSA also advances education through research, groundbreaking ventures, and strategic partnerships.


I served as a temporary community manager for Edelman Digital, designing and overseeing the launch of a new public-facing website for the digital arm of the largest private public relations and marketing consultancy firm in the world.

We are a global communications marketing firm that partners with the world's leading businesses and organizations to evolve, promote, and protect their brands and reputations. Our proven strategy is to engage audiences over time to earn their lasting trust—the strongest insurance against competitive disruption, the antidote to consumer indifference, and the best path to continued growth. We've evolved during our storied history as a public relations pioneer. In addition to traditional and enhanced PR, our work now encompasses communications marketing, our data-and-insight-driven approach to integrated campaigns; advisory services; and digital strategies and solutions.


Edelman Digital