Position Description

Statehouse Reporter
Location Chicago
Job Code 452
# of Openings 2
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About Chicago Public Media

Chicago Public Media is one of the largest and most respected media organizations in the country.  The organization has a legacy of innovative program development having launched shows as The American Life, Wait, Don't Tell Me..., Nerdette, Making Obama and the ground-breaking podcast Serial.  Chicago Public Media engages with its listeners and users across multiple platforms, including radio broadcast radio, digital streaming, and mobile apps.  Our flagship station, WBEZ-Chicago (91.5 FM) is Chicagoland's premier media hub for high quality, fact-based journalism and engaging, entertaining audio programs and podcasts.  WBEZ's sister service, Vocalo (91.1 FM in Chicago, vocalo.org), targets a multicultural audience through an urban alternative format.

The Opportunity

Chicago Public Media, home to WBEZ, Chicago’s NPR news station, is looking for a versatile, experienced reporter to join its audio news team to cover the Illinois Legislature. They will serve both the local WBEZ audience, as well as provide daily news each day and enterprise feature work for the nine NPR member stations across Illinois as part of Illinois Public Radio (IPR). The reporter will be based in Springfield, working from the Capitol, but will occasionally spend time reporting from Chicago and collaborating with other reporters. We’re looking for a curious, aggressive, and skillful writer who is equally adept at both quick turn breaking news articles and developing in-depth features.

This team player is responsible for reporting at a pace that serves the daily habits of a loyal and engaged broadcast audience and communicate with members of the audio news team at WBEZ and the stations across Illinois.

This reporter will also be expected to provide special coverage to statewide stations as part of the Illinois governor’s annual State of the State speech, as well as budget addresses. They will also participate as a host and/or expert on a public TV program “CapitolView” through WSIU in Carbondale, IL. and the broadcast program “Illinois State Week in Review” based at WUIS in Springfield. They will also be required to cover any special sessions.

The ideal candidate is a resourceful journalist who can spot trends and make sharp connections with seemingly straightforward news stories, providing insight that gives our audience the context they need to have a deeper understanding of the news. We are looking for a reporter who has a keen eye for reporting that is distinctive from the competition and has a good nose for scoops. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Work collaboratively with editors and other colleagues in the newsroom to research, pitch, conceptualize, report, and produce stories of the highest possible caliber and resonance.
  • Generate story and project ideas for broadcast and digital platforms.
  • Report, write and produce work in a range of formats, including enterprise feature reports, investigative series, on-air debriefs, podcasts, digital projects, panel discussions and live events.
  • Participate in special projects and in the editorial activities of the newsroom.
  • Develop big-picture approaches to covering issues and ideas, while also executing the many small tasks involved in reporting.
  • Enjoy grappling with ideas critically -- both your own and those of others.
  • Possess the highest journalistic and ethical standards, with an absolute dedication to accuracy, fairness, and attention to detail.
  • Desire to collaborate with other journalists to produce stories and projects of impact and distinction.
  • Desire to grow as a journalist, and transfer strategies, strengths, and abilities to colleagues.

Required Skills and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism, marketing, communications, web design, or related field.
  • Understanding of state and local government
  • Ability to write and produce stories at a daily pace with skill, accuracy, and insight
  • Ability to handle breaking news under deadline pressure while balancing enterprise stories
  • Demonstrated passion for news and a delight in unearthing scoops, advancing stories, or identifying creative angles when covering key stories in Chicago’s and Illinois’ daily news cycle
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with editors, producers and reporters across the newsroom in service of shared excellence
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, and the ability to cultivate strong relationships with colleagues, both at WBEZ and across the Illinois Public Radio System, and sources.
  • Strong audio and digital skills.

Working at Chicago Public Media

At Chicago Public Media, we care deeply about our employees as we know attracting, developing, and growing talent is key to our success and enhancing our impact.  Our culture is one where collaboration, ideas, and innovation are encouraged.  We value colleagues who will enhance our culture by bringing new ideas, diverse experiences, and talents to our dynamic workplace.

Chicago Public Media’s dedication to promoting diversity and inclusion is reflective across our brands, WBEZ 91.5 FM and Vocalo 91.1 FM, in our staff and in our work.  We are fully focused on equality of opportunity and believe deeply in diversity of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, national origin, experience, and all other fascinating characteristics that make us different.

At Chicago Public Media we believe dedication to a great workplace includes supporting our employees and their families. As a result, we provide a broad and generous benefits package for you at hire and in the years to come. Our benefits include:

  •  6 weeks fully paid family leave
  •  High quality Medical, Dental, and Vision plans at an affordable cost
  •  A 403(b)retirement plan with a company match

Generous paid time off, including starting with 3 weeks’ vacation and 4 personal days.

This position is a member of SAG-AFTRA.

Due to current COVID restrictions, you must be able to work remotely at your own designated location with Internet access and you must be willing and able to work at our Navy Pier offices, if needed. Right now, most of our staff is working remotely.

The essential functions described above are not all-inclusive and may change periodically to meet the needs of Chicago Public Media (CPM). The information contained in this job description is not intended to create any contractual or other legal commitment. Chicago Public Media may change the content or format of this job at any time in its sole and exclusive discretion without notice.

Chicago Public Media is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and we actively seek and welcome people from all backgrounds, orientations, and life experiences to join our team. 


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