Position Description

Political Reporter
Location Chicago
Job Code 500
# of Openings 1
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About Chicago Public Media

Chicago Public Media is home to WBEZ , Chicago’s NPR news source and one of the largest and most respected public media stations in the country, as well as urban alternative music station, Vocalo . The organization serves the community with fact-based, objective news and information. WBEZ’s award-winning journalists ask tough questions, dig deep for answers, and expose truths that spark change and foster understanding. In addition to its local and national news programming, WBEZ Chicago is home to a growing portfolio of popular podcasts, including the “Making” series of Making Beyoncé, Making Obama, and Making Oprah; an investigative podcast series, Motive; 16 Shots: A podcast about the fatal police shooting of Laquan McDonald; Nerdette; and Curious City. WBEZ Chicago has a legacy of innovation as the birthplace of nationally acclaimed programs such as This American Life and Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me! and the ground-breaking podcast, Serial.

Chicago Public Media has recently acquired the Chicago Sun-Times, one of the Chicago’s two major daily newspapers and among the most storied dailies in the nation.  With the Chicago Sun-Times and WBEZ, Chicago Public Media is now home to one of the largest teams of journalists of any local news organization in the nation. Under the banner of Chicago Public Media, WBEZ and the Chicago Sun-Times will reach more than 2 million people a week in the Chicago area across broadcast, print, and digital channels.  Backed by a significant philanthropic commitment, Chicago Public Media plans to substantially increase its investment in local journalism by hiring additional reporters, producers and newsroom personnel in the months and years ahead. 


The Opportunity

We are seeking an experienced political reporter with radio experience to cover Chicago city politics for our award-winning news team at WBEZ.

We believe in enlisting and empowering journalists to do impactful, editorially ambitious work. We believe in a collaborative culture of editorial rigor, craft, and creativity. We are looking for someone who would thrive in such an environment and contribute to it.  The city political reporter will work with other reporters and a two-person editing team on the Government & Politics Desk. They will work independently on an assigned beat, while also collaborating with other members of the team on stories, projects, and investigations.

The right candidate will possess all the abilities of a skilled journalist: the ability to work a phone, develop sources, self-direct, anticipate and break news, write quickly and in their own voice, find good stories and unique angles, hit deadlines, and work with finesse under pressure.

They will have the metabolism and energy to cover breaking and daily news on one of the busiest beats in the city. They will also possess the organizational skills to manage mid- and long-term enterprise stories and investigations that change the public conversation, rather than react to it. They are a team player, ready and willing to share bylines and work with others to provide the most robust coverage. Just as importantly, the candidate will have a keen ear for finding stories and characters, and a hunger to bring them to life in creative ways that humanize and illuminate the workings of government and politics in Chicago and Illinois. We believe in being competitive in the daily news cycle, but also doing more thoughtful, multi-dimensional and reflective work.

Ideally, the candidate is a seasoned reporter with an established record of producing impactful work. They will possess good news judgment and have demonstrated the ability to develop a beat and create compelling, engaging journalism. The right candidate will be dedicated to creativity in storytelling, both in form and substance, and willing to take risks to that end. Knowledge of Chicago and Illinois politics is preferred.

Radio experience is not required, but it is a big plus. That means the ability to write for the ear using their own voice, to build scenes, and to structure an audio story. It means having a sense for character and story and knowing how to create compelling moments by asking good questions on tape. We are open to candidates without such radio experience, if they are eager to develop this skill set.

Digital experience and sensibilities are important. WBEZ’s work is multi-platform, and we’re an important resource for our community on-air and online.

We believe WBEZ has an opportunity to have more impact and agency than ever before — to do work of deep and widespread significance, to pursue investigative work, to tell stories innovatively, and ultimately, to enrich the public conversation of our communities and our country.


General Responsibilities

  • Work collaboratively with editor to find, report and produce stories
  • Generate story and project ideas
  • 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
  • Produce work in a range of formats: spots, feature reports, live debriefs, live field reports, podcasts, panel discussions and live events
  • Generate ideas and material for multiple platforms, broadcast and digital
  • Participate in editorial activities of the department
  • Develop big-picture approaches to covering issues and ideas, while also executing the many small tasks involved in reporting
  • Desire to grow as a journalist, and transfer strategies, strengths and abilities to colleagues
  • Hit deadlines
  • Willing to work flexible hours to cover the competitive beat
  • Participate in on-air fundraising
  • Experience directing voicing and editing others is a plus, but not required

This job is located in Chicago, Illinois. Those interested must submit a cover letter, a resume, a reel or links to work, and references.

  This position is represented by SAG AFTRA.


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.

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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