Position Description

Arts & Culture Reporter, Vocalo
Location Chicago
Job Code 519
# 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 looking for a tapped-in, community-minded and motivated Arts & Culture Reporter to join Vocalo, Chicago Public Media’s dynamic, multiplatform destination that showcases Chicago’s diverse and emerging urban alternative music, art and culture scenes at 91.1FM, WBEZ HD2, and around the world at Vocalo.org. We are the birthplace of the Urban Alternative radio format, which features an eclectic mix of Hip-Hop, R&B, House music, and more. We believe that music is a gateway that allows us to form connections and to amplify the many diverse voices and talents in our city, including those of musicians, artists, activists, creators and change-makers. Vocalo works at the intersection of music, culture and storytelling to affect positive change in people’s lives. 

If you love the artists, culture and music at the heart of the urban alternative format, possess a versatile production skill set, and have a passion for growing and connecting diverse young audiences, you may be an ideal candidate for this position. In this dynamic, collaborative role, your responsibilities will fall into creating content for Vocalo’s on-air and online platforms. 

We are seeking a versatile, experienced reporter who can hit the ground running early in the day with limited direction and deliver a well-sourced, thoughtful, distinctive pieces of multimedia reporting (audio, written and/or video), and the ability to nimbly translate their work for multiple platforms (social, radio or website). The ideal candidate is a resourceful journalist who can spot cultural and music trends, and is connected to the pulse of the art world.

A commitment to accuracy and ethical reporting defines the work we do at Chicago Public Media; as such, the successful candidate will have strong news judgment, writing and editing skills and work effectively under deadline.


General Responsibilities

  • Pitch, report, produce and/or write arts & culture stories at a daily pace on a wide range of topics with skill, accuracy, and insight.
  • Contribute to social media and/or on air projects as needed on Vocalo and on WBEZ.
  • Maintain an active social media presence to grow an audience for one’s reporting.
  • Coordinate with our Digital Content Producer on editorial web initiatives.
  • Represent Vocalo Radio in public spaces (press events, panels, public events), when applicable.



  • BA in journalism, communication, or journalism.
  • Minimum 2-years’ newsroom (or culture website) work experience.
  • Demonstrated passion for arts and culture and a deep understanding of the Chicago arts, culture and music scene (including visual arts and food).
  • Ability to work collaboratively with editors, host/producers, and reporters across CPM in service of shared excellence.
  • Creative, practical audio editing skills and a proficiency for audio mixing.
  • Experience writing web copy, scripting and/or editing compelling podcasts or shows.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, and the ability to cultivate strong relationships with colleagues and sources.
  • Experience with new forms of storytelling powered by the social web and built for mobile web consumption.
  • Comfortable with using social media to drive engagement and promote content.


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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