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. 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.
We are seeking an experienced reporter to cover K-12 education for WBEZ’s award-winning education team. We are looking for a reporter who can produce high-quality daily stories, projects, and investigations for both web and audio independently and as part of a team of four reporters and a senior editor. Our aim is to be the dominant source for education news in the Chicago area. This role reports to the Senior Editor, education. This position is represented by SAG-AFTRA.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
- Generate daily and enterprise stories and project ideas.
- Work collaboratively with an editor to find, report, and produce stories with depth and characters that humanize and illuminate the working of schools and forces that shape classrooms.
- Grapple with ideas critically — both your own and those of others to align with the stories that the communities we serve count on.
- Produce work in a range of formats, including for broadcast and digital: spots, features, live and taped debriefs, live field reports, podcasts, and web stories (breaking, explanatory and enterprise).
- Develop big-picture approaches to covering issues and ideas, while also executing the many small tasks involved in reporting.
- Be self-directed and be able to ask for help from other colleagues and support colleagues that need help.
- Anticipate and break news.
- Work across multiple platforms (digital, audio, etc.).
- Write accurately and quickly and in your own voice, find good stories and unique angles.
- Hit deadlines and work under tight deadlines.
- Participate in on-air fundraising.
- Follow and align work with our mission and be guided by the parameters of our Ethics Policy.
Required Skills and Experience
- Reporting experience covering a complex beat; knowledge of education is welcomed, but not required.
- Digital writing experience required; WBEZ’s work is multiplatform. Radio experience is a plus but not required; if no experience, we’re looking for a willingness and ability to learn audio and a keen ear for finding stories and characters.
- Outstanding news judgment; experience in managing time and priorities.
- Knowledge of the rich diversity of stories, sectors, and communities throughout the Chicago region is helpful.
- Ability to meet deadlines and proven ability to work in a collaborative environment; provide and receive input and feedback to improve final work product.
- A track record of being a reliable and supportive colleague, knowing that you will need to ask or give help to others in support of our work and our mission.
- Possess the highest journalistic and ethical standards, with an absolute dedication to accuracy, fairness, and attention to detail.
- Interested applicants must submit a cover letter that includes links to a portfolio of work and a minimum of 2 references (name, title, and contact information). We will not contact any reference until we receive explicit approval from you.
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.