KAXE, the first rural public radio station in the nation founded with enthusiasm and grit in 1976 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, is expanding its capacity for local journalism.
As an affiliate of National Public Radio, KAXE has built a loyal audience of listeners that have come to rely on the station for local and national news, original music programs, arts and culture, and information about weather, nature and their communities. The organization tells the stories of the people, places and events that make Northern Minnesota special.
We are expanding our original news content, with a significant digital focus, because we believe rural Minnesotans deserve robust and reliable local journalism.
According to the Society of Professional Journalists, the loss of local journalism has magnified the spread of misinformation and created news deserts, especially in poverty-stricken and rural communities.
The retraction and closure of locally owned news outlets means some communities have lost reliable sources for news. The lack of local news can lead to voter participation decline, local government and business corruption and even increases in taxes and government spending. Citizens become disconnected from their home communities.
Northern Community Radio is a nonprofit, community public broadcast organization, operating radio stations 91.7 FM KAXE Grand Rapids with a translator at 89.9 FM Brainerd, and 90.5 FM KBXE Bemidji as well as kaxe.org.
We seek curious, collaborative multimedia general assignment reporter candidates to join a new fully funded nonprofit newsroom that will engage and inform local people in Northern Minnesota. One position will be based in the greater Bemidji area and one position will be based in the greater Grand Rapids area.
The ideal applicants are established journalists with at least three years of experience (in print, radio or digital) with track records of excellence, proven collaboration skills and commitments to the ethics of public media and professional journalism.
Those with recent training or education in journalism may also be considered, but strong writing and reporting skills are a must.
We eagerly welcome individuals with diverse lived experiences and perspectives to enrich our work and bring fresh ideas into our organization.
If your heart skips a beat at the idea of contributing to the founding of a new nonprofit newsroom in an underserved and growing news desert — all while living in an area rich in natural beauty, outdoor recreation and strong arts and cultural communities — please apply.
The general assignment reporters will report to the news director and will be expected to file stories regularly while also working on medium- and long-term projects.
Your pitches and assignments will likely include day-of stories, enterprise stories and interviews with on-air hosts. You’ll produce news for all media distribution platforms including digital, broadcast radio, podcast, social and emerging platforms.
Because this new newsroom is in the building phase, expect experimentation and evolving expectations as we find our rhythm as a team.
One position will be based at KAXE’s studio in Grand Rapids and the other position at KBXE’s studio in Bemidji, with some remote work as arranged. The ideal candidates will have knowledge of or curiosity about the complexity and diversity of rural life in Northern Minnesota. These are at-will positions.
The primary focus of the KAXE/KBXE newsroom will be producing news stories for the web while collaborating with those who produce radio and podcast content to create a richer experience for listeners, readers and community members.
The qualifications below are an example of skills key to this position. We welcome the opportunity to learn about other skills and experience levels that would make this a mutual fit.
We’re looking for candidates with:
- A college degree, preferably in journalism, communications or a related field.
- Three (3) or more years of reporting experience (this can include a strong portfolio of student journalism).
- Demonstrated news judgment, ethics and creative approaches to storytelling.
- Enthusiasm about using journalism engagement practices to serve audiences.
- Strong verbal and written communication skills, both in internal and public-facing settings.
- Strong decision-making and problem-solving skills.
- Experience with print/digital, multimedia, television and/or audio production.
- An ability to thrive in a deadline-driven environment where attention to detail and accuracy is key.
- Professionalism: punctual, reliable and willing to sometimes work weekend and evening hours.
- Experience with and commitment to the work of diversity, equity and inclusion in content, staff and community partners.
- Interest or experience in rural communities preferred.
- Investigative or data journalism experience is welcomed.
This job posting is not designed to contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employees. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change or new ones may be assigned at any time with or without notice.
What we’ll provide
- Investment in your professional growth through coaching, training and professional development.
- A collaborative environment where risk, innovation and growth are fostered.
- A commitment to continue and build upon our diversity, equity and inclusion work in content, staffing, board representation, and community partnerships.
Compensation and benefits
Salary range is $40,000-$47,000 per year based on experience. In addition to salary, KAXE offers a compensation package that includes the following benefits:
- Group health insurance.
- Company paid life insurance.
- 5% company paid SEP.
- Company paid cellphone service.
- Mileage reimbursement for approved work-related travel.
- 11 paid company holidays.
- 4 weeks annual paid time off.
About Northern Community Radio
Northern Community Radio is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer. Our policy is to ensure equal employment opportunities in accordance with all applicable local, state, and federal regulations and guidelines.
Like all team members, the General Assignment Reporters will be expected to contribute to a work culture based upon respect, teamwork and collaboration.
Our programs and employment are open to all. We value diversity and do not permit any discrimination against applicants, employees, or volunteers based on race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, medical condition, disability, or any other status protected by applicable law or statute in any of our policies or programs.
Northern Community Radio fosters a culture of inclusion with equity, honesty, diversity, visibility, creativity, and trust as core values.
Positions opened until filled.*
*These positions and the Northern Community Radio News Initiative are funded by grants from the Blandin Foundation and the Northland Foundation, with a plan to become self-sustaining. Contact us for grant information if interested.