Job Description:

KCUR 89.3, Kansas City’s NPR affiliate, seeks a journalist to investigate responses to social problems in underserved communities throughout the metropolitan area.

This is a newly created, two-year, grant-funded position with the possibility of renewal.

Like all American cities, Kansas City was built on public policies and informal practices that neglected or were intentionally hostile to certain communities, many of whom still live with the social, environmental, economic, health, safety and other legacies of discriminatory policies.

Elected officials and civic leaders have proposed and implemented countless remedies to various systemic problems, while many of the city’s creative and resilient individuals and communities have also worked toward solutions.

We’re looking for a reporter to investigate and explain how and why some responses have worked — or not worked — and what communities learned in the process, and how successes can be replicated in other places. Our reporter will have the opportunity to dive into inspiring projects around the city and engage with vibrant communities that are making them happen.

To do this innovative work, we seek someone whose life experiences uniquely prepare them to tell stories for and about communities traditionally underserved by policymakers, legacy institutions and the news media.

Our new colleague will apply rigorous solutions journalism practices to this effort: identifying responses to problems; evaluating the evidence to determine whether those responses have been effective; and exploring the limitations of the solutions by, in part, comparing them to solutions applied effectively to similar problems elsewhere.

They’ll be welcomed into an ambitious yet flexible workplace. Our new colleague doesn’t need radio reporting experience — we have experts who are happy to teach those skills — but they must have strong writing talent and must share our commitment to serving all of our audiences, tracking the diversity of sources and contributing to our positive and welcoming work environment.

We’re looking for someone who can work on different projects simultaneously, who can take direction and work collaboratively, and who can produce to the highest journalistic standards.

They will have access to expertise and opportunities to collaborate with our regional partners including NPR’s Midwest NewsroomHarvest Public Media and the Kansas News Service, all based at KCUR, and our regional partners in the Kansas City Media Collective.

Characteristic duties

  • In consultation with editors and reporters in the KCUR newsroom and community stakeholders, identify responses to systemic social, environmental, economic, health, safety and other problems in the Kansas City metropolitan area. 
  • Research the effectiveness of such responses to find evidence of successes, failures, limitations and lessons.  
  • Use rigorous solutions journalism practices to pitch, report, write and produce spot news, audio features, talk show segments and digital stories.
  • Collaborate with KCUR’s Community Engagement team for community conversations and events.
  • Track source demographics. 
  • Suggest story ideas and help focus story angles for colleagues working on related subjects; collaborate with other KCUR reporters and talk show producers on projects.
  • Contribute segment ideas and appear as a guest or host on KCUR’s local talk show, podcasts and community events, as needed.
  • Collaborate with the KCUR’s partners, including the Kansas News Service, Harvest Public Media, the Midwest Newsroom, the Kansas City Media Collective and national entities to produce and share content across multiple platforms.
  • Handle newscasts and/or announcing, as needed.
  • Participate in all assigned fund-raising and outreach activities, on air and off.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Minimum qualifications

A Bachelor's degree or an equivalent combination of education and experience and at least three years of experience from which comparable knowledge and skills can be acquired is necessary.

Preferred qualifications

We know there will be some great journalists who might not have all of the qualifications listed below. If you’re one of those folks, please apply and write a cover letter telling us why you’re the perfect person for this job.

  • A bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications or a related field.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills and good news judgment.
  • Demonstrated potential to elevate the stories of individuals and communities who are traditionally excluded from institutional power structures and media attention.
  • A familiarity with solutions journalism practices.
  • Three years of experience producing news content for digital and social platforms.
  • One year of work experience in a radio, news or public media organization.
  • Demonstrated ability to cover breaking news as well as report through long-form, innovative storytelling.
  • Demonstrated ability to take direction and work collaboratively.
  • Demonstrated ability to meet deadlines.
  • Enthusiasm for the role of public media in a changing journalism environment.
  • Experience operating digital editing systems (e.g. Adobe Audition), field recording units, and other audio production equipment.


Full time, benefit eligible staff position.


$50,367 - $65,000 commensurate on education, experience, and internal equity. This is a newly created, two-year, grant-funded position with the possibility of renewal.

Job Location: 
Kansas City, MO
United States
Job Category: 
Job Type: 
Full time
Send Application Materials To: 

Before applying, we recommend you explore the Solutions Journalism Network website. In your cover letter, please tell us what kinds of stories you might want to pursue in metropolitan Kansas City and how you would approach them.

KCUR 89.3 is the NPR affiliate in Kansas City and is an editorially independent community service of the University of Missouri - Kansas City. Please apply online at UMKC's website: Select "Staff Position," then "View Jobs," then "View All Jobs." This posting will remain open until filled, but for best consideration apply by January 16, 2024.

(816) 235-1621
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