Position Description

Reporter, Race Class & Communities
Location Chicago, Navy Pier
Job Code 313
# of Openings 1
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 About WBEZ

WBEZ is one of the largest, most decorated, aggressively creative, and journalisticaly ambitious public media stations in the nation. It is the birthplace of such celebrated programs as This American Life, Wait…Wait Don’t Tell Me, Sound Opinions, Third Coast International Audio Festival and Curious City. WBEZ has recently developed a set of new strategic initiatives that include growing the number of reporters, producers and editors who can bring insight and accountability to the most important stories in the Chicago area. At the heart of this vision is the creation of a series of Enterprise Desks to provide world-class reporting on local issues that holds power accountable and deepens our understanding of the people and forces shaping our community.


Job Summary

WBEZ seeks, a highly accomplished reporter to cover immigration and immigrant communities as part of a new enterprise reporting desk focused on the themes of race, class and communities in the Chicago region. This innovative desk will be staffed with an editor and two other reporters with future plans to add a dedicated digital producer. This team will be charged with covering news across platforms and bringing an enterprising approach to their stories.

We’ve chosen Race, Class & Communities as a title and focus of coverage because these issues have shaped Chicago’s past, lie at the heart of many challenges facing Chicago today, and will fundamentally drive the future of our region. Investing in contextual, in-depth coverage that helps us understand these forces and the people at the heart of them is critical to understanding the direction and health of the region in the 21st century.

We will focus our efforts on four key reporting areas, each of which represent a critical lens through which to examine the human face of opportunity and equity. They include immigration, housing neighborhood life, and work.

The best candidate will demonstrate familiarity with immigration issues and immigrant communities and will possess all the abilities of a skilled journalist, including the ability to find good stories and unique angles; write incisively and in their own voice; anticipate and break news; cultivate sources; analyze data; hit deadlines; and work successfully under pressure. Our ideal candidate also will be infectiously curious, naturally collaborative, and motivated by a desire to learn new things and to engage new audiences across multiple platforms. They will be eager to chronicle the people and forces that shape the Chicagoland region and the role race, class and communities play in that process. And they will possess a desire to tell stories of singular impact and maximum relevance - stories that hold institutions accountable, surface new voices and perspectives, challenge assumptions, and deepen understanding.


Key Functions

  • Work collaboratively with an editor and other colleagues to research, pitch, conceptualize, report and produce stories of the highest caliber and resonance
  • Report, write and produce stories for broadcast and digital platforms, including daily news items, feature stories, projects, podcasts, on-air discussions and live events
  • Maintain a thorough familiarity with an array of demographic and public policy areas directly connected to the umbrella focus of Race Class & Communities, with particular knowledge of immigration and immigrant communities
  • Generate story and project ideas for multiple platforms, broadcast and digital
  • Participate in special projects and perform other station duties as necessary
  • Work collaboratively with editorial colleagues throughout the organization – in the service of impact, efficiency, and ultimately, service of our audience and mission
  • Develop big-picture approaches to covering issues and ideas, while also executing the many small tasks involved in reporting
  • Represent Chicago Public Media and the work of the Race, Class & Communities Desk to internal and external audiences, including staff and board meetings, public events, etc.


Required Skills and Experience

  • Minimum five years of reporting experience, including experience in long-form feature reporting
  • Fluency in Spanish and English is desired
  • An outstanding track record of producing journalism of the highest caliber and impact
  • A keen knowledge of the issues and themes at the heart of the Race, Class & Communities Desk, with a particular emphasis on stories relating to immigration and immigrant communities
  • The ability to produce work in a range of formats across audio and digital platforms, including: daily news items, feature stories, projects, podcasts, on-air discussions and live events
  • A familiarity with data-driven analysis and reporting
  • Ability to work in an editorially collaborative way – to articulate your own ideas precisely and concisely, and to recognize and build on strong ideas that come from editors and reporters
  • Excellent writing, editing, communication and organizational skills
  • An enjoyment in grappling with ideas critically – both your own and those of others
  • The highest journalistic and ethical standards, with an absolute dedication to accuracy, fairness and attention to detail
  • A team-oriented, collaborative, can-do spirit
  • A thoughtful, creative, energetic, collegial, and collaborative work style
  • Knowledge of the the Chicago region and its immigrant communities is desired


Position Requirements

  • Must be available to provide evening and holiday coverage as needed.


In your cover letter, please include links (Soundcloud, YouTube, Tumblr, etc.) to air checks or other on-air work. CDs or MP3s will not be accepted.

We have a company culture that encourages innovation. A PPO Health/Dental/Vision plan. We are located on Navy Pier, with great views of the city, and easy access via public transportation.

This job is located in Chicago, IL. This position is represented by SAG-AFTRA

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.

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