Position Description

Media Archivist
Location Chicago, Navy Pier
Job Code 327
# of Openings 1
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About Chicago Public Media

To nourish the public conversation by telling the stories that matter—stories that provoke thought, entertain, capture emotion and inspire action.


Chicago Public Media Mission Statement


Who is Chicago Public Media?

Chicago Public Media is one of the largest, most decorated, aggressively creative, and journalistically ambitious public radio organizations in the nation. We are home to WBEZ, Chicago’s NPR news station, celebrating our 75th year anniversary broadcasting at 91.5 FM, and Vocalo Radio, Chicago’s Urban Alternative music station at 91.1 FM. We are the birthplace of such celebrated programs as This American Life, Wait,Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, Sound Opinions, Curious City and most recently, a growing portfolio of podcasts that include Serial, the “Making” series, including Making Obama and Making Oprah, and The Trouble with Shannon Cason. WBEZ’s award-winning newsroom is growing in order to tackle the stories that matter most to our community.  As an essential source of news and context, we are a powerful connector among lines of difference.

An opportunity to make an impact

At Chicago Public Media, we believe independent journalism is essential to a well-functioning democracy and access to fact-based, objective news and information a right of every citizen.  We serve the public interest by creating diverse, compelling content that informs, inspires and enriches.  We connect diverse audiences and help them make a difference in our communities, our region and our world.  If you are inspired by our mission and want to belong to an organization that inspires you, supports you, and challenges you, we encourage you to apply.


CPM is seeking a Media Archivist to preserve and catalog WBEZ’s archival audio, collaborating with key team members to make accessible our historical and current media assets. The archive is used by our journalists to research and deepen our reporting. This position reports to the Director of Special Projects and Initiatives and oversees a team of part-time catalogers.



  • Ensure all newly created audio material we produce is archived and catalogued
  • Catalogue historical audio holdings, which have been digitized, using CollectiveAccess
  • Archive and catalog the 2007-2015 digitally created content
  • Maintain and evolve the taxonomy structure for the archive, which uses PBCore and Wikipedia, and enforcing the taxonomy and training the editorial staff to properly tag content
  • Ensure the digital archive is accessible to and usable by all who rely on it, including maintaining digital health
  • Ensure our taxonomy structure is effective in Search Engine Optimization for organic search results.  Use basic principles of SEO to ensure we are applying best practices in our taxonomy structure for both archival and search engine application.
  • Assist in applying the archive content to the journalists’ work, including regular attendance at meetings
  • Train other staff members in the use of the archive
  • Oversee the paid, part-time cataloging staff
  • Ensure our archival software is kept current and continues to meet our needs



  • MLIS from an ALA-accredited institution, with a concentration in Archives, or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Minimum two years professional experience in a cataloging or metadata-related position
  • Experience managing imports and configuring CollectiveAccess, ArchivesSpace or similar software
  • Experience with PBCore, PREMIS, or other common metadata standards
  • Experience cataloging
  • Experience transforming and cleaning data using OpenRefine, Python or other tools
  • Knowledge and awareness of current trends in the digitization of archival audio material for access and preservation
  • Knowledge of relevant standards for archival description including DACS and EAC-CPF
  • Familiarity with intellectual property rights and Fair Use
  • Desire to be part of a mission-oriented, dynamic organization that serves the Chicago community


Working at Chicago Public Media

We at Chicago Public Media 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, multiculturalism, 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 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
  •  12 weeks paid maternity 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
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