Position Description

Senior Editor, Government & Politics
Location Chicago
Job Code 378
# of Openings 1
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About Chicago Public Media
Chicago Public Media is one of the largest and most respected public media organizations in the country. The organization has a legacy of innovative program development having launched such iconic shows as This American Life, Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me…, and the groundbreaking podcast Serial. With an unparalleled reputation for creativity and innovation across all platforms, Chicago Public Media provides substantive news and insights, thoughtful conversation and meaningful connections to its diverse audiences throughout the Chicago area, as well as nationally and globally.
Chicago Public Media engages with its listeners and users across multiple platforms, including broadcast radio, streaming services and smart speakers, web, social media and mobile. Its flagship station, WBEZ-Chicago (91.5 FM) is dedicated to producing high-quality journalism and engaging programs and podcasts. WBEZ’s website, wbez.org, and mobile app allow listeners to fully control their experience through its groundbreaking rePlayer functionality and on-demand platform. WBEZ’s sister service, Vocalo Radio (91.1 FM, vocalo.org), targets a multicultural audience through an urban alternative music format.
About the Job
WBEZ 91.5 FM Chicago, one of the most acclaimed, aggressively creative, and journalistically ambitious public radio stations in the country, is seeking an experienced Senior Editor to lead our award-winning Government & Politics Desk.
As our future Senior Editor you will supervise one of the largest political reporting teams on the busiest beat in Chicago. They will oversee six full-time reporters and one editor who produce daily and enterprise stories, investigations and special projects about state, county and city of Chicago politics and government. This work appears across a wide array of platforms, including NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered, on wbez.org, and on news-driven podcasts, smart speaker platforms and social media.
The best candidate will have deep working knowledge of government and politics in the Chicago area and in Illinois, including the players, the issues and the history. They’ll also have extensive experience inspiring journalists of all experience levels to create work of the highest caliber in a collaborative environment. They will bring compelling ideas of their own to the table, but also will take joy in shaping and encouraging the ideas of others. The candidate will have discerning taste and keen editorial judgment, as well as a deep commitment to the mission of public media and the highest ethical standards.
Working with the deputy editor and reporters, the Senior Editor, Government & Politics plans shapes and assigns daily and enterprise government and political coverage, as well as longer-term projects and investigations. They will outline coverage priorities for the desk and help edit daily news stories and enterprise features for 91.5 FM and wbez.org, maintaining WBEZ’s culture of strong editing and rigorous fact-checking. They will be experienced in investigative techniques and in the data and FOIA reporting processes that help shine a spotlight on public institutions. They will be expected to put editorial and reporting muscle onto the journalists who work for them, to nourish talent and empower it to grow.
The role will involve close coordination with fellow senior editors at WBEZ, especially those overseeing our audio and digital teams to ensure that are delivering our best content across platforms for maximum relevance and impact.
The Senior Editor, Government & Politics will have lead responsibility for planning and shaping the editorial priorities of the desk. They should be adept at balancing the need for both daily news coverage and longer form enterprise reporting, helping reporters map out their reporting, conceptualize stories and think critically about structure, narrative, character, pacing and signposting. We believe in being competitive in the daily news cycle, but we also prioritize the dimensional, high-impact journalism and storytelling that sets WBEZ apart.
The Senior Editor is also responsible for executing a strategic editorial vision around big events, such as elections and candidate debates, as well as articulating a broader strategy and tactics for how WBEZ can best serve its audience with government and political coverage. 
Key Functions:
  • Working with the Managing Editor, the Senior Editor for Government & Politics directs the overall strategy and coverage plans for WBEZ’s daily and enterprise news reporting relating to government and politics in the Chicago region. They assign stories, lead edits, and communicate with other newsroom stakeholders about the desk’s coverage plans.
  • Assigns, shapes, and edits audio and digital stories across WBEZ’s platforms and dayparts, including WBEZ’s broadcasts of Morning Edition, Reset with Jenn White, Here & Now and All Things Considered; WBEZ.org; social channels and an expanding portfolio of digital editorial products including newsletters, on-demand audio offerings (via smart speaker and podcasts) and social media. 
  • Helps conceptualize coverage plans and for major breaking news and political events, such as elections and conventions, and plays the lead role in organizing and executing those plans.
  • Challenges, nourishes and empowers the journalists on staff, furthering a newsroom culture of collaboration, inclusivity and continued editorial excellence.
  • Works with newsroom stakeholders and reporters on the desk to conceive, articulate and execute a strategic vision for WBEZ’s coverage of government and politics.
  • Serves as supervisor and manager of all employees on the Government & Politics desk.
  • Participates in station’s pledge drivers throughout the year.
Skills & Experience We are Looking For:
  • Outstanding news judgment and experience leading journalists to produce work of tremendous distinction and community impact.
  • Passion for leading creative government and politics coverage, and a dedication to taking risks and trying new things.
  • Deep knowledge of the workings of government and politics and the demonstrated ability to add critical context to stories, and to guide and enrich investigations.
  • Ability to conceptualize and edit audio stories and digital stories for content, accuracy, pacing, ideas, narrative, voice and character. Audio editing and group editing experience is not required, but is a big plus.
  • Constitution to edit quickly and accurately under intense deadline pressure on Chicago’s most competitive news beat, and the organizational skills to lead a team of prolific journalists working in several media at once
  • Deep commitment to the highest standards of journalistic ethics, accuracy and the mission of public media.
  • Ability to articulate your own ideas precisely and concisely – and to cultivate the strong ideas that come from other producers, editors, and reporters
  • Strong relationship builder and naturally collaborative leader. Experience leading and inspiring diverse, inclusive teams to excellence.
Working at Chicago Public Media
Chicago Public Media cares deeply about our employees as we know attracting, nurturing and developing 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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