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Senior Investigative Journalist – Better Government Association – Chicago, IL


Company: Better Government Association

Address: Chicago, IL


  • Full Time

Better Government Association

By BGA

Jun 10, 2020 4:31 PM

The Better Government Association (BGA) seeks a full-time Senior Investigative Journalist with at least 10 years of experience in exposing corruption or systemic problems involving government in Illinois. The Senior Investigator is responsible for advancing the BGA’s mission by conducting original, in-depth journalistic investigations on state and local government matters.

The BGA is a nonprofit news organization focused on transparency, efficiency and accountability at the local, county, and state levels in Illinois. Our offices are located in downtown Chicago, though we are working remotely during the coronavirus pandemic.

This position is funded for two years of full-time employment through a foundation grant that was awarded with the explicit purpose of bringing aboard a reporter with a track record of exposing corruption, revealing systemic problems or detailing social justice issues involving government or public institutions throughout Illinois.

In the past few years, the BGA has:

  • Detailed safety problems at Illinois’ nuclear power plants,

  • Exposed how Chicago’s community college system inflated graduation statistics,

  • Revealed lax oversight for suburban police officers who shoot citizens,

  • Uncovered major questions about how a Chicago public school allowed a student with autism to drown in a school pool,

  • Fact-checked dozens of politicians on more than 150 statements they’ve made through our partnership with the national fact-checking service PolitiFact,

  • Revealed how neglected elevators in Chicago public housing put senior citizens at risk,

  • Provided a meticulous look at how systematic disinvestment affected one Chicago suburb and what lessons are learned more broadly,

  • Exposed major faults with Chicago’s recycling system,

  • Detailed the history of corruption and mismanagement at O’Hare airport, and much more.

We are proud of that work. We’ve won dozens of national and local awards, including our entire newsroom being named a national finalist by the Online News Association for general excellence. But we want to do better and our hope is the person who gets this position will do that.

Job Responsibilities:

  • The ability to conceive of and execute multi-part series with a strong narrative arc and compelling investigative findings

  • A track record of demonstrated aptitude for working with large data sets

  • A talent for contributing to the creation of interactive and graphic elements that expand audience and impact

  • Creativity and persistence in pursuing public information through source-building and records requests

  • An urgency to publish: knowing how to complete initial reporting as efficiently as possible, and following up after initial publication with energy and tenacity

  • A collegial approach, including a willingness to share time and expertise in mentoring interns and younger colleague

  • The desire to collaborate with the BGA’s media partners in the interest of maximizing investigative effort and impact

Job Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree

  • A 10-year track record in investigations

  • A deep knowledge of and interest in state and local Illinois government and public issues

  • A history of producing journalism that has exposed corruption or systemic problems involving government in Illinois

  • A proven track record of having completed major projects from start to finish while working collaboratively to execute data analysis, interactive visuals, photos and video

  • Extremely organized and able to communicate clearly and collaboratively with fellow reporters and editors

  • Excellent writing skills

  • Proven commitment to accuracy

  • Ability to communicate effectively both on and offline

  • Attention to detail

  • Ability to work independently and react quickly

  • Ability to work effectively in a competitive yet collaborative environment

Send cover letter, resume, and writing samples to [email protected]

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