The Illinois Answers Project, a nonprofit, Pulitzer Prize-winning newsroom, is seeking a highly motivated, experienced reporter to cover criminal justice issues in the Chicago area. Illinois Answers, a publication of the Better Government Association, aims to provide thoughtful, original coverage with a focus on residents who bear the impact of criminal justice policy decisions. 

In this job, you won’t be covering the breaking crime story of the day but rather will be expected to provide in-depth reporting and analysis of the criminal justice issues facing Chicago and the state, and assessing possible solutions to those problems. Candidates should feel equally at home interrogating a spreadsheet of crime data or a politician proposing a new police budget. 

As a reporter for Illinois Answers, the successful candidate will:

  • Develop quick-turn investigative and solutions pieces on the topics of crime, criminal justice and public safety, working both independently and with other journalists. 
  • Pitch and execute compelling narrative stories that are bolstered by public records and data to holistically report on issues affecting communities. 
  • Seek out ways to partner with outside news organizations and work collaboratively on projects to publish stories with urgency and efficiency.
  • Have a strong grasp of key issues affecting city, county and state government. 

Candidate requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism or other relevant discipline
  • Minimum of five years of experience in daily, enterprise or investigative reporting
  • Demonstrated experience with public records and data
  • Excellent communication and time-management skills

Preferred qualifications: 

  • Experience reporting on crime and criminal justice in Chicago
  • Spanish language skills 

Compensation and Benefits

Salary for a fully qualified candidate begins at $75,000 but is negotiable based on experience. Position also includes medical, and dental insurance; vision and commuter benefits; a comprehensive paid time off package; and a 401(k) with an employer match.

We are looking for a high-potential colleague who can contribute to the success of the Illinois Answer Project. Candidates who may not meet all of these qualifications or have relevant skills that are not listed are invited to apply.

How to Apply

Submit your cover letter, resume and three to five writing samples to We will begin reviewing submissions immediately and we will consider applicants while the posting remains on our website. 

We encourage applicants from traditionally underrepresented communities, including people of color, LGBTQ+ people and people with disabilities. The Better Government Association is an equal opportunity employer. We’re committed to cultivating and preserving a culture of inclusion and connectedness for all employees. We welcome the unique contributions you can bring in terms of education, opinions, culture, ethnicity, race, sex, gender identity and expression, nation of origin, age, languages spoken, veteran status, color, religion, disability, sexual orientation and beliefs.

The Illinois Answers Project is Illinois’ nonpartisan investigations and solutions journalism news organization. We are published by the Better Government Association, Illinois’ nonprofit full-service watchdog organization.