Are you an accomplished journalist with a firm understanding of how local and state governments work? Are you excited to hunt for solutions to the myriad problems facing Chicago and Illinois? The Illinois Answers Project is seeking a solutions reporter to join our Chicago newsroom. 

Solutions journalism examines the responses to systemic problems, exploring their effectiveness and limitations. Rather than stopping at identifying a problem, it’s the necessary next step in the evolution of local journalism.

This reporter will bring an investigative focus to solutions journalism, writing stories that explain strategies and policies that can solve issues affecting Chicago and its residents. This reporter will analyze, vet and explain approaches to problems to help our readers understand how these tactics could or could not work here.

A successful candidate will pitch story ideas in addition to completing assigned stories, and work independently and as part of a team both internally and with external partners. Story topics will fall under Illinois Answers’ four pillars of coverage: education, government accountability and finance, public safety and criminal justice, and equity and economic opportunity. 

The Illinois Answers Project is published by the Better Government Association, a 2022 Pulitzer Prize winner whose mission is to achieve transparency, equity and accountability in government — for everyone. For almost 100 years, the BGA has vigorously pursued its mission by producing investigative journalism, advocating for good-government reform, litigating to defend public access to information and mobilizing the public to achieve change. 

Illinois Answers is a hybrid newsroom, and reporters are expected to work from the office at least two days a week. 

Candidate requirements:

  • At least five years of reporting experience with demonstrated impact 
  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism or other relevant discipline
  • Previous experience or coursework in solutions journalism or a strong desire to learn 
  • Good understanding of issues affecting Chicago and Illinois
  • Ability to partner with other news organizations
  • Ability to produce accurate and detailed content and meet deadlines 
  • Excellent communication and time-management skills
  • Mastery of AP style

Desired skills:

  • Fluency in Spanish
  • Experience with public records and data

Compensation and Benefits: The salary range for this position is $75,000 to $90,000. We are looking for a talented, high-potential colleague who can contribute to the success of this enterprise, and such candidates who may not meet all the listed job requirements are invited to apply. The position also includes medical and dental insurance; vision and transit benefits; a comprehensive, paid time-off package, and a 401(k) with an employer match.

This position is represented by SAG-AFTRA.

How to Apply:

Please submit the following to in one document:

  • Resume
  • Cover letter, sharing your story and stating your interest or experience in solutions journalism
  • Three to four writing samples, preferably that highlight solutions work

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.