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Kentucky Public Radio Capitol Reporter

Come cover what one writer described as the damnedest politics in the country. Kentucky Public Radio (KPR), a diverse collaborative of public radio stations spanning the Bluegrass State, is looking for an intrepid journalist to report on government and politics with a sharp focus on the state legislature.

Politics and government is uniquely fascinating in Kentucky, which sits on the border of North and South, has deeply urban and vast rural areas and has gubernatorial elections the year before presidential elections — serving as a bellwether for national issues.

We’ve got two of the most powerful, or at least recognizable, politicians in the country —

Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul — and a Democratic governor fighting for reelection in an increasingly Republican state. The legislature, which Republicans only won control of in 2016, has become a crucible for some of the country’s most restrictive anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ laws.

KPR is a statewide network of stations that share content and editorial resources including WEKU, WKYU, WKMS and Louisville Public Media. The Capitol reporter is based at LPM and is responsible for leading KPR’s political reporting, exploring the issues, ideas, people and places that shape policy in our state as well as those who have traditionally been denied power.

This position is all about developing key sources, information feeds and emerging issues to ensure the network’s coverage of state politics is focused on the people it affects and is timely, relevant and contextual. The job will also provide an ambitious reporter many opportunities to report about Kentucky on the national stage, filing for NPR and collaborating with counterparts in other states.

Although primarily based in Frankfort and Louisville, the Capitol reporter will strive to write from a Kentucky-wide perspective, producing stories that are relevant from Pikeville to Paducah. The reporter will have to balance urban and rural perspectives while upholding values of diversity, equity and inclusion.

The Capitol Reporter is supervised by LPM’s Managing Editor of Collaboratives. This is a daily beat, meaning you’ll file regularly for radio and the web, as well as tackle in-depth and enterprise stories. You’ll craft Kentucky Politics Distilled, the weekly radio and podcast discussion from KPR. You’ll collaborate with the daily newsroom staff and our Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting on special projects and local programming.

This job requires previous journalism experience. Past roles covering politics as a beat or in public radio are preferred but not required.

What You’ll Do

  • Foster an environment of diversity, equity and inclusion that upholds the organization's values and strategic goals 
  • Produce state-focused daily and long-form journalism for use across all KPR station platforms
  • Use community engagement best practices to tell stories with and for communities, not just about them
  • Incorporate public records and data-based reporting
  • Employ a natural writing and voicing style
  • Interview people live for broadcast, streaming and in-person events
  • Commit to diversity in coverage and building and maintaining sources across diverse races, genders and abilities

What We’ll Do

  • Compensate you at a range of $50,000 to $65,000 annually, with regular opportunities for salary review
  • Invest in your professional growth through individual direction and training
  • Keep you connected with our industry through conferences and professional associations
  • Provide you an excellent benefits package that includes paid time off, health insurance and 401(k)
  • Invite you into a culture that is supportive, transparent, experimental and accountable
  • Offer a flexible, hybrid work environment
  • Continue our commitment to equity through our plan to improve upon the long-standing problems of racism in media 
  • Welcome you to an inclusive newsroom that is eager to hear new and different perspectives and is dedicated to self-improvement

We’re looking for an innovative journalist who centers everyday people in their work. Diverse experiences, education and work histories can foster those kinds of skills. So, if you think you meet most but not all of the requirements below, we still want to hear from you.

Key Qualifications

  • Minimum of 2 years of professional journalism or equivalent experience 
  • Impeccable journalistic integrity and judgment
  • Ability to manage multiple projects concurrently
  • Broad interests in news, public affairs and policy
  • Ability to identify key trends in beat reporting and news coverage
  • Driver’s license or access to reliable transportation between Louisville and Frankfort, Ky.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Participates in professional journalism groups and listservs, including public radio 
  • Stays on top of technology, nonprofit news and storytelling advances
  • Public radio experience or politics as a beat
  • Experience with live hosting and interviewing

If this is you, send a resume, three references and three work samples (stories or projects you’ve edited, or your three best clips as a reporter) to resume@louisvillepublicmedia.org. For audio work samples, please provide links (SoundCloud, podcasts, or other hosted audio), not attachments via email as your application may not be received. Then complete this questionnaire in lieu of a cover letter. Applications without completed forms will not be considered.

Louisville Public Media is an equal opportunity employer that actively seeks diversity in its workplace and offers an excellent benefits package.

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