Nashville Public Radio
General Assignment Reporter
Nashville Public Radio
WPLN News is looking for a general assignment reporter who can jump feet first into one of America’s most vibrant cities. Whether it’s covering the nightlife of Lower Broadway or providing critical coverage of tornadoes in a nearby community or chronicling the last day of an iconic meat ‘n three, you will be a vital figure in helping Middle Tennesseans understand their home.
This is a great opportunity for an early-career reporter interested in exploring a variety of stories … or for a later-career journalist who doesn’t want to be pinned down to a single subject. You will get the thrill (and dopamine reward) of filing stories regularly. But you will also get space to follow your curiosity and your passions. Our listeners demand to be surprised, delighted and challenged. And we have a track record of raising up voices who can do just that. Spots and semi-hourly newscasts may be the lifeblood of public radio, but features, enterprising superspots and two-ways — both for local broadcasts and NPR’s nationwide network — will be a regular part of your work.
Could you be the next voice that Nashville needs?
You’re probably thinking big hats and cowboy boots. Yes, there are plenty of those around — especially in the tourist zones. But in recent years, Nashville has leapfrogged Boston and Washington, D.C., to become the country’s 21st-largest municipality. Driving that are thriving arts, a booming economy and growing diversity. Did you know that nearly one in four Nashvillians is Black? That the Nashville area has the largest Kurdish community outside the Middle East, as well as thriving Latino and Asian communities? That the term “Music City” refers not to country music, but to gospel?
About that music scene. If you are interested in live music, there’s no better place to hear it. This city is full of talent, in all genres. In Nashville, it is not unusual for your next-door neighbor to be a world-class touring and session musician. Or for one of your co-workers to have a past (or current) life as a performer. With 2 million people in the urban area and 700,000 in the city alone, Nashville is not a small town. But it often feels like one, in the best possible way.
What would you be doing?
Here are the job responsibilities for a beat reporter at WPLN News:
- Work 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, with nights and weekends as necessary.
- Produce 2-4 originally reported stories each week, a mix of short-term and long-term, that:
- Meet WPLN’s story standards, is free of errors, and incorporates scene tape into audio stories.
- Start to establish the journalist as a trusted voice in the community
- Prioritize diversity and equity in sourcing and story ideas.
- Discuss important news stories on — and learn how to produce for — our daily show, This Is Nashville.
- Train as a newscast producer.
- Communicate proactively in daily news meetings and with other reporters on stories that overlap with their expertise.
- Participate in our weekend reporter rotation.
- Cover breaking news and special coverage as needed.
- Occasionally take on peer leadership roles, like mentoring newer staffers.
- Represent the station in fundraising activities and station events.
- Participate in community engagement, especially with the goal of elevating the lived experiences of BIPOC and other underserved communities. This includes, but is not limited to, developing ongoing relationships with sources.
- Foster a positive workplace culture.
Our search committee will evaluate those materials on the following criteria:
- Writing. You don’t need radio experience, but can you write in a way that could translate well to radio — using scene, descriptive writing, anecdotes, etc.?
- Sourcing. How do you get to know a community so that you’re not just chasing the news, but getting ahead of it?
- Smarts. We don’t just want someone who tells us what happened. We want someone who can tells us why it happened and why it matters. How does the news you report affect everyday people?
- Commitment to equity. Do you seek out thoughtful stories about groups that are typically underrepresented in media and politically?
- Ability to think enterprisingly. You’ll produce multiple stories a week. Tell us about stories you’ve pitched that show you can think about what’s over the horizon while also working quickly.
After rating each application, our search committee will choose a set of finalists to interview. Finalists may be asked to complete a brief reporting exercise. If you do not make it to the finalist round, we will alert you by email as promptly as possible. (No ghosting here.)
WPLN News is the newsroom of Nashville Public Radio, a community-licensed, nonprofit news outlet that strives to cover our region with context, courage and respect. We aim to hold officials accountable and serve audiences that are often underrepresented in positions of power, including people of color, immigrants and those in the working class.
Within the newsroom, our collaborative and diverse team works together to help every journalist realize their potential on the job, while also giving them space to live a full life outside of it. We strive to perform at the highest level: Since 2019, our newsroom has received a Peabody, a national Murrow Award and a Pulitzer finalist nod, as well as the Daniel Schorr Prize for the best public media journalist under 35. And we have ongoing collaborations with outside organizations, including ProPublica, Serial and the local Spanish-language outlet Nashville Noticias, to expand the reach and scope of our journalism.
Nashville Public Radio is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusivity in our hiring. Nashville Public Radio is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or status as a protected veteran. As part of this commitment, we will ensure that persons with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations.
Nashville Public Radio offers a generous benefit package including medical, vision, dental, and an robust Employee Assistance Program inclusive of six free sessions of counseling each year and basic legal assistance. Long-term disability and life insurance are provided at no cost to employees. We also have up to 40 days of paid parental or medical leave, inclusive for adoptive and/or foster parents.
In addition to these benefits, employees receive vacation and sick leave, access to a 401(k) plan with employer matching, and 13 paid holidays, 2 of which are floating to employee preference.
The job profile is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change, and/or new ones may be assigned at any time with or without notice.
How to Apply
To apply, please click here
How does the application process work?
- Cover letter. Please describe your experience with breaking news and enterprising stories that you’ve proactively pitched to editors in the past. Submit it as a PDF.
- Clips. Three examples of your reporting work, including one short-term story. These do not have to be audio examples.
- Resume. Please keep it to one page, and submit it as a PDF. (No need to include your references on this — we’ll ask you for those later if you make it to the finalist round.)
- Social media. Links to feeds you use professionally.
- Date Posted: February 22, 2023
- Type: Full-Time
- Job Function: Other
- Service Area: Other
- Salary Range: 50,000.00
- Working Hours: 40 hrs/week