Nashville Public Radio
Health Care Reporter
Nashville Public Radio
WPLN News is seeking an experienced reporter to lead its coverage of health care, a beat essential to our station and our region.
You likely associate Nashville with tourism, music and bachelorette parties, but unknown to many, Middle Tennessee is a hub of the health care industry — especially for-profit medicine. There is no better place in the country to explore the pressure points in medicine.
You will also be an authoritative voice in health care journalism. Our health care reporter works hand in hand with KHN, the nation’s premier, nonprofit journalism organization focused on health care. So you will get quality guidance and rigorous editing for your journalism. And as the sole reporter in the KHN Southern Bureau who’s based at an NPR member station, you will be frequently called on to produce for a national audience. We have been key contributors to Marketplace and NPR, including its critical “Bill of the Month” feature.
Nashville Public Radio is the place to take your health care reporting to the next level. Apply today.
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 that way. It will not be unusual for you to run into the people you cover out in the community, which is both a blessing and a curse. You will have plenty of opportunities to get to know them. You’re also going to have to have an iron backbone if they challenge you. That said, you can expect a community that will be in your corner. Nashville Public Radio has a track record of producing tough-yet-fair journalism that has earned the respect and loyalty of our sophisticated audience.
Outside your job, you should know that there is plenty more to Nashville than honky tonks and cowboy hats (though those things can be fun too!). Nashville is home to thriving Latino, Asian and immigrant communities, including the world’s largest Kurdish community outside the Middle East, and about one in four Nashville residents is Black. The city also has vibrant theater, visual arts and music scenes across all genres. The state of Tennessee has incredible natural beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities, and it’s a good place to raise a family.
What would you be doing?
Here are the job responsibilities for our health care reporter:
- Work 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, adjusting your hours to include nights and weekends as necessary.
- Produce 2-3 originally reported stories each week, a mix of short-term and long-term, that:
- Incorporate advanced reporting and storytelling techniques (such as record requests, complex scene-building, vivid writing and nontraditional story forms).
- Demonstrate a deep knowledge of health care by providing context and analysis.
- Prioritize diversity and equity in sourcing and story ideas.
- Meet regularly with a KHN editor to pitch story ideas for radio and print.
- Communicate proactively in daily news meetings and with other reporters on stories that overlap with their expertise.
- Cover breaking news and scheduled special coverage, as needed.
- Participate in our weekend reporter rotation.
- Train in newscast production, hosting and editing.
- Appear regularly on and learn how to produce for our daily show, This Is Nashville.
- Regularly recruit for job openings and serve on job search committees.
- Occasionally serve as a mentor for new staff.
- 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 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 the medical community so that you’re producing stories that are insightful but not beholden to insiders?
- Smarts. We want someone who can unpack the health care industry and explain how policy and trends affect patients and their families.
- Commitment to equity. Do you seek out thoughtful stories about groups that are typically underrepresented in media and politically?
- Ability to think enterprisingly. On average, you’ll be expected to produce multiple stories a week. How can you produce insightful stories on a difficult beat with regular frequency?
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.) If you have further questions about the process, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nashville Public Radio serves Middle Tennessee by providing trusted in-depth news, engaging music, and unique cultural programs on 90.3 FM WPLN News, WNXP, Nashville Classical Radio, and our various digital platforms. For more than 60 years, listeners have turned to this community supported service for programming that inspires conversation and curiosity, educates, and entertains. Our values are
- To operate the station at the highest level of professional standards and integrity.
- To be responsive to our listeners, members, supporters, and public.
- To exhibit mutual respect for our peers and audience.
- To value the member and community support that our station receives.
- To work together in an environment that encourages participation and sharing of the decisions that affect the station and our listeners.
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.
How to Apply
How does the application process work?
To apply, please click here and upload the following to our portal by April 1:
- Cover letter. Health care can be a wonky subject. To do it well, you will have to be able to hold in-depth conversations with entrepreneurs, scientists, public health experts and medical workers. Tell us how you would make health care approachable to a radio listener and lay reader. Submit your letter as a PDF.
- Clips. Please provide links to 3 examples of your reporting work, including one short-term story. These do not have to be audio examples. Embed your links in a PDF.
- 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. Embed links to feeds you use professionally in a PDF.
- Date Posted: February 28, 2023
- Type: Full-Time
- Job Function: Other
- Service Area: Other
- Salary Range: 62,000.00
- Working Hours: 40 hrs/week