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Health Reporter - Kansas News Service

Job description

The Kansas News Service is a collaboration of High Plains Public Radio, Kansas Public Radio, KCUR and KMUW focused on health, the social determinants of health and their connection to public policy. We interpret that broadly to serve our audience as a general news organization, but one that covers the state through that lens.

We're seeking a Health Reporter to join our team. We’re looking for a dogged reporter who approaches health care stories broadly. That means not just in terms of access to health care — although that’s a key part of the beat — but also in terms of those things that determine the health of a community.

We also need a reporter who covers health care through the eyes of consumers. Your stories can look at a community’s access to affordable food, safe drinking water, psychiatric services and public health services.

We want this reporter to document the inequities on those measures across the state, particularly where they matter in the lives of people who’ve traditionally been marginalized. Abortion is sure to loom large on the beat given the role Kansas has played in that debate for decades and coming changes in law.

This reporter will research, write, report and produce spot news, digital stories and long-form audio features. They’ll collaborate, at times, with KNS reporters positioned across Kansas. And they’ll pitch their stories to, and field assignments from, experienced editors at the news service. They will also create social content to accompany their stories, participate in community engagement efforts, and appear on talk shows, podcasts and community panels, as needed.

We’re looking for someone whose reporting is driven by curiosity and public service. We’ll push for stories, both on air and online, worthy of a statewide and, not infrequently, a national audience. That calls for someone who can produce on deadline while juggling in-depth work.

Our new reporter doesn’t need radio or health reporting experience — we’ve got experience teaching our journalists audio craftmanship — but they must have strong reporting and writing talent. They must share our commitment to serving all of our audiences, tracking the diversity of sources and continuing to make KNS a place where everyone feels welcome.

We think you’ll find the Kansas News Service a place where reporters are valued. Your work will appear on public radio stations in every corner of the state. NPR also airs much of our work nationally. Newspapers and commercial radio stations across the state use a steady diet of KNS stories.

We want the interview process to be comfortable for you. So, you'll have a list of the questions we want to cover in the interviews ahead of time. We will ask finalist to take a writing test and will give you an hour to put something together based on canned facts that we'll supply. And we welcome you to reach out to other reporters at the Kansas News Service at any point to get a better sense of whether this is a place that you want to work.

Characteristic duties

  • Stays abreast of developments and builds a broad base of knowledge, sources, and expertise on health-related topics.
  • Works to develop expertise in advising consumers how to protect themselves against abuses in the medical care industry.
  • Identifies, researches, pitches, writes, reports, edits and voices spots, two-ways, and feature stories for morning and afternoon news magazines, local talk shows, and national programs as appropriate. Writes digital stories worthy of publication in metropolitan newspapers.
  • Anticipates and responds to breaking news.         
  • Tracks source demographics. 
  • Suggests story ideas and helps focus story angles for colleagues working on related subjects; collaborates with other Kansas News Service reporters and talk show producers on projects.
  • Contributes segment ideas and appears as a guest or host on KCUR’s local talk show, podcasts and community events, as needed.
  • Collaborates with the KNS partners KCUR, KMUW, Kansas Public Radio and High Plains Public Radio at the direction of the reporter’s KNS editors. Also occasionally collaborates with Harvest Public Media, the Midwest Newsroom and national entities to share content across multiple platforms.
  • Participates in all assigned fund-raising and outreach activities, on air and off.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Minimum qualifications

A Bachelor's degree or an equivalent combination of education and experience and at least 3 years of experience from which comparable knowledge and skills can be acquired is necessary.

Preferred qualifications

  • Five years of experience producing news content for digital and social platforms.
  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications or a related field
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills and good news judgment.
  • A commitment to seeking out and including diverse voices and communities in reporting.
  • One year of work experience in a radio, news, or public media organization.
  • Demonstrated ability to cover breaking news as well as report through long-form, innovative storytelling.
  • A demonstrated ability to humanize complex and nuanced policies, reports and scientific information.
  • A demonstrated ability to take direction and work collaboratively.
  • A demonstrated ability to meet deadlines.
  • Enthusiasm for the role of public media in a changing journalism environment.
  • Experience operating digital editing systems (e.g. Adobe Audition), field recording units, and other audio production equipment.

Full time / part time

This is a full time, benefit eligible position. KCUR offers competitive benefits and a flexible work environment, and participates in the UMKC’s Total Reward program. Benefits include health, dental and vision insurance with generous paid vacation, personal and sick time.


Up to $53,000, commensurate with experience, education, and internal equity.

Application deadline

Open until filled, review of applications to begin August 15, 2022.

Application instructions

Apply online here.

Applicants must combine all application materials (cover letter, resume, and list of five references with contact information) into one PDF or Microsoft Word document and upload as a resume attachment.

Limit document name to 50 characters. Maximum size limit is 11MB. Do not include special characters (e.g., /, &, %, etc.). 

If you are experiencing technical problems, please call (800) 488-5288.

Note: You must provide a description of job duties for each Work Experience entry on your application. Please carefully review the application instructions section of our Careers page prior to submitting your materials.


This position has the unique opportunity to live and work anywhere in the state of Kansas. The reporter can choose to work from our offices in Kansas City, Lawrence, Wichita or Garden City. 

Statement on diversity at KCUR

KCUR is committed to ensuring that our workforce, community advisory board, and audience reflect the diversity found in the communities we serve. Central to KCUR’s mission, vision and values is maintaining a workplace environment that recognizes and celebrates diversity in all forms.

For more information on our policies and governance, click or tap here.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Equal Opportunity is and shall be provided for all employees and applicants for employment on the basis of their demonstrated ability and competence without unlawful discrimination on the basis of their race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, disability, protected veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable state or federal law. This policy shall not be interpreted in such a manner as to violate the legal rights of religious organizations or the recruiting rights of military organizations associated with the Armed Forces or the Department of Homeland Security of the United States of America. For more information, call the Vice Chancellor - Human Resources at 816-235-1621.

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the duties and functions of this job. If you believe you may have difficulty performing any of the duties or functions of this job, please contact the Office of Affirmative Action at (816) 235-1323.


To read more about Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) please use the following links: