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Political Reporter, Kansas News Service


Job description

KCUR 89.3 is seeking a Political Reporter to join the Kansas News Service, a reporting collaboration of public media stations throughout the Kansas. This is a chance to explore a range of statewide stories in an organization that’s becoming increasingly important in the Kansas news universe.

In this position, the reporter will be covering campaigns and politics, producing in-depth features on power dynamics across the state, and playing a key role reporting on the Kansas Legislature for KNS.

We seek a reporter who is passionate about diving deep into issues and working collaboratively with talented reporters producing top-notch journalism. The ideal candidate will need to be able to identify, research, propose, write, report, record, voice and produces feature radio stories about Kansas politics for a statewide audience as a correspondent for the KNS. The political reporter would act as a supplemental reporter covering the Kansas Legislature while directing campaign and political coverage to establish KNS as a reliable, reasoned and thoughtful source of information about the power dynamics across Kansas.

The ability to work cooperatively with the managing editor, news editor, reporters and news directors across the collaborative defines the position. You’ll find the reporters eager to learn and to share their expertise on the issues that matter in Kansas. While the KNS aims to be nimble in producing breaking news, the emphasis is on enterprising stories that would otherwise go uncovered – or that other news organizations would tackle with less analysis. The reporter should possess a keen understanding of what makes public media journalism special, but also have ambitions to help drive public media forward.

Characteristic duties

  • Produces a steady stream of radio features and companion online stories.
  • Regularly works on deadline to produce short radio spot stories and online stories for a general audience heard on public radio stations across Kansas and on their news websites and carried by commercial stations and newspapers or other online news sources.
  • Available for work on the KNS podcast and appearances on KNS partner talk shows.
  • Collaborates with KNS editors and reporting colleagues on investigative reporting and in-depth reporting projects.
  • Identifies and captures photographs.
  • Promotes own work and that of other KNS colleagues on social media.
  • Develops a wide-range of news sources within state government, political, activist and analytical organizations that inform the understanding of power dynamics in Kansas. Develop a steady pattern of sources of broad diversity in demographics and world views.
  • Participates in KCUR community engagement events, including preparation of materials both for and after events.
  • Participates in station fund drives.
  • Performs other job duties as assigned.

Minimum qualifications

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

Preferred qualifications

  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in journalism, communications, education or a related field.
  • Five to 10 years experience as a reporter for a news organization, radio experience a plus. Experience covering politics or a legislature are also plus.
  • Excellent writing skills, proven news judgment, and journalistic integrity.
  • A demonstrated ability to identify in-depth news stories with context and impact.
  • A demonstrated ability to develop a diverse selection of news sources from a differing demographic and political backgrounds.
  • A strong devotion to accuracy and journalistic ethics.
  • Ability to work on diverse projects simultaneously in a fast-paced, deadline-oriented environment, often times collaborating with editors and reporting colleagues.
  • Experience in operating a variety of broadcast equipment including digital editing systems (e.g. Adobe Audition), field recording units, and other production equipment.
  • Strong interpersonal, oral and written communication skills with both internal and external audiences.
  • Ability and willingness to work a varied schedule.
  • Enthusiasm for the role of public media in a changing journalism environment.

Full time / Part time

This is a full time, benefit-eligible position.


$19.47 - $27.38/hr, commensurate with qualifications, experience, and education.

Application deadline

Dec. 8, 2021

Application instructions

Apply online through UMKC's website.

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.


Preferably, this job will be based in the KNS Topeka office, but the reporter could work from the KCUR offices in Kansas City, Missouri, or remotely elsewhere in Kansas. It will require spending significant time in Topeka.

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. We encouraged candidates of diverse backgrounds to apply.

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: