Criminal Justice Reform Beat Reporter/Editor

Website FreeSpiritChi Free Spirit Media

Media education organization

Job Title: Criminal Justice Reform Beat Reporter/Editor, Real Chi Youth

Reports To: Program Coordinator, Real Chi Youth

Supervises: Real Chi Youth Apprentice Reporters



Free Spirit Media’s Real Chi Youth civic journalism program ( is currently looking to find a beat reporter/editor to collaborate in our pilot newsroom. This role would entail serving as an editor to our apprentice reporters, while covering criminal justice and policing reform, with a focus on generating original reporting on the new restorative justice court in North Lawndale. This is an excellent opportunity for a young journalist looking to find a pathway into Chicago’s competitive media market.


Real Chi Youth is a pilot “learning newsroom” in Homan Square for 18-25 year olds interested in learning to produce high-quality solutions-oriented community journalism on the job.  Our apprentice journalists learn to use new media technology to interrupt and transform the one-note news coverage that the South and West sides of Chicago receive.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities include the following:


§  Pitch and produce news and feature stories to deadlines assigned by staff.

§  Shoot interviews and b-roll, record audio and edit videos to professional production standards.

§  Develop sources on the criminal justice reform beat and produce high-quality original news pieces that show agency and encourage civic engagement.

§  Produce and host ‘Changemaker’ podcasts highlighting personalities, perspectives and community initiatives not represented on the 10 o’clock news.

§  Collaborate with editors to ensure accuracy and uphold journalism ethics.

§  Copyedit, write headlines and assist program staff with populating our website.

§  Other duties as assigned by program staff.


Qualifications and Experience:

§  Should be between 18 to 25 years old and have a strong interest in journalism or community issues.

§  Experience writing news articles or producing video news packages.

§  Willingness and ability to travel to cover stories.

§  Willingness and ability to mentor apprentice reporters.

§  Available to work 20 hours per week.




To Apply:

Please e-mail resume, and two strongest media pieces to with subject line: Criminal Justice Reporter/Editor Candidate: {Your Name}.

Free Spirit Media is an equal opportunity employer committed to fostering a diverse and equitable environment in which all staff can excel regardless of race, ethnicity, age, faith, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ability. People of color, women, individuals with disabilities and veterans are encouraged to apply.


About Free Spirit Media:

Free Spirit Media transforms media and society by providing opportunities for emerging creators, primarily from communities of color, to produce and distribute original content and to pursue artistic, personal and professional aspirations. Free Spirit Media provides youth on Chicago’s South and West sides with a comprehensive foundation in media literacy and a hands-on media production experience through a youth development lens. We employ a holistic program model to develop youth into productive, connected, and engaged adults. Since our founding in 2001, Free Spirit Media has empowered more than 5,500 youth to share their stories, discover their potential, and engage their peers and communities through digital media. Free Spirit Media’s programming includes school-based media arts education, after school digital media programs, and advanced pathways programs that connect participants with opportunities in professional media industries. Participants at all ages and levels of our programming are supported in developing 21st Century skills that prepare them for success in college and careers. Please see for more information.

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