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ProPublica is Hiring a Data Reporter for ProPublica Illinois

ProPublica is seeking a smart, motivated investigative Data Reporter to join its new Chicago-based newsroom covering Illinois.

ProPublica is seeking a smart, motivated investigative Data Reporter to join its new Chicago-based newsroom covering Illinois.

For your own enterprise projects and working with other reporters, you’ll use data to tell stories that hold Illinois’s powerful accountable. As a data reporter, you will:

  • Wrangle data, including FOIA’ing for it, scraping it, cleaning it, analyzing it, and preparing it for publication.
  • Enterprise your own accountability stories by combining data work, interviewing, and on-the ground reporting with excellent storytelling.
  • Assist other reporters with data brainstorming, acquisition, cleaning and analysis for projects.
  • Bulletproof and spot-check data work done by other journalists in the newsroom.
  • Teach and encourage best practices and newsroom data policies.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • A journalism degree and/or 1-2 years of experience working in a newsroom.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, solid editorial judgment, and the ability to write quickly and cleanly on deadline.
  • A keen and careful eye for detail and documentation.
  • Solid understanding in the tools of data journalism, such as database management systems (SQL Server or PostgreSQL), statistics software (R, SPSS), Microsoft Excel, etc.
  • Experience with best practices in data journalism.
  • A good understanding of state and municipal government data.

We need people who are familiar with Chicago and/or Illinois, or who are able to get familiar fast. This includes knowing — and being able to gather on short notice — data about state and local budgets, campaign finance, lobbying, crime, education and other topics.

This position is full-time and you’ll be based in our office in the Loop, though you’ll also be learning from and working with ProPublica’s award-winning data team based in New York. We are not considering remote applicants for this position.

Although this is not a coding job, programming is becoming an increasingly important tool for any data journalist, so experience using programming techniques to find and analyze data — or a demonstrated aptitude to learn — would be very useful.

You can apply using this form. We know that data journalists sometimes don’t get top credit in stories in which their data work played an important role, so don’t worry if a story doesn’t carry your byline. Please include a few sentences explaining exactly what role you played in each clip and describe the data work you did.

ProPublica is dedicated to improving our newsroom, in part by better reflecting the people we cover. Therefore, ProPublica is committed to diversity and especially encourages members of underrepresented communities to apply, including women, people of color, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities.

Have questions? Email [email protected].

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