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The Better Government Association (BGA) seeks a full-time Investigative Journalist with at least five to seven years of experience.

The BGA is a nonprofit organization that combines investigative journalism, advocacy, and civic engagement to promote good government at the local, county, and state levels in Illinois. Its offices are located in Chicago.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Developing stories and sources
  • Producing content internally and in collaboration with media partners while developing digital skill set for the Internet
  • Engaging in "grunt" work, including reviewing mounds of public documents and participating in early-morning stakeouts
  • Staying well-informed on the government landscape in Illinois
  • Fielding tips and interacting with the public, and asking sometimes difficult questions of public officials

Job Requirements:

  • Five to seven-year track record in investigations
  • A deep knowledge of and interest in state and local Illinois government and government issues
  • Excellent writing skills
  • Proven commitment to accuracy
  • Ability to communicate effectively both on and offline
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently and react quickly
  • Ability to work effectively in a competitive yet collaborative environment

Having a car and a sense of humor are a plus.

How to Apply:
To apply, send cover letter, resume, and writing sample to Ernest Crowder at

The salary is competitive with similar positions in other nonprofit organizations and commensurate with experience. Exceptional benefits.

The BGA is an Equal Opportunity Employer – women, people of color and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Spanish language skills are welcome.


The Better Government Association (BGA) is looking for a full-time Digital Engagement Editor to lead our digital effort and help us reach the widest possible audience. This person will manage the redesign of and the integration of a new donor management system in 2015. The Digital Engagement Editor will also manage all web-based content for the BGA in collaboration with the BGA’s investigative, advocacy, civic engagement, communications and development teams. The ideal candidate has a journalism background, at least four years experience, possesses strong writing, editing and design skills and is creative and collaborative.

This position will be responsible for a content-centric group (web publishing, editing, HTML, social media, basic design, analytics for web and communications) with added focus on communications and fundraising. The Digital Engagement Editor will manage all existing digital communications platforms including but not limited to website, blogs, databases, e-broadcasts, email marketing, display-based graphics and copy, unique campaign sub- and micro sites and social media. They will also be a key point of contact for building and executing communications, marketing and development initiatives with online components.

The Digital Engagement Editor will report to the Director of Development and External Relations and the Director of Investigations and Programming. The BGA is a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization that combines investigative journalism, advocacy and civic engagement to promote better government in Illinois. Its office is located in downtown Chicago. This position requires on-site attendance.

Job Responsibilities:

  1. Strategize and manage the redesign of website with outside developer/hosting company.
  2. Coordinate all BGA digital properties (anchor website, blogs, databases, social media, broadcast system, e-advocacy campaigns, etc.)
  3. Work closely and collaboratively with people in each unit of the organization to publish BGA content (stories, events, photos, data visualization, graphics, illustrations, audio and video) to website seamlessly and quickly. Strong design sense and creativity required.
  4. Function as an editor for BGA content and write copy for some content.
  5. Work with BGA communications/development team to build short- and long-term campaigns. 6. Develop and execute strategies and concrete plans for building online audiences.
  6. Manage BGA’s outside service providers and freelance illustrators and designers.
  7. Stay current on news and emerging digital trends and apply appropriately to BGA efforts.
  8. Closely track analytics, measure progress, provide monthly reports with specific recommendations and continually adjust plans for continued growth.

Minimum Qualifications: 

  • Bachelor's degree.
  • 3 years experience in website publishing and social media management. Newsroom experience would be ideal.
  • Highly proficient in web-based publishing, social media tools and technologies.
  • Experience managing outside vendors and freelancers.
  • Demonstrated ability with analysis of metrics related to engagement and reach.
  • Experience/knowledge in webpage design, web programming techniques and protocols.
  • Knowledge of multiple operating systems, web scripting and programming languages, graphical operating systems, open source technologies as well as online services and secure transactions.
  • Skilled with Adobe CS and Photoshop.
  • Proficient in AP Style and pristine copy.
  • Excellent writing skills, editing and design skills.
  • Proven commitment to accuracy.
  • Strong ability to multi-task and juggle deadlines.
  • Ability to communicate effectively both on and offline.
  • Ability to work collaboratively, independently and to react quickly. 
  • Interest in and basic knowledge of state and local Illinois government expected.

Please send cover letter and resume to Ernest Crowder at No phone calls, please.

The Better Government Association is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer." All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply, including minorities, women, veteran, and individuals with disabilities.


Communications and Public Relations Internship

The Better Government Association (BGA) seeks an intern to work in public relations and communications.  We are looking for a bright, ambitious intern who is in college or graduate school. The ideal candidate should be proficient with Microsoft Office Suite, excel is a plus. Daily activities would include maintaining media logs, assisting staff with internal and external communications and event planning. A major and/or interest in communications/journalism and government is preferred. 

The BGA is a nonprofit organization that combines investigative journalism, advocacy, and civic engagement to promote good government at the local, county, and state levels in Illinois. Offices are located in downtown Chicago.

The candidate will gain a solid grounding in his or her public relations skills needed to understand and navigate the media world for a not-for-profit organization. A desirable candidate must be able to multitask, have excellent organizational skills, be deadline-oriented, have the ability to work independently, be energetic and eager to learn.

Compensation:  Unpaid. Interns must make arrangements with their schools to gain academic credit for this internship. The BGA is happy to provide any documentation necessary for this process.

How to Apply: Please email cover letter and resume to Mary Frances O'Connor,

Investigative Unit
(Ongoing—use the form below to apply)

The BGA's Investigative Unit hires unpaid interns in the summer and throughout the year to assist in news projects.

Some of the duties might include:

  • going to courthouses to pull documents
  • making phone calls to sources
  • attending news conferences
  • contributing to select stories and blogs
  • coming up with ideas for articles and investigations
  • researching
  • filing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests

The following qualifications are preferred:

  • journalism or related major in college
  • upperclassmen, graduate student or recent grad
  • previous experience writing and reporting
  • a nose for news, and an ability to learn new skills quickly
  • an understanding of local government (particularly in Chicago and Illinois) and current events
  • a solid work ethic, attention to detail and a sense of humor

Note: Depending on the circumstances, the BGA is willing to comply with requirements so that an internship can translate into course credit.

Policy Advocacy Unit
(Ongoing—use the form below to apply)

The Better Government Association seeks a full or part time Policy Intern. The Intern will report to the Policy and Government Affairs Coordinator.


Building on the original work of the BGA’s Investigative Team (which conducts deep journalistic investigations of corruption, mismanagement, inefficiency, inequality and lack of transparency at all levels of government), the Policy Intern will help to monitor and analyze policy proposals, research best practices, and support ally organizations, BGA staff and volunteers in planning and executing sound policy advocacy.


The Policy Intern must be able to research issues of public policy impacting city, county and state units of government, and synthesize and present findings to members of the policy team.

The Intern must have strong interpersonal and writing skills.

The Intern must have experience working in a fast-paced office setting.

The Intern shall be a full or part time graduate or upper class undergraduate student with the ability to earn credit for her internship.

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