Manager of Partnerships and Local Content

About the BGA

The BGA’s mission is to promote transparency, efficiency, and accountability in government in Chicago and across the state of Illinois. For nearly 100 years, the BGA has vigorously pursued its mission by producing investigative journalism, advocating for good-government reform, litigating to defend public access to information, and mobilizing the public to achieve change.

A key goal of the BGA is to inform, engage and empower communities in Chicago and throughout Illinois that are disproportionately affected by income and wealth disparities. Budget woes in legacy media are shrinking newsrooms, resulting in “news desert gaps” in coverage of Chicago neighborhoods. These news gaps are often in African-American, Latinx, Asian-American and low-income communities. Residents in these areas need facts and perspectives to hold their leaders accountable. Perceptive and nuanced stories about the costs, dangers and challenges these neighborhoods face and successes they achieve rarely make the news produced by commercial outlets.

The Manager of Partnerships and Local Content will advance the BGA’s commitment to increasing coverage for these areas, to ensure their stories, voices, and views are represented in governmental decisions.

About the position

The BGA seeks a seasoned professional to serve as Manager of Partnerships and Local Content. The duties of this new position include building relationships with reporters, residents and recognized leaders in diverse communities. The manager also will work with our newsroom and policy staff to support projects and enlist local groups to develop innovative ways to disseminate the reported stories within and beyond the communities.

Reporting to Vice President of Operations the manager will be responsible for identifying community-based journalism organizations as well as civic groups focused on informing and mobilizing residents to hold governments accountable. Other key responsibilities include:

  • Strategic partnerships – identify communities where the BGA can most productively engage with journalists, community organizations and residents to make a difference.

  • Plan and execute in-person and digital community events that align with the BGA’s strategic plan.

  • Develop a strategy to showcase localized reporting and diverse voices while implementing new ways to share news with residents who do not follow traditional media.

  • Serving as a resource for expertise on accountability journalism by organizing meetups and training sessions; develop mentor-mentee relationships and provide support on FOIA requests, open meetings enforcement, database management and visualization techniques.

  • Have ownership of What The Gov, a story series that is powered by community questions and feedback.

    • Work with Director of Investigations to workshop topic ideas, gather reader information and produce stories that serve an information need.

    • Manage freelance writers to produce a steady stream of stories for publication.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree (preferably in journalism)

  • Five years of demonstrated experience in community organizing and outreach

  • Steeped in and able to execute the most effective approaches in utilizing social media and other engagement tools toward building and sustaining traffic, conversation and qualified engagement.

  • Interest in building and managing a statewide network of contacts – media organizations, social media influencers, key stakeholders in good-government issues – toward created targeted outreach campaigns and publishing partnerships for our work.

  • Self-starter capable of working at a fast pace, independently or part of a team. 

  • Strong editing skills (attention to detail; you catch mistakes)

  • Strong grasp of key issues impacting city, county and state government

  • Strong writing, editing and interpersonal skills

Send cover letter, resume, and writing samples to ecrowder@bettergov.org.

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