Updated July 7, 2022

Job postings


Editor in chief: Chicago Reader

The nonprofit Reader Institute for Community Journalism is hiring an editor in chief for the Chicago Reader, the city’s 51-year-old free arts, culture, politics, and investigative journalism biweekly.

Tasks include but are not limited to:

  • Strategic Planning
    • Overall vision and planning for editorial content and editorial projects of the Chicago Reader
    • Overseeing the Reader’s Racial Justice Reporting Hub and Writers Room
    • Establish and maintain policies that follow guidelines for IRS 501(c)(3) entity and an Illinois Registered NFP organization
    • Attending meetings with the board of directors to discuss issues and editorial plans for the publication
    • Meeting with the advertising director to plan special issues far in advance, and coordinate any special needs related to content
    • Coalescing and tracking reports from section editors on freelancer and source statistics to track progress on diversification of freelancers and sources
    • Work on editorial collaborations with other local and national media
  • Maintaining Journalism Standards
  • Ensuring that content is of high standards journalistically 
  • Rejecting writing that does not meet the Reader standards
  • Handling complaints and corrections, and taking responsibility for issues after publication
  • Making final decisions about which stories, articles, illustrations, and photographs to publish
  • Working with art department on vision and visual standards for the publication
  • Working with attorneys and the publisher on decisions around legally sensitive or controversial stories or images
  • Oversee submission of editorial content into local and national awards competitions
  • Representing the editorial team at events, conferences, workshops, etc.
  • Writing editorial pieces to contribute to the publication (limited)
  • Production & Controls
    • Ensuring deadlines are met, for both biweekly print and online
    • Overseeing fact-checking, spelling, grammar, writing style, page design, and photos
    • Working with the publisher to get final approval of the Reader covers
  • Management of Staff
    • Recruiting, hiring, and firing staff. This includes general management duties, annual reviews, and related managerial duties
    • Motivating and developing editorial staff, through regular meetings and planning
    • Management of regular Union processes and procedures
    • Managing Union negotiations with President and Publisher
    • Making final decisions and approvals on qualifying reimbursements, based on budgeting
  • Business and Development 
    • Working with the publisher on editorial budget, editorial grants, meeting with funders, and fulfilling editorial-related grants
    • Writing an annual review of editorial to be included in the RICJ annual report
    • Writing an editor’s note for fundraising or other emails, in the paper, or in other forums as needed
    • Working with social media and marketing departments to make sure editorial content and projects are amplified
  • Other duties may apply

Among the hard and soft skills and experience requested:

  • Editing
  • Editorial planning
  • Budgeting and budget management
  • Proofreading and copy editing
  • Communication skills (written and verbal)
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Excellent editorial judgment
  • Leadership skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Organization and time-management
  • Google Suite products including Docs and Sheets
  • Airtable
  • Slack
  • Adobe 
  • Chicago Manual of Style
  • General social media 

Position reports to the publisher. This is a remote-work position, but living in the Chicago area and attendance at in-person meetings is required.

The Chicago Reader has a union editorial staff; they would report up to this position as editor-in-chief.

Salary range $75,000-$85,000, based on experience. Benefits including medical, dental, and vision insurance, as well as paid time off.

About the Reader Institute for Community Journalism: In May 2022, RICJ took over complete operation of the Chicago Reader from the prior for-profit business. It is a new nonprofit publishing a legacy newspaper and website. RICJ’s budget is approximately $3 million a year, with 36 staff, and dozens of freelancers. The office is in Bronzeville, but this is a remote-work position with one-on-one, small group, and company-wide in-person meetings

Equal Opportunity Employer. Diverse candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran, or disability status. The Reader is committed to creating a collaborative environment that celebrates the diversity of our staff.

If interested, please submit a cover letter and resume to us through this link. Please tell us the name of your favorite color as requested on the form so we can see that you read the entire job description. Deadline is August 15, 2022


Culture editor: Chicago Reader 

The Chicago Reader seeks a motivated, creative, and experienced individual who knows how to “Talk Chicago” to join our editorial department as a Culture Editor. While the Reader has an office in Bronzeville and our workforce is remote, we’d prefer someone who is not only based in Chicago but has established knowledge of a variety of Chicago’s creative communities. 

Tasks for this full-time position include the following: 

  • Overseeing cultural coverage (including but not limited to the categories listed below)
    • Visual arts (including galleries, museums, and organizations)
    • Architecture
    • Literary organizations, books, publishers, storytellers, poetry, spoken word
    • Museums and other large nonprofits
    • Academia 
    • Covering the people that make up our culture world in Chicago
  • Working with existing and new freelance writers, including growing relationships with a diverse group of local journalists; reviewing and accepting pitches, making editorial assignments within section, and working on long-term editorial projects
  • Reporting stories (limited but as time allows)
  • Shepherding editorial items in section from nexus to print, including editing and some proofreading
  • Obtaining original art and photography to accompany some stories as needed (with support of our art department)    

We would like you to:

  • Have a wide-ranging familiarity with Chicago’s arts and culture communities and experience covering one or more of the categories listed
  • Be able to come up with a big-picture vision of what culture coverage looks like for the Reader and also be able to do the detailed and dedicated work toward making that happen
  • Have a detail-oriented and resourceful approach to editing, and a genuine interest in Chicago’s creative culture and people
  • Have experience managing and working with writers and freelancers
  • Have experience and comfort with remote work 
  • Have comfort managing several tasks at once and the ability to work independently
  • Have at least two years of relevant work experience
  • Be a good communicator with the ability to ask questions and curiosity to seek answers
  • Be comfortable with WordPress or similar content management systems
  • Be able to travel within the city of Chicago (while the position is largely remote, there are occasional in-person meetings and events)
  • Be comfortable working in Google Suite or similar editing software
  • Be comfortable using Slack or other similar communication platforms
  • Be comfortable speaking on the telephone

We can offer you:

  • This is a full-time (40 hours per week) position
  • Salary range $45,000-$50,000 based on experience.
  • Largely remote work with occasional travel to Chicago locations required for work meetings and other events
  • Benefits including medical, dental, and vision insurance, as well as paid time off
  • This is a union position under the supervision of the Managing Editor. Chicago Reader editorial staff are members of the NewsGuild/Communication Workers of America Local 34071.

Diverse candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. The Reader is committed to creating a collaborative environment that celebrates the diversity of our staff. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. 

If interested, please submit a cover letter and resume to us through this link. Please tell us the name of your favorite color as requested on the form so we can see that you read the entire job description. Deadline is August 15, 2022


Sales Representative (Full or Part time)

The Chicago Reader is accepting applications for future openings for media sales representatives.

As part of the Reader team, you’ll work in an exciting industry with an unlimited earning potential, and have the support of a knowledgeable and enthusiastic management team.

Sales representative responsibilities include selling print, digital, and events to local businesses.

Our Sales Representatives typically have:

  • A minimum of 2 years of sales OR similar/transferable experience
  • Knowledge of media/advertising products, including print and digital
  • Working knowledge and experience utilizing a CRM (Salesforce preferred), Slack, and Google Suite products to manage day-to-day activities
  • Effective relationship-building skills
  • Demonstrated success in meeting revenue goals
  • Excellent analytical, written, oral, communication, and presentation skills
  • The ability to multitask with strong time and project management skills

Ideal candidates will also:

  • Have a demonstrated ability to act as a qualified marketing consultant (you can talk the talk when it comes to advertising strategy and marketing goals)
  • Possess working relationships with advertisers in Chicago, (health, real estate, and financial categories preferred)
  • Excel at maintaining quotas and deadlines related to sales outreach and sales activity overall
  • Understand and be excited about prospecting and building new business categories

The available compensation packages vary (based on full or part time), and include salary, commission, and health benefits.

Diverse candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. The Reader is committed to creating a collaborative environment that celebrates the diversity of our staff. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer.

This is an ongoing search for qualified candidates for future openings. For consideration, please send a resume and list of references to anettles@chicagoreader.com. We will contact qualified candidates; no phone calls, please.