Journo Jobs

Investigate Midwest seeks an Illinois statehouse ag and food reporter

October 19, 2023

Posted by Mariam Ahmed

Investigate Midwest is an independent, nonprofit newsroom, and our mission is to serve the public as a watchdog over influential corporations and institutions through in-depth and data-driven investigative journalism. We are hiring for our new statehouse ag and food reporter position.

This reporter will thrive on reporting and telling stories with data and documents in a newsroom of experienced and dedicated journalists mostly working remotely. This reporter will build a network of sources and experts, find and analyze relevant data, file document requests (e.g., FOIA), and write articles for publication online that will be shared with partner newsrooms. We value team players with a willingness to learn, teach and experiment.

Effective agriculture policies and practices are essential to a healthy, effective food system that supports consumers, workers and animals. It ensures safe environmental practices, the quality of food available, and serves as a watchdog of government and business.

This investigative reporter will focus solely and exclusively on the impact of agriculture policy and the policy makers, lobbyists and influencers at the state level. The reporter will write about the real-life impacts on the regional food system resulting from the policies and laws passed at the state level. This is not a daily reporting/writing position.

This position will dig into existing state policies and issues that negatively affect the environment, labor and work safety, as well as farming policies that alternatively could help strengthen local policies and movements, but have yet to gain traction and the reasons why.

You will report to the Investigate Midwest managing editor and interact daily with the team and award-winning journalists in a highly collaborative newsroom. The stories you work on may appear locally, regionally, nationally or even internationally.

This is a full-time, salaried position. The reporter must be based in the greater-Springfield area of Illinois and regularly report and interview from the statehouse Capitol.

Experience level:

  • Minimum 3+ years’ experience as an investigative reporter and writer
  • 2-3 years working as a statehouse/government reporter
  • Intermediate data skills including using spreadsheets to analyze and visualize data and ability to do basic cleaning of data.

Education level: Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, preferably in journalism with an emphasis in investigative and data journalism or equivalent experience.

As a member of Investigate Midwest’s team, you are expected to

  • Write 2 stories/month
  • Contribute 1 major project every 3 months
  • Fact-check and produce reference/citation lists
  • Conduct at least one records request/week
  • Write the Graphic of the Week once a month
  • Generate original story ideas and regularly pitch to your editor


Preferred qualities:

  • Familiarity with industrial agribusiness, food systems issues and the state level policy-making process
  • Experience covering complex issues
  • Ability to submit and negotiate public records requests with a variety of government agencies
  • Fluency in Spanish
  • Proficiency in data journalism using programs like Excel, Python, R, SQL, GIS, etc.


To apply, please send a resume, a 1-page cover letter, 3 of your best clips (or projects you’ve worked on), and at least 2 references to the Executive Director Erin Orr at Deadline to apply is Nov.15, 2023.

For further details click here.

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