Western Kansas News and Features Reporter
This is an exceptional, full-time position offering many potentially attractive opportunities:
The latitude to report news and tell stories across a variety of formats from newscast items to multi-media features.
A diverse range of topics to cover and draw stories from, including agriculture and agribusiness, energy production and distribution, water use and conservation, climate change and adaptation, immigration and community adjustment, rural life and community development, and regional history and cultures.
A rural region (beat) that has important and engaging stories to tell, as evident by stories from this position garnering one national and six regional Edward R. Murrow awards along with four first and two second place Public Media Journalists Association awards in 2022 and 2023. Moreover, these awards spanned the categories of hard news, enterprise reporting, sports features, excellence in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, excellence in writing, audio scripting, use of sound, and photojournalism.
Wide distribution of the content produced beyond HPPR’s own broadcast channels and digital platforms, including statewide distribution by the Kansas News Service and pick-up by public and commercial radio and TV stations, newspapers, and digital-only news sites across Kansas and surrounding areas. Stories have also been featured nationally on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Here & Now and Science Friday.
A work setting that combines being part of a statewide newsroom and receiving day-to-day directions and editorial support from its leadership and belonging to a regional public media organization with a small, collaborative staff that is highly dedicated to providing public media services that address the needs, interests and wellbeing of the High Plains region.
About High Plains Public Radio (HPPR)
HPPR serves Western Kansas, Eastern Colorado, and the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles with public media services closely tuned to the environment, economy, cultures, history and community life of this High Plains region. These services include two audio programming channels (HPPR MIX offering news and mixed music and HPPR CONNECT with all news, information and talk) and hppr.org focused on regional news, features and events. To provide access to these services, HPPR operates a network of 18 FM stations along with digital streaming and mobile app. Regional content is originated from studios in both Garden City, Kansas, and Amarillo, Texas and additional production work is done by individuals residing in communities across the region and beyond.
HPPR is an independent non-profit corporation founded in 1975 and currently receives 81% of its funding from individual contributions, business underwriting, and foundation support.
About the Kansas News Service (KNS)
KNS is a state-wide journalism collaborative that provides essential news for the state of Kansas. The work of its reporters appears on public radio stations across the state and beyond, as well as other commercial and non-profit radio, TV digital and print news outlets across the state. Topics covered are wide-ranging, including water and land use policy, conflict between rural and urban interests, abortion, gun rights, voting rights, hunger, ag policy, and the role of government health programs. As the state is often a testing ground on many national social and political issues, KNS reporting adds important perspective to national coverage of these issues.
Besides HPPR, member stations include KMUW, Wichita, Kansas Public Radio, Lawrence, and KCUR, Kansas City, where KNS is based.
Develop, produce and edit Western Kansas news and feature stories for broadcast and digital distribution
Provide coverage of newsworthy events from Western Kansas, including newscast items and rotating production of state-wide newscast
Build the audience for Western Kansas news and feature stories through social media posting
Develop an understanding of major existing and emerging issues and developments across Western Kansas to add depth and insight to current and future reporting
Provide guidance and backup for HPPR staff curating and posting regional news stories from a variety of sources on hppr.org
Collaborate with HPPR staff to further develop and expand HPPR’s overall regional content
Participate in on-air and other membership development and fundraising activities
Serve as an HPPR spokesperson and representative at community events
Preferred qualifications, experience and aptitudes
Bachelor’s degree in journalism or related field
At least two years’ work in journalism
Audience-focused curiosity, critical thinking, ethics and empathy in identifying and developing stories
Sharp writing and story construction skills across multiple platforms
Strong audio gathering and production skills
Solid photo/video shooting and production skills
Effective use of social media to increase audience reach and engagement
Experience versioning and blogging news and feature stories as they develop
Proficiency and comfort working with virtual collaboration tools (e.g., Google shared drives/docs/sheets and Zoom)
Dexterity for working both independently and collaboratively
Capability to work against deadlines and balance daily tasks with longer term projects
Ability to travel throughout the region and work flexible hours as necessary
Fluency in Spanish
Knowledge of western Kansas and/or rural regions
Reporting relationships: The Managing Editor of the Kansas News Service for news and features reporting, HPPR’s Program Director for overall regional content development and station operations, and HPPR’s Executive Director for strategic guidance.
Location: Garden City, Kansas (location in another Western Kansas community is also possible)
Salary Range: $40,000 - $48,000 annually
Please submit letter of interest, résumé, work samples/links, and professional references to email@example.com.