ABC 7 to hire 'passionate storyteller' to cover race and culture beat

ABC 7 Chicago

In the latest sign of the times, Chicago’s top-rated broadcast news operation soon will hire a reporter to cover race and culture as a full-time beat.

WLS-Channel 7 is one of eight ABC-owned stations to post job openings for the new position.

"Each journalist must be a passionate storyteller, brilliant multi-platform content creator, effective communicator and proven collaborator," according to the listing. "The journalists will be part of the editorial decision-making process as it relates to story assignments, sourcing subjects featured in stories and developing community relationships to expand the diversity of voices included in our storytelling."

The reporter also will be required to "lead and facilitate diversity and editorial discussions" in the newsroom, the listing said.

ABC 7 officials said they are reviewing applications and expect to fill the position before the end of the year.

A unit of Walt Disney Co., ABC Owned Television Stations are in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh-Durham (North Carolina) and Fresno (California).

Strapped as they are for resources, legacy print media in Chicago also are adding staff dedicated to reporting on racial and social inequities.

In May the Sun-Times hired Elvia Malagón, a reporter for the Chicago Tribune who previously worked for The Times of Northwest Indiana, to cover social justice and income inequality issues. Her position is funded by a grant from the Chicago Community Trust.

In July the Sun-Times brought Mary Mitchell out of semiretirement to return as a full-time columnist and take on a new position as director of newsroom culture and community engagement.

Mitchell said she would use her “institutional knowledge of the city and of the newsroom to help ensure that we are practicing what we preach when it comes to racial inclusion and equity.”

Thursday’s comments of the day: Rich Sufak: As a boy growing up in the 50s in Chicago, my first love was Mary Hartline.

Pat Carey: Us young girls from the 50s LOVED Mary Hartline as well! I had Mary Hartline paper dolls and cutout dresses. I see you can still buy some on eBay. She was charming and beautiful.