Politics Reporter

Austin, TX

Full Job Description

The Texas Tribune, the state’s go-to source for Texas politics and public policy news, is hiring a politics reporter to help cover one of the nation’s most politically consequential states.

The job can be based anywhere in Texas if the journalist has extensive experience working independently and is prepared to work from Austin during legislative sessions (at least 120 days every 2 years, but possibly longer given special sessions).

We are seeking an aggressive and enterprising reporter to provide watchdog coverage of the state’s leaders and agencies while also centering individuals, families and communities who are affected by the decisions. This reporter will be part of a core team of reporters in a newsroom dedicated to covering Texas politics and policy.

This reporter will be expected to contribute smart, competitive and analytical coverage of the Legislature and elections. That should include explanatory reporting about policy impacts of proposed legislation, profiles of lawmakers and office-seekers, and the ability to write frequently and aggressively during peak political periods, especially when the Legislature is in session.

This reporter will also be expected to pitch and report broader, thematic political enterprise stories that zoom in to show how a small Texas town or local official epitomizes the mood of one of Texas’s many diverse regions and communities. In so doing, the journalist should illuminate questions that will be of interest to all Americans: How did Texas school boards become the next frontier of partisan struggle? How has misinformation about COVID reshaped electoral politics? How are political preferences evolving among Latino, Black and Asian Texans?

This reporter would ideally have a flair for narrative writing and experience nailing tough interviews to pull off colorful, revealing profiles.

This reporter will cover a mixture of breaking news, dailies, enterprise, analysis and have opportunities for longer-term investigative projects.

Misinformation, voting restrictions, gerrymandering and extremism have raised profound questions for our democracy and for our journalism. The Tribune is committed to being nonpartisan; we serve no party, sect or faction. But we produce hard-hitting and provocative coverage that is pro-democracy: journalism that informs, engages and empowers Texans so that they can play a greater role in civic and public life.

This reporter should be able to authoritatively root out and combat misinformation. This reporter should have an understanding and interest in campaign finance and how money influences power in our state. A collaborative spirit — including ability to work well on teams and with multimedia, data and visual journalists — is essential. So is a sense of humor.

The reporter will actively participate in Tribune events, and represent the newsroom in broadcast media appearances under the guidance of the Marketing and Communications Director.

The salary for this position starts at $65,000 + depending on qualifications.

Responsibilities

  • Write accurate, clear and well-reported stories while facing daily deadlines
  • Identify and pitch stories on various subjects
  • Write and update stories on the news of the day
  • Work with other reporters on various assignments
  • Collaborate with other departments for various assignments
  • Occasional travel and work on nights, weekends and holidays

Qualifications

  • BA/BS degree and 5+ years of relevant experience OR equivalent combination of education and relevant experience.
  • A passion and talent for jumping on quick-turn enterprise writing
  • A demonstrated ability to work quickly and under tight deadlines
  • A deep commitment to and enthusiasm for both breaking news and enterprise reporting
  • A clear desire and proven ability to collaborate with other colleagues across the organization
  • A strong sense and devotion to journalistic ethics and libel law.
  • Strong communication and story telling skills using AP style and ability to research and fact check information on your own using excellent writing, reviewing, and editing skills
  • Spanish-language skills are preferred
  • We know there are great candidates who won’t check all of these boxes, and we also know you might bring important skills that we haven’t considered. If that’s you, don’t hesitate to apply and tell us about yourself.

About The Texas Tribune

Here’s what you should know about the Tribune. From day one we’ve had disruption, innovation and risk-taking in our DNA. We’re ambitious as all get out but still have the punch-above-your-weight mentality of a scrappy start-up. We believe we can meet the demands of our audience and our own expectations for excellence without breaking the bank — or our staff. We understand not everything is a story for us — we have to make choices — but we’re always looking to expand our boundaries. We’re nonprofit because the challenging economic reality for media these days obligates us to find a different way, reliable and sustainable, to fund serious journalism. We’re nonpartisan because we live in the United States of Confirmation Bias — and we don’t need to be part of the problem. We don’t need to be yet another source of information affirming the voices and perspectives that are already in people’s heads. At the same time, nonpartisan is not non-thinking. We call B.S. when B.S. needs to be called.

All of us at the Trib believe the best way to achieve that mission is to resemble the state we cover. We’re committed to building an inclusive newsroom for people of all backgrounds and ages, and we’re taking steps to meet that commitment. We especially encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply for this role, including women, people of color, LGBTQ people and people with disabilities.

Location

The Texas Tribune office is located in downtown Austin, steps away from the Texas Capitol building. This position is based in Austin, but we will consider candidates who are based elsewhere in Texas. We have colleagues in the organization that come into the office on a regular basis and colleagues that are based in various cities throughout the United States.

Benefits

This job is full time and has the following benefits:

  • Medical, vision and dental insurance
  • A cellphone stipend
  • 20 days of paid time off each year
  • Up to 16 weeks of paid family leave plus four weeks of additional job protection
  • 401(k) matching
  • Support for professional training and attending industry conferences
  • Remote working flexibility
  • We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.