The Texas Tribune, the state’s go-to source for Texas politics and public policy news, is hiring a senior political enterprise reporter to produce deeply researched and compellingly written analysis, profiles and enterprise stories that illuminate the experiences of people who drive, and are affected by, Texas politics.
This reporter should be steeped in Texas political history and able to write knowledgeably about the arc of recent history, including the dynamics that turned a once-dominant Democratic bastion into a state under overwhelming Republican hegemony, between 1978 and 2003.
We are looking for a veteran journalist who follows state politics closely but is committed to writing about ordinary voters and residents and their families, businesses and communities. The reporter doesn’t need to be based in Austin, and should be prepared to travel frequently and widely.
Authoritative coverage of the state capital will always be central to the Tribune’s mission, but we want more reporting from across this immense and diverse state — reporting that goes behind the headlines to reveal the nuances, paradoxes and contradictions at the intersection of political belief and behavior.
While the focus of the job will be on state politics, this reporter will need a wide network of contacts, including at the local, county and federal level, recognizing that people do not primarily think of jurisdiction when making political decisions. The reporter is expected to file a regular stream of smart, analytical trend stories, profiles and explainers, with frequent and intense coverage in the lead-up to elections and during legislative sessions. This reporter will also need to step back and do longer pieces during other periods.
We are looking for someone with an established reputation for open-minded, fair and neutral coverage, qualities exemplified in the work of co-founder Ross Ramsey, who retired on May 1. We also wish to hire a reporter with extensive experience in public speaking, moderating panels and debates, and appearing on radio, TV and other media. This reporter will be expected to regularly represent the Tribune in such public forums. The reporter should be knowledgeable about developments in Washington and Austin, but passionate about traveling to communities and talking to people who do not feel well represented in the news.
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 photojournalists — is essential. So is a sense of humor.
This reporter will report to the politics editor.
The starting salary for this position is $90,000+ depending on qualifications and experience
Write timely, thoughtful analysis of breaking and developing news
Pitch and execute a steady stream of enterprise stories, including profiles, portraits of individuals and communities, and idea-driven analytical pieces
File regularly, balancing daily and enterprise coverage
Identify and pitch stories from fresh and under-examined angles
Speak publicly on behalf of the Tribune, and in coordination with our communications/media relations team
Occasional travel and work on nights, weekends and holidays
BA/BS degree and 15+ 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
Experience mentoring and coaching less experienced journalists
A commitment to cultivating the next generation of our talent, a priority of our fellowship program
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.
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.
This job is full time and has the following benefits:
Medical, vision and dental insurance
A $50-a-month 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) match, currently $2,000 a year
An annual professional training budget of $2,000 per employee for training and attending industry conferences
Remote working flexibility
How to Apply
Submit your application here by Friday, May 27, 2022, with a résumé and examples of your work, please submit a cover letter detailing your vision for this position and how you would approach the work. We can't wait to hear from you.
The Texas Tribune is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to diversity and building an inclusive environment for all, and we encourage applicants of all identities, backgrounds, ages, and abilities to apply. Learn more about The Texas Tribune here.