The Texas Observer is a nonprofit statewide media organization based in Austin. Since its founding in 1954, the Observer has covered important stories that would otherwise be underreported or ignored. We specialize in investigative reporting, tell-it-like-it-is political coverage, and narrative storytelling. The Observer publishes a bimonthly print magazine and produces daily stories at TexasObserver.org.
The Texas Observer is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, political affiliation, religion, gender, gender identity, gender expression, disability, or sexual orientation.
Jobs & Fellowships
David McHam Fellowship for Investigative Reporting
Named in honor of legendary University of Houston journalism professor David McHam, this one-year fellowship allows journalists to pursue investigative projects and enterprise stories about Texas politics, policy, and social issues. McHam fellows will have a track record of producing hard-hitting, in-depth investigative journalism. Experience reporting on Texas is a plus, but not required, though the fellow must be based in or willing to move to Texas. The fellow will be part of the Texas Observer staff, where they will enjoy mentorship from more experienced colleagues, benefit from professional development opportunities, and receive help with travel and reporting costs. The fellowship comes with a stipend of $60,000.
To apply: Please submit a résumé, and three published clips to [email protected] by September 12. Please put “McHam Fellowship” in the subject line.
About David McHam: David McHam has inspired generations of journalists over his six decades as a professor at Baylor University (1961-74), Southern Methodist University (1974-98), the University of Texas at Arlington (1998-2001), and the Univerity of Houston, where he continues to teach writing and communications law. He has worked at The Waco News-Tribune, the Houston Post, and the Dallas Times Herald. A graduate of Baylor University and Columbia University’s School of Journalism, he was named outstanding journalism teacher in the nation by the Society of Professional Journalists in 1994.
Spring-Summer Editorial Fellowship
We are currently accepting applications for our Winter-Spring editorial fellowship, which runs from early January to May 31, 2023.
To apply: Applicants for the editorial fellowship should submit a brief cover letter, résumé, and no more than three published clips or other appropriate reporting/writing samples to [email protected] by December 1, 2022.
Observer fellowships may be done for course credit where offered. The editorial fellow is paid an $8,100 stipend for the semester.
The fellowship program is designed to open up working opportunities for those whose economic circumstances might otherwise limit their ability to pursue a career in journalism (hence the stipend). The fellow should be based in Texas during the program, and plan to do in-person reporting.
We expect and encourage editorial fellows to generate as much bylined material as motivation and skill will allow. We ask for a commitment of about 30 hours per week, but we’re reasonably flexible about scheduling.
Successful Observer fellows will research, report, and write. They will check facts and proof magazine pages. They will attend weekly story meetings and learn how to develop a successful pitch. They will work under the direct mentorship of skilled editors and nationally recognized reporters to produce substantive work for one of the nation’s last bastions of nonprofit, mission-driven journalism.
This position is open to undergraduates and can be in person in our Austin office or remote anywhere in Texas. An interest in politics and social justice is highly appreciated.
We work to hold public officials and corporations accountable and focus on communities whose stories are too often ignored or poorly told—including people of color, people from working-class backgrounds, women, and LGBTQ+ people. We believe that these communities must be centered in the work we do. Hence, we strongly encourage applications from people with these identities or who are members of other marginalized communities.
Pitch to Us
Please click here to access the Observer’s complete pitch guide.