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

Fall-Winter Editorial Fellowship

We are currently accepting applications for our Winter-Spring editorial fellowship, which runs from August 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022.

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 July 7, 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.

Immigration Reporter

The Texas Observer is seeking a staff writer to cover immigration and the Texas-Mexico border. We particularly hope to hire a writer fluent in Spanish who is based, or would be based, in the Texas border region—though we could be convinced of another approach. The job will require an ability to untangle complex government bureaucracies and laws, tell deeply human stories, and access many different sources and communities to cover this priority beat for our 68-year-old mission-driven organization. 

Strong candidates will have a keen eye for injustice and a knack for putting those directly impacted by policy, usually those with less power, at the center of their stories.

Observer staff writers must have experience, or a strong desire to gain experience, with longform nonfiction storytelling and ambitious investigative journalism along with short, timely, and web-friendly reporting. They must know, or be ready to learn, their way around open records requests, government documents, datasets, and other tools of the trade, and they must excel at generating story ideas and seeing them through to fruition over the course of weeks or months. They must be extremely conscientious about accuracy and enjoy—or at least pretend to enjoy—the editing process. 

Ideal candidates will have 3-5  years of reporting experience. Starting pay range is $50K-$60K.

To apply, please send a résumé, cover letter, and three clips to [email protected]. Please include “Immigration Staff Writer” in the subject line. Position is open until filled.

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 underrepresented communities.

Pitch to Us

Please click here to access the Observer’s complete pitch guide.