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

Data Journalist

The Texas Observer seeks a part-time, contract data journalist for an investigative project. The journalist will help clean and analyze public records, and communicate statistics and analyses to a reporter and editor at the Observer. The journalist will produce visualizations based on the database, correlating to demographic and socio-economic data. They will also create an open source database using the records, which can be displayed and accessed by the general public.

We ask for a commitment of 15 to 20 hours a week for up to four months. However, we can offer flexible hours for the right candidate, and a competitive hourly rate. The ideal candidate has a minimum of three years of experience, is extremely detail oriented, knows their way around a database, and is a team player. An interest in public service, accountability journalism—and the clips to showcase that—is a plus. The candidate should have at minimum a working knowledge of Excel, Python, R, and ArcGIS.

Please submit a resume, cover letter, and two to three relevant clips to [email protected]

Fellowships & Internships

Editorial Fellow, Winter-Spring 2022

We are currently accepting applications for our Winter-Spring editorial fellowship, which runs from January 1, 2022 to May 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 December 15, 2021.

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 are 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.

Digital Intern

To apply: Digital intern applicants should submit a brief cover letter, résumé and no more than three published clips or other appropriate work samples (e.g. social media clips, sample newsletters, digital illustration, data visualization, etc.) to [email protected] by Nov. 30. Three times a year—at the start of fall semester, spring semester, and summer session—the Observer takes on one undergraduate digital intern.

Observer internships may be taken for course credit where so offered. Interns receive a stipend of $2,500.

We expect and encourage interns to experiment with digital products. We ask for a commitment of about 15 hours a week, but we’re reasonably flexible about scheduling.

Successful Observer digital interns will help manage social media and newsletters. They will monitor traffic and consider growth strategies. They will create graphics and data visualizations. 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 noncommercial, mission-driven journalism and longform narrative.

This position is open to undergraduates and can be in person in our Austin office or remote anywhere in Texas. Collegiality and a working sense of humor required.

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.