The Texas Observer Seeks Legislative Fellows

The Texas Observer Legislative Fellowship is a program for early-career reporters who want to help our muckraking staff cover the 2019 session of the Texas Legislature.

This is one of the best journalism apprenticeships around. For five months, from January to June, legislative fellows become part of the Observer’s award-winning team. You won’t be photocopying, answering phones or making coffee for the office. You’ll be reporting real news.

We help Observer fellows learn how to develop sources, find stories, follow legislation, and track campaign contributions and lobbyist filings. Fellows will learn how to identify the special interests behind a bill or an amendment and how to interview elected officials to get past the talking points. Then we turn fellows loose in the Texas Capitol to cover the legislative session. Fellows will also be expected to shoot photos and videos.

Former Observer fellows have gone on to jobs at Texas Monthly, the Texas Tribune, the New York Times and even the Texas Observer, among other publications.

The Observer is a nonprofit statewide magazine based in Austin. Since 1954, the Observer has covered important stories that go underreported or ignored by the mainstream media. 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

To apply: email a résumé, cover letter and your three best clips to Digital Editor Kolten Parker at [email protected] Please put “Legislative Fellowship” in the subject line. Tell us about any specific policy areas you’re interested in covering, and why. The deadline to apply is October 15.


  • The Fellowship runs from January 7 to June 1.
  • Each Fellow receives a $5,000 stipend.
  • Fellows are expected to work a minimum of 30 hours per week, though Fellows benefit from spending as much time at the Capitol as possible.
  • Fellows write short items and dispatches for the Observer website on a regular basis. There are also opportunities to write longer stories for both the website and the print magazine.
  • Advanced undergraduates, graduate students and recent graduates are all encouraged to apply.